Community of Red Hook

Within the city of Brooklyn lies the community of Red Hook which has for the last few decades become a destination for modern college educated people that have vastly influenced the community in a positive manner. These educated individuals have brought with them to this area of Brooklyn certain talents as well as their education and have managed to implement certain changes that continue to draw others to this area which has become a haven for creative individuals. The city which is being profiled in the case study has many reasons why it is now prospering; some of these reasons are that law enforcement agencies roughly twenty years ago began to apprehend individuals that were basically criminals. These people would sell narcotics and engage in activities of robbery and other anti-social crimes.

Fortunately these people were either incarcerated or eventually left the area in search of greener pastures. In particular Red Hook found itself in this municipal predicament because of poor city government decades before. With their exodus came the migration of the creative class person, who was able to start businesses in their neighborhoods and thus supply jobs to the local residents. Another major factor that helped the community to evolve into a pleasant livable spot was that the political policies of Rudy Giuliani and several other New York City mayors were favorable for the implementation and startup of businesses. In starting up businesses in the community the creative class persons were able to bring more revenue into the neighborhood and thus improve the lifestyle of the residents. Because of these factors Brooklyn and the section of Red Hook was able to come back to life and to once again be a prosperous community.

In the city of Chicago in the suburb known as the Beltway the residents of that area began to experience the entrance of Mexican immigrants into that community which had for decades been a predominantly white Anglo Saxon neighborhood. From the research done, the community was more or less outraged that these individuals did not know how to speak the English language. Comments made from residents of the Beltway seemed to point this out when they argue that they (the immigrants) should speak Spanish only at home and not in public. The residents of the Beltway had a prejudicial way of looking at things and people whom they considered to be different from themselves. The Beltway residents also were experiencing problems with the local youths of the community. The tagging or graffiti marking of buildings began to occur in the Beltway and the residents immediately blamed the children of the immigrants while in reality the local teenagers had a major involvement in these incidents.

The changes that took place in Brooklyn were due to the fact that poor choices were made for the community by municipal leaders. These changes caused vast ripples that affected the community in a negative way for many years.  The change that are happening in the Beltway are due primarily because of persons of other cultures are coming into the neighborhood and the current citizens that live there are having a hard time in dealing with this situation. If the Beltway community were to implement Creative thinking ideas that Richard Florida writes about it could possibly aid that particular community by creating new opportunities for all.

The process described as social exclusion in a municipality can encompass several different factors. These factors or variables can present themselves as a person or possibly an entire community being purposely kept from using their constitutional rights, and resources which are typically made available to other member of the community. Social exclusion can also apply to the lack of participation by individuals and groups into the affairs on the communities in which they live. Within the overall term of social exclusion categories such as insufficient job opportunities, inadequate housing, and the lack of competent healthcare facilities all combine to form the nucleus of a community that processes and implements social exclusion to a specific group or groups of people. If social exclusion continues to exist in any society it can greatly hamper that society by preventing the full utilization into the fiscal, political, and social activities of that particular community.

Several decades ago the city of Brooklyn and the surrounding areas of New York City began to receive large numbers of Puerto Rican immigrants from the island of Puerto Rico and black Americans from the American southern states. These individuals were housed in tenement style housing units which added to the social problems of unemployment, and a rising crime statistic, these factors also helped to contribute to the lack of a significant healthcare system. Social exclusion because of what it encompasses will bring about these negative attributes to a community if it is not dealt with properly.

Richard Florida is a professor of regional economic development at Carnegie Mellon University and has written a book and numerous articles pertaining to various reasons why a city that is on an economic and social decline can turn things around and once again get on the fast track to prosperity. Professor Florida argues that if a sufficient amount of creative class individuals within a community can by utilizing their creative thinking processes revitalize an inner city area by implementing and starting new businesses and social programs. Florida’s book entitled “The Rise of the Creative Class” gives statistics as to which American cities are the most forward thinking, progressive and innovative.

Examples of these cities are listed in his book with various statistical data which ranks their creativity class. Professor Florida comments that over the years he has seen various communities in different cities try just about everything possible to remake itself and to retain and attract talented individuals. Florida cites the cities of Pittsburg and Austin as viable examples of creative thinking. He comments that these cities have launched a multitude of programs to diversify the community’s economy away from heavy industry and into high technology. These cities have rebuilt their downtown section virtually from scratch and have invested in various projects. He credits these changes to a profound new force in the economy and life of America which he calls the creative class.

In contrast to Professor Florida’s theory of the creative class, Steven Malanga has a different spin on why some cities can turn things around economically and socially and why others cities cannot. He argues that Florida has come to the wrong conclusions as far as creative class thinkers being the only solution to the plight of many cities. He comments that many American cities that were not included on Florida’s list of creative cities are doing much better as far as business start-ups and social inclusion than the cities on Florida’s list. He cites such cities as Oklahoma City and Memphis as being job power houses adding vast amounts of jobs to their economies and the nation’s economy.

The Beltway community in Chicago has experienced busing of minority students into the schools situated in these areas. Community leaders in these areas have often publically proclaimed the busing and “the blacks” has caused the decline of the neighborhood school. According to some Chicago school officials who serve the Beltway and surrounding areas many incidents of violence were taking place in many schools and they feared that minorities from other districts did not care about the neighborhood schools and were more likely to be involved in acts of violence and vandalism on school premises. The subject of ethnic makeup and race as well as social economic situations has a primary role of describing what makes up a ghetto in Chicago and other cities.