Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Benton Harbor: Building Urban Regional Power by Akindele Akinyemi

This year I plan on moving ahead with developing Urban Regional Networks based on conservative technology. The first place I have targeted is the City of Benton Harbor, Michigan.

The purpose of establishing a urban regional network based on conservative technology is to strengthen the resources out in Calhoun, Berrien, Van Buren and Kalamazoo Counties. I picked Benton Harbor as the capital or seat of this because of the conditions of Benton Harbor is so poor that it needs a rebirth.

As I was conducting my SWOT analysis out there I saw three things that bothered me the most. One, the educational system in Benton Harbor has been in the toilet for decades. I have heard from several people how the teacher unions have come in a raped the resources straight from the children.

Two, I noticed that as a result from the lack of education and living in conditions that are unimaginable Black people out there live in a condition of hopelessness. Therefore, they want an handout instead of pulling their resources together. Community activists and leaders actually believe that Gov. Granholm was going to come down there with her phony taskforce to help revitalize the city.

Right.

Three, there is a weak faith based community in Benton Harbor. The ministers are out for themselves and not for saving the community.

Add this on with left-wing socialist propaganda and we have 21st century slavery.

However, with One Network's conservative strategies and applying conservative technology in the education system this community is ripe for change.

Benton Harbor has 12,000 residents. Unemployment is at 29%. That means 1 out of 3 people in Benton Harbor do not work. The NAACP has collapsed. BANCO, the Black Nationalists group out there, does not have any real power to deal with the adversaries out there.

And then people made it worse by burning down their own community in 2003.

I see a better vision for Benton Harbor. The first thing we need to do is TRAIN our brother and sisters down there about the importance of God in their lives. Not just saying "I'm blessed" at every event but actually living a Christian lifestyle. Our people down there need prosperity at the spiritual, mental and physical levels. If you have a weak faith based community then you will remain a slave for generations to come.

I will be meeting with several faith based leaders in the months to come to break bread and open the doors to a new reality for the community down there.

Another thing is EDUCATING our young people down there with civic responsibility. I met one sister who is 23 years old and ran for Benton Harbor School Board. She told me that she lost by a mere 100 votes. I told her to allow me to mentor her to becoming a competitor. She agreed.

Young people are dying to get involved in their community in Benton Harbor. Who is cock blocking? The old guard. Conservative Technology dictates that along with instilling solid Christian values with your young people that we also instill strong educational values that will teach them the importance of voting, getting involved and running for the very seats that actually belong to them. We can help them with this process.

The educational system must be revamped in Benton Harbor. There are seven seats on the school board. ONE NETWORK is targeting four of the seven seats. We are seeking to expand school choice and make the educational system in Benton Harbor competitive within the region.
In five year we want to blow Southwestern Michigan away with the best school system in the region.

Those schools would be Benton Harbor Area Schools.

We must begin economic development in Benton Harbor and build a Black Chamber of Commerce within this urban regional network. Presently, there is no Black Chamber of Commerce. There is a section of downtown Benton Harbor that I would like to propose to leaders in that region as a jumpstart to Black owned businesses. I would like to pattern this area after the Avenue of Fashions here in Detroit on Livernois and Seven Mile Road. This initiative would help our young people develop business skills, teaching them free market enterprises and building families in Benton Harbor.

We have a long way to go but we are just getting started.

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