Saturday, August 20, 2011

#1 negative - disparity between rich and poor

august will be the last month of the sky is big in pasadena.  

i have accepted a position at salford mennonite church in harleysville, pennsylvania.  we will be moving in september, so august will be my farewell month to the city of pasadena.  when we moved here from virginia i posted a list of the ten things i would miss most about harrisonburg.  i figured that would be a good way to end our time here, so each day i will be doing one final rundown of life in this great city.  i have prepared two lists - ten things i won't be sad to leave behind, and twenty of my absolute favorite things about pasadena.  today is the final installment of things i won't be sad to leave behind.

#1 negative - disparity between rich and poor

today's photo is of one of the many people who stand on our streets and beg for money.  disparity exists around the world - pasadena is not unique in this fact.  yet here in pasadena, we have one of the largest gaps between the wealthiest and poorest of any american city.  we have neighborhoods featuring incredible wealth and lavish expansive mansions, and we have families that are struggling to pay their rent and put food on the table (in fact our local shelters often run out of space and food).  peter drier, professor at occidental college, has written extensively on this issue.  you can find one of his recently published articles right here.

but you don't have to take his word for it.  just look at our local schools - some of the best private schools in the country, and on the flip side, some of the worst public schools.  old town pasadena is home to incredible high end restaurants, and just south of old town is a soup kitchen that is always filled with people looking for food.

fortunately, pasadena does have an incredible group of people dedicated to fighting this injustice.  if you are interested in learning more, this recent pasadena star article is a good place to start.

finally, here's a brilliant clip on the gap between the rich and poor from the daily show...


Steve Scauzillo said...

Nicely put. And I saw that Daily Show clip and thought it was spot on.

Petrea Burchard said...

Ben, you are so right. What a great post.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

remember my comment "Will it be a situation, condition or maybe something political?"

I'd say "I win" but somehow that would seem inappropriate