Based on the research I did, Phillips is a community with lots of social problem, included political issue. Even though the neighborhood has a long, splendid history, also keeps making progress, it has great space to improve. Hot issues such as poverty, crime, education, and political ignorance are mainly problems need to be paid more attention to Phillips.
I’d like to talk about Poverty issue existing in Phillips first, the organization like Phillips Partnership aims to funding affordable housing and occupational training for residents living in Phillips. Poverty can be an extremely big issue because it associates with unemployment issue in short term, and education in long run, even crime is totally a different issue, and it can be caused by poverty. According to the data from Minneapolis official city network, only about 24% residents are whites in Phillips, African American and Latinos are mainly ethnicity here, even diverse racial group promotes the cultural development in Phillips, also a more vibrant community, and poverty problem is serious. The poverty rate in Phillips is much higher than the average rate in Minneapolis, according to the Phillips Story, from 1989 to 2008, the percentage of total population in Minneapolis, which are under the poverty line is around 20%, doesn’t change a lot. However, people who are in poverty state in Phillips is much more than this, in 1989, nearly half of the residents are considered as poor people, situation keeps developing to better direction, in 1999, 15% percent people get rid of poverty in Phillips, but from 1999 to 2008, poverty rate stays at 35%, still much high than 20%, the average rate in Minneapolis.
The other problem relates to poverty such as unemployment, and education. The rates of labor participation rose from 66% to 72% in Phillips, situation still unsatisfactory compare to the situation in Minneapolis, in 2000, there are still 13% unemployment rate in Phillips, declines 1.8% compare to 1990, currently, only 5.8% Phillips residents work in the Phillips area, 38.5% people work in other district in Minneapolis. Unemployment problem can bring many other problems, like crime rate, the safety issue I will talk about later. To solve job problem, Corporations like Abbot Northwestern, Allina Health System, Wells Fargo, Children’s Health Hospital and Clinic making great deal of job opportunities for people in Phillips. There is not doubt that government cares about employment in every community, from the local newspaper “Phillips West News”, lots of job information are highlighted, especially for neighborhood like Phillips, composed of minorities, with high crime rate.
“Crime Curbs Development, Development Curbs Crime.”
—–MPD Chief Dolan & CPED Mike Christenson
Nowadays, Safety problem already being the most serious problem in Phillips instead of Poverty. According to the Crime Map published by Minneapolis Police Station, Phillips is one the most dangerous area that suffers high crime rate in Minneapolis, from the “Midtown News”, tag “Police” is the second most information only less than “events” information, safety warning keeps updating by police department. The community makes great deal of efforts to building a healthier environment for residents, Midtown Safety Center is the central place, which focuses on deterring, discussing safety issue with residents in neighborhood and police, other projects like Safety Zone, Midtown Safety Collaborative all aim to solve criminal issue in Phillips from 2005 to present. Here are two typical people’s safety impression about Phillips from the online forum.
“Personally would never live there, as there are far too many drugs, gangs, wannabes, what have you, that cause enough trouble that I wouldn’t subject my family to if I had better choices, but I’m also not you. I don’t know your situation, I don’t know what you are accustomed to, and I don’t know what your expectations or even perceptions are (what may be “lots of drugs and violence” to me may be a laughing joke to you.”
“ All I know is that a teenage kid got shot there by someone who wanted his bike. I’d say the odds you are safe is pretty good, but still, if you check MPD crime maps, there are incidents going on week in and week out. Look at the crime map I’m linking to. 6 armed robberies and 5 aggravated assaults in one week. To me, that’s pretty bad http://www.minneapolismn.gov/www/gro…s1p-089513.pdf
Obviously people don’t satisfy with the safety condition in Phillips.
Other issue includes transportation, low political participation, local media is super important for the healthy development of a community, various newspaper mentioned make great contribution to the democracy in Phillips.
“Income.” Minneapolis City of Lakes. N.p., 27 09 2011. Web. 31 May 2012. <http://www.minneapolismn.gov/neighborhoods/phillips/neighborhoods_phillips_income>.
“The Phillips History.” . Department of Community Planning & Economic Development – CPE, 04 2010. Web. 31 May 2012. <http://www.phillipspartnership.org/documents/PhillipsPublicPrivatePartnership_April2010-2-mr.pdf>.
“How Bad is the Phillips Neighborhood?.” 01 2010. N.p., Online Posting to Minneapolis-Saint Paul Twin cities. Web. 31 May. 2012. <http://www.city-data.com/forum/minneapolis-st-paul/1534332-how-bad-phillips-neighborhood.html>.