Rebuilding Black neighborhoods one house at a time is something that has been discussed for years, since the great Urban Removals of the ‘60s and ‘70s, with some success and some failures.
Which will young contractor Scott Tunstalle be?
“How big? I don’t know, but I want to continually grow,” Tunstalle said about his construction company Power 59, which was featured in a front-page story in the New Pittsburgh Courier’s June 21 edition. The story was entitled, “Rebuilding the North Side, Hill District with local Black talent.”
“I’d like to get to the point where I can start a program to teach residential work. It’s not like building from the ground up; you’ve got walls that don’t meet at right angles, uneven floors—we have to show these kids all that. But for that, I’ll have to grow to where I have enough guys that can supervise my other jobs.”
The bottom line is that he must grow as a Black business in order to help the Black community grow through employment training, which leads to spending.
Most of these businesses go out of business because of the lack of advertising, marketing and lack of Black people making it a point to support Black businesses, yet complaining about the White man not caring about them.
Well, why should he?
There are certainly enough blighted houses and buildings to renovate to not only keep several contractors busy throughout this metropolitan area. Thus, growth for people like Tunstalle’s business should be no problem. But it generally is because the lack of funding that these “small” Black businesses receive are a “big” problem. Too much work available, but with no funding has driven more than a few Black businesses out of business. It’s called overextending yourself.
Now that I’m retired, I travel the city more and once I get out of the “Just Vacation” mode I will see a lot more of it.
What I see is big and small White contractors making money hand-over-foot on all sides of town, not just Downtown, but throughout the city. East Liberty, South Side, North Side and elsewhere, but much more is needed in our Black community. There’s more than enough money to be made for everyone, Black and White. Maybe Tunstalle and Lee Davis should team up. Tunstalle renovates houses, while Davis fills the blighted lots next to them with one of the small houses he’s helped build. Block by Block. Just Sayin’…
Still No Healthcare Plan
As of June 26, the Republicans in the Senate were still working on their Healthcare Plan, which is supposed to replace the Affordable Care Act of former President Obama, as well as the plan submitted to them from the U.S. House instead of just fixing the shortfalls of the Obama plan.
Most of the Media, except FOX News, are predicting it will not pass the Senate. The Republicans hold a 52-48 margin over the Democrats in the Senate, so the Dems need at to turn at least three Republicans to vote no, and so far there’s three to five who have either said no to the bill or are leaning toward no.
The bill should have been completed by June 27, or maybe will be complete by June 29. Even though it is being drafted in secrecy, once it’s presented to the Senate this week according to the Senate Head, they should have 25 days to debate and amend the bill.
As for the Affordable Care Act, it’s doing OK in states with Democratic governors such as Pennsylvania, but terrible in Republican states because of the lack of financial support.
Everyone, including the Democrats and myself, knows that the ACA needs repair, such as it being mandatory, and the high deductions, but it doesn’t need replacing, which means starting all over again on something that affects every citizen in the United States.
As far as the rising cost, any fool knows that the cost of Health Care has been alarmingly rising for the past 40 to 50 years. That is why President Obama is to be commended for addressing this country’s major problem, even though it may have hurt him more than helped him. But in the long run, it will have helped the American people because there will be a national health plan in this country either during the Trump Administration or after him. The people are demanding it.
So even though the Republicans didn’t act during the Clinton administration, they didn’t act during the Bush administration, and they didn’t act during the Obama administration. They have been forced to act now that they control the House, Senate and White House.
America deserves a quality health plan, which is fair to all that is run jointly by government and private business, much like auto insurance.
(Ulish Carter is the former managing editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier.)
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