Shared prosperity will be achieved through ownership. Ownership, both as a mindset and financially is the determining factor of whether communities will share in prosperity or dislocate native citizens.
One of the toughest issues facing society as a whole is income inequality. Through the lens of a community it is a struggle because we may not be able to achieve the other aspects of a thriving community that we have investigated if income is too unequal. Issues like rent spikes and lack of equity and ownership can plague a local community and strip it of its culture.
One of the great challenges the faces us as we look to rebuild an area like Jonestown is some of the startling facts that surround it. A report published earlier this year highlighted the income inequality between Black residents and White residents. The statistics can be difficult to feel optimistic about, however, If we begin to build communities together with options for ownership that reach into the communities as they become prosperous; we can build a stronger, more diverse and resilient community.
Why Focus on Race?
This question is extremely valid in the context of shared prosperity, we really should focus on the prosperity of all citizens regardless of race. While this is true, it is also a fact that a significant percentage of the residents of Baltimore are people of color and specifically, black as the graphics below illustrate, it is difficult to create shared prosperity without looking at and addressing the demographics.
Source: The Racial Wealth Divide Initiative - Baltimore
What's there to look forward to?
Civilian job growth
The Graphic above illustrates the downswing and tough times that Baltimore had as a whole, with declining jobs and a shrinking of the economy through the 1990's the two recessions of the 2000's marked the low point and there has been an upswing in overall job growth paints the picture that we have found some stability overall.
Professional Services and Education Services Job growth
Professional services consist of Three main components:
Education services growth in Baltimore is unsurprising and if we can help our residents gain access to educational resources, training them to be the next wave of working professionals bodes well for the future.
The growth of wages is a net positive for the city, however it can be a double edged sword when it comes to income inequality. Protecting the residents of our local community from the rising price of goods and helping them to enter the workforce into jobs that have wage growth is critical to the successful rebuilding of the neighborhood. This trend leads me to believe that the sectors that were outlined above are vital to the professional growth of our local residents. The labor force that I believe is the best match though, I have outlined before in the Healthy People section and is listed below:
The growth of the Healthcare sector is not likely to stop anytime soon. This fact along with the location of Jonestown near Johns Hopkins Hospital makes training and education of community members to enter this sector the most logical path to long term stability. If we add that to the wage graph above and realize that Healthcare jobs provide not only good wages and transferable skills, but also a host of benefits including health insurance, retirement and financial services; creating a way to help people gain the skills necessary to enter these roles is a tremendous opportunity.