The Phillips Community

The Phillips community is a culturally rich community. The culture diversity makes the community attractive. It is amazing to see so many different cultures in a small area. But the culture diversity also brings some problems, such as crime. However, the Phillips community is a good place to visit.

What are the major issues or concerns that people in this neighborhood care about? I did a survey in the community. There are three choices in the survey: safety, living condition, traffic and jobs. Besides that, I provided a blank to write what they concerned most if it was not listed. 8 people did the survey, 3 of them are male and 5 are female. The result is as below: 6 people selected safety; 1 people selected traffic; 1 people selected living condition; no one selected jobs. This result is unexpected for me. I thought jobs will be an important factor but in fact no one cares about it. I think there may be some misunderstanding. In China, traffic jam is very common all day long. People don’t want to go too far for work, so the income level is a big factor to consider when choose place of residence. But in the U.S, traffic condition is much better than China. That’s why people don’t care about jobs. They can go other place to find jobs. Safety is a big problem in Phillips Community, since it is a high crime rate area. (I found information about crime from Dangerous Areas of Minneapolis):

 The Phillips neighborhood also suffers from high crime rates. The Phillips neighborhood is immediately south of downtown Minneapolis and bordered by Hiawatha Avenue to the east, Lake Street to the south and I-35W to the west. Areas where crime is higher extend outside Phillips, several blocks south of Lake Street, and around a mile west of I-35W.

In the city’s media, the Phillips neighborhood is of cultural diversity and “economy diversity”. I found an article, Spotlight on Phillips neighborhood, introduces this feature:

The Phillips neighborhood always has been a complex neighborhood of stark contrasts, particularly among its buildings and its residents.

The cornerstone of Phillips today is diversity – economic and cultural. Not only is it the largest neighborhood in Minneapolis by population (larger than 35 of the state’s 87 counties), it also is the most racially diverse community in the Twin Cities area.

But a problem is, the Phillips community is poor. “It’s one of the poorest neighborhoods in the metropolitan area, with a high concentration of social service agencies.” Stated by Jim Buchta, author of Spotlight on Phillips neighborhood. I found some data from Official Website of the City of Minneapolis: about 34% of residents are below poverty level. The poverty causes many problems, for example, crime. 6.01% of the residents are affected by property crime. This is a really a large number, much higher than the average level of Minnesota, which is 3.08%. Although accepting plenty of assistance, the community doesn’t seem to get better.

Despite of the poverty problem, most articles about the Phillips Community focus on its cultural diversity. Black is the main part of the community. White and Hispanic are of about the same number. American Indian and Asian population are smaller. The article Study says racial bias affects rentals in Phillips neighborhood gives out some information:

Members of minorities who want to rent housing in the Phillips neighborhood are likely to face significant discrimination…Between January 1989 and June 1990, more than 35 percent of housing complaints received by the Civil Rights Department came from the Phillips neighborhood.

Rent in the Phillips Community is very low, this appeals many people. But in another hand, this causes more problems.

“We are always disappointed when discrimination is found, but we are not surprised,” said Emma Hixson, director of the Civil Rights Department. “We have had a fairly high volume of complaints from Phillips.”

It seems like the city’s media don’t like the Phillips Community very much.

The community has its own media, Minneapolis Television Network. Although it is located in the Phillips Community, it doesn’t focus on the Phillips Community only. It seems to be more like a city-class media.

I asked some people what they think about the relationship between the Phillips Community and Minneapolis. I might not express clearly, most of the interviewees just answer something like “the community is part of city”. To be honest, I don’t completely understand this question either.

An old lady told me that she doesn’t care what the media says about the Phillips community. She has been lived in that community for about two decades. She felt the community is much better than the first time she came here. She said, “At least I’m happy to live here. I feel the development, and I love it.” The Phillips Community is on its way to be better, that’s a good sign.

Reference:

Buchta, J., & Writer, S. (1998, Jan 10). Spotlight on phillips neighborhood // stark contrasts exist among the buildings and residents of one of poorest sections in metropolitan area. Star Tribune, pp. 04.H-04H.  http://login.ezproxy.lib.umn.edu/?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/426934737?accountid=14586

Kelly, S. P., & Writer, S. (1992, Feb 21). Study says racial bias affects rentals in phillips neighborhood. Star Tribune, pp. 01.B-01B.  http://login.ezproxy.lib.umn.edu/?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/418345370?accountid=14586

James, Clara, Dangerous Areas of Minneapolis.  About.com. http://minneapolis.about.com/od/minneapolisneighborhoods/qt/dangerousneighborhoodminne.htm

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