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