South Bronx No Longer Nation’s Poorest Congressional District — USA Today

At last, the South Bronx is free!

A recent USA Today analysis shows that the South Bronx is no longer the nation’s poorest congressional district.

—Poorest. Three Texas metro pockets were poorest: McAllen, Brownsville and Laredo. Income per person in McAllen: $21,260. Lake Charles, La., was poorest among metro areas having 200,000 or more residents.

I have long contended that some backwater southern community had to rank poorer than the Puerto Rican South Bronx. Texas and Louisiana can have all that goes along with that miserable appellation.

Take note Rep. Jose Serrano and a legion of South Bronx grantwriters.You will need to use a new phrase in order to justify continued federal and private philanthropic largess.

Maybe my “homeland” will throw off the yoke of “development aid” like so many Third World areas are now doing. (Wish we could discover shale gas beneath Hunts Point or Port Morris.)

Rule by oligarchy and corruption are next. “Can you hear the horses.”


Michael Benjamin

About SquarePegDem

A former state legislator turned NY Post editorial board member, thought-leader, public affairs consultant and commentator, columnist and blogger. Michael has appeared on Al Jazeera America Tonight, NY1/Inside City Hall, LIVE, YNN/Capital Tonight, The Brian Lehrer Show, The Fred Dicker Show, The Capitol Press Room, and The Daily Show. His op-eds have appeared in the NY Post, City and State, The Legislative Gazette, Bronx Times, The Troy Record, Buffalo News, and the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle. To schedule speaking engagements, email FOMB08@GMAIL.COM.
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4 Responses to South Bronx No Longer Nation’s Poorest Congressional District — USA Today

  1. Ed Burke says:

    Michael Benjamin – I must respond to your NY Post piece this morning, and finding no way to contact you directly, I’ll choose this website. Happy you reported on the Rockaways, happy you spent time with that old warrior and true American, Councilman Sanders, but absolutely incensed you chose to mar your piece with quotes which were categorically untrue, and sadly the exact opposite of what some unnamed source was saying!

    I spent the day with Councilman Sanders days, not weeks, after the storm. What I saw was a total absence of FEMA and the Red Cross, and continued fears of looting. Mr. Sanders expressed his frustration that Mayor Bloomberg would not request the National Guard from Gov. Cuomo to help Far Rockaway. He also mentioned in his persistently affable and even keeled manner that we, private citizens with no connection to the area & who came to help, were the only outside assistance he had seen up to that point. Thankfully, when we rolled up we tripled the amount of food, clothing and essentials at Councilman Sanders office/community center and started to organize the relief effort…soon, through the efforts of private citizens from Manhattan, food, blankets, clothing, and supplies where pouring in. The Councilman’s staff was outstanding in helping to coordinate these efforts. We also went into the community delivering food door to door in the poorest, and hardest hit areas of Far Rockaway. Again, this was way before FEMA (if there is a similarity to Katrina, it was FEMA’s failure after Sandy, but curiously, and I am totally confused as to why, this was not reported at all in the ever vigilant and objective media? I just can’t imagine why this Federal failure in the first week of November of 2012 would be ignored??) But, the good news is that after amazing efforts from private citizens outside Far Rockaway and the thankful and tireless spirit of Councilman Sanders and his small but gritty staff there was a steady influx of food, clothing and goods from, literally, around the world as we got the word out. Ill always be thankful for Councilman Sanders candor, and humanity as he facilitated relief efforts from private citizens long before any organization rolled into town.

    Now, Mr. Benjamin, thank you for writing about what is happening in Far Rockaway! However, this little, shameful, horrifically ignorant unattributed quote of yours needs to be addressed and squashed right now!…. Your unidentified source saying that Far Rockaway was dealing with this better than the white citizens to the West on the Rockaway’s. Why would you even put that asinine quote in your article, unless you believed or, perhaps, want to believe such ignorance? Take it from someone who was there, for days, from Belle Harbor to Far Rockaway, sadly, the opposite of such comments were taking place! I saw with my own eyes at the old firehouse on Beach 59th St bags and bags of donations pile up with zero organization and a mass of people just grabbing everything they could – full bags with no knowledge what was in them and running to their car. There was hysteria, pushing and shoving and this awful scene looked more like a refugee camp in a third world than NYC (thankfully, we chose to ignore this free for all, lacking all civility, and found Councilman Sander’s office where there was a coordinated effort!). But, everyone I talked to said the same thing, “help, where is FEMA, where is the Red Cross, we need more cops?!” In a tragic catastrophe I understood these words, the government (and bloated, ineffectual non profits) were letting them down. Now, when I went further West to your so-called white areas what did I see? And, again, I ONLY draw this distinction because you chose to pollute your article with this comment about how the white people were “freaking out.”…On the same day throughout Rockaway Beach and Belle Harbor I saw every single person out of their homes helping each other out with armies of other friends and strangers from all over volunteering. There were no cries of “where’s FEMA, where’s the Red Cross?!” Everyone I spoke with just shook their head In disgust at the appealing failure of the Federal govt and the ineffectual Red Cross in these days immediately after Sandy hit, but they carried on. At St. Francis de Sales Roman Catholic Church & school they too were inundated with bags and bags of donated goods and clothing, but in the exact opposite of what was happening in Far Rockaway at the firehouse, there were no masses of people pushing and shoving and shouting – just grabbing anything they could get their hands on, NO! Every bag was separated and divided between clothes, blankets, cleaning supplies, baby needs — it was more organized than an Army barracks! The mass amounts of people were orderly, polite, Were not panicked, And all engaged in true spirit of humanity. Citizens had grills outside cooking food for everyone and there was an amazing esprit de corps amongst people who lost Everything because everyone was helping each other, resigned to the fact their govt was failing them, but hey were not angry or bitter, and the organization was amazing.

    Now, I hate, absolutely HATE comparing Far Rockaway and the rest of the Rockaways because all were equally ravaged and all need our help! But, to include in your article, unnecessarily, some quote from some jackass who said in effect that the mostly black population in Far Rockaway handled this devastation better than the whites of Belle Harbor is so outrageously and utterly false that I absolutely had to comment! I was there, I worked both sides of the peninsula and I chose to describe my time there has helping fellow NY’ers and drawing ZERO distinction between the neighborhoods! However, Mr. Benjamin, you chose to draw a distinction, and you chose to inject race, and you chose a divisive quote. And I am here to say that I was there, I worked deeply in both communities, and all of them were my equal neighbors, but once you crossed that line I had to tell the unfortunate truth of the tale of two Rockaways.


  2. Pingback: South Bronx is poorest congressional district…again! | MichaelBenjamin2012's Blog

  3. Dale Benjamin Drakeford says:

    That oligarchy thing might already be in, but too many of us are to busy enjoying the trickle down superficial of life.


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