Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Does Jennings Speak For the Poor or His Budget?

CACLV's Alan Jennings likes to claim he's the voice for those who would otherwise never be heard - our poor, our sick, our hungry. But he's also been a voice for the Lehigh Valley Partnership, an unelected aristocracy that thinks it knows what's est for us. Now he's a cheerleader on the NIZ team, which is diverting badly needed state tax revenues from the very people he champions.

Appointed to the newly formed and rubber-stamped NIZ Board as their token bleeding heart, Jennings is already doing the bidding of his corporate masters and waving pom poms. In an Express Times Op-Ed, he portrays himself as a suburbanite turned urbanite who "walks the walk," and implores us all to give the NIZ a chance.

Yep. Give the NIZ a chance, even though it was authored by its principal beneficiary. Even though Allentown has repeatedly stonewalled requests for information. Even though it creates an uneven playing field that will turn J.B Reilly from millionaire to billionaire while impoverishing everyone else. Even though it ignores other urban cores in the Lehigh Valley. Even though it imposes no living wage requirement for the voiceless people hired to work there. Even though there's no radius of exclusion for new tenants. Even though it diverts state tax revenue from the very people hurt by Corbett's proposed budget cuts.

As Blogger Michael Molovinsky so aptly observes,
[Jennings] now ignores the fact that J.B. Reilly will be using over $7 million in cigarette tax to fund his speculative office buildings. Those millions would normally be going to fund CHIP, providing health insurance for low income children. I understand that Jennings is motivated to use his prestige to curry favor with grantmeisters, such as Pawlowski and Browne; But, when he promotes a program which has forsaken the poor, especially the children, he's putting his organization's budget ahead of it's mission.

Jennings' CACLV sent me a news release yesterday, telling me that a loose collective of nonprofits and local governments will host a forum about Governor Corbett's proposed budget. It's this Friday, 1 PM at Northampton Community College’s Fowler Family Southside Center, located at 511 East Third Street in Bethlehem.

What I like about this forum, which I attended last year, is that you do hear from the otherwise voiceless people who are directly impacted by budget cuts. So do state lawmakers, who attend these forums.

Jennings told me a few weeks ago that not one Republican state lawmaker is willing to face them. Some never even returned calls.

Shame on them. But shame on Jennings, too!

DocRock, at Jennings' blog, asks,
Will you be discussing the millions and millions of dollars being diverted from your programs to your multi-millionaire friends in the NIZ, Alan? Will you discuss the lost money for children’s health programs from the tobacco tax that Joe Topper and JB Reilly will be receiving instead, Alan?

Just how much money, in total, is being diverted to the NIZ multi-millionaire pals of Alan Jennings? And for how long?

Just curious.
Alan has hitched his wagon to the NIZ multimillionaires because he believes he's going to be able to extort money from them while they divert state tax revenues, appealing to their "white guilt."

This is all so predictable. Alan is on the board as "furniture" as far as everyone else is concerned. Alan thinks he'll be able to persuade this group of overly greedy individuals to support Alan's causes. At first, they'll politely nod. And do nothing. After a while, Alan will come to realize he's been co-opted. He'll make a final desperate pitch. The greedies will toss him a bone or two to shut him up. Sometime later, Alan will resign in a huff and write an op-ed expressing his "disappointment."

Nobody will give a shit.

And the voiceless will still be voiceless.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

His budget, his wallet!

Anonymous said...

From poverty slut to rich guys' bitch. Alan has a lot to proud of. His one-percenter salary says it all. He never really gave a shit about the poor. If they went away, he'd have to park cars for the rich bastards he now shills for. What a pathetic local figure.

Anonymous said...

"His one-percenter salary"

you have no idea what you're talking about.

Anonymous said...

Bernie
Do you know which politicisns will be speaking Friday

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Al live in Lower Macungie?

Anonymous said...

Al makes north of $90K and lives in a real nice spread. Not bad for not workin'. That's 99% material for sure. He's almost Mitt Romney with guilt.

Sherman Jacobs said...

always was and always will be a self serving blowhard

Anonymous said...

He only makes $90,000.00, It's no wonder people don't want these jobs.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Jennings makes that salary, and it is low for what he does at an organization his size. But, as he knows, his involvement in the NIZ is completely hypocritical. He claims he's there to keep an eye on them and starts off with Sunshine Act violations and then writes an op-ed, probably at their directions, singing the praises of a bullshit project with no accountability. Then he has the temerity to wag his finger at anyone??

Bernie O'Hare said...

6:41, Brennan, Samuelson, Freeman and Boscola will be there, but I hope they're there mostly to listen, not talk.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Alan lives in a cozy little part of est Allentown. I've been there, believe it or not. It is by no means a mansion, but it is a home. You feel comfortable the second you walk in the place. Alan deserves credit for living in the City, although according to John Jay, that is still the suburbs.

Anonymous said...

The Thode-Geeting Theory of the NIZ is too big to fail.

Please act accordingly.

(The 99% supports the magnificent Palace of Sport, so long as only Union Labor is employed)

ALLENTOWN DEMOCRAT VOTER

Anonymous said...

If Jennings made a principled stand off the bat to oppose the NIZ, would it have stopped it? Honestly, probably not. And what will have obtained for the voiceless? Less revenue for the state and no prospect of getting support from the NIZ backers for CACLV's work.

Will he be able to alter the NIZ or get support for CACLV on the inside? I tend to agree that it is dubious, but he was powerless to stop the NIZ's advancement and the displacement of merchants. Sometimes, being principled and left on the outside looks good to the pure of heart, but it isn't a way to actually get things done for the voiceless.

I am inclined to give Jennings the benefit of the doubt but also to keep pushing at him to afflict the comfortable.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Jennings is comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted. That's my problem. Had he made a principled stand against the NIZ, he probably would not have stopped it. But I don't expect him to break out the pom poms and start cheering for it, either. He becomes a propagandist for the rich and powerful.

I do understand your point.

Anonymous said...

Jennings is a joke! He enjoys sending out emails defaming people he has never met and grovels like a pig at the trough for taxpayer monies. He's a champion for no one but himself.

Anonymous said...

Like Paul On the road to Damascus, Al has had a conversion. The scales on his eyes have been removed and he now seems the value of trickle down economics. Al is well aware that large arenas provide numerous, roomy dumpsters that can accommodate many large families of displaced minorities. Al knows that dumpsters provided by rich connected developers are stimulus.

Anonymous said...

Greater access to opportunity and economic activity is the the #1 thing anyone can do for Allentown's poor. That is exactly why Allen is doing this.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It will all trickle down, eh?

Anonymous said...

It certainly will when they can walk to a job or the value of their property increases due to new investment down the street.

Lets not forget about all the new property taxes the school district will recieve. Within a few years it will be far in excess of the lost income taxes within the NIZ. Sorry, poor people desrve education too.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Really? Let's see. A business moving from one end of Allentown to the other is a net zero in property tax increases.

Anonymous said...

Displaced minorities will be able to pick up garbage and sell Cokes to all the white people enjoying their white sport - 35-40 days per year. Pawlowski is a white god, even if he's a little slow.

Anonymous said...

Building owners pay proerty taxes, not business owners.

Sherman Jacobs said...

Al baby is nothing but a slutty whore waiting for the next john to cum by. the little people will take it in the ass because of his prostitution

Anonymous said...

Jennings will soon attempt to shake down the the LV Realtors Association and local banks with the help of both county administrations.

Coming attraction to keep an eye on.

Anonymous said...

It's coming ...... shakedown on where realtors take minorities to buy houses.

Mr Green said...

doesnt jennings earn 125,000 off of the down trodden?

Mr Green said...

let me be clear, will fuull benefits and a free car the total compensation works it way to $125k+

Alan Jennings said...

Bernie, why do you allow some of these cowards to spew such horse sh-t?

I'm sick of some of you lying character assassins. "Poverty slut?" "Rich guys' bitch?" "Slutty whore waiting for the next john to cum by?" Who are these cretins? They don't use their names, so they can't be held accountable.

My salary is in the public record. Compare it to anyone in the non-profit sector whose agency is of comparable size. My home phone number is in the phone book. I drive a 2002 Honda Accord with 205,000 miles on it. You excoriate someone who has spent his entire life in service to others? And what honorable things do you do? You won't tell us who you are, much less what your salary is, where you work, what kind of car you drive, where you live.

What have you done for anyone? You think it's OK to rip into me and you don't have the decency to show your name, face or anything else about your pathetic existence? People tell me not to feed the trolls by responding to your scummy screeds. Trolls? That's a compliment, you creep. Come to my office. Show your face.

Do you have children? Do you show them how you really act? Are they learning this from you? And how would you like them to read about you the things you've written about me?

You probably think you're some kind of patriotic American. You think the founding fathers intended the Bill of Rights to allow you such feeble, pathetic "speech?"

Come on out of your cave. Face me.

You people make me sick.

Alan Jennings

That's right. Alan Jennings. And I'm proud of the difference I've made.

Drop dead.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Alan, Believe it or not, I sometimes sleep. Last night was one such night. I crashed around 10 PM (it was early) and missed the comments attacking you personally and anonymously.

I do consider you a champion to the downtrodden, something you demonstrated as recently as yesterday with your forum at the Fowler center. It was very well done and it brought Boscola to tears. You have made a difference.

But as you know, we disagree on the NIZ. Even I get the concept. I think it could work if it were a little smaller and a little less aggressive. But as one of the otherwise voiceless mentioned yesterday, valuable state resources are being diverted for a hockey rink that should instead be used to help fund programs that will help her.

So far, I have seen you act as nothing but a cheerleader for the wealthy. You have been their voice. They have not been transparent. They have stonewalled. They have done nothing to help the poor and the needy. You need to do what you do best and insist on transparency. The rich have enough cheerleaders.

Alan Jennings said...

Thanks, Bernie.

As for millionaires, plenty of them are pretty decent people. But I will side with those who reinvest in urban revitalization over those who disinvest, any day.

I wish you and I could agree on this issue. I'm fine with your criticism, though. It's the lies and personal attacks from the cowardly, anonymous trolls that make me sick.

Alan