The COVID Crisis, poorly considered lockdowns and now righteous anger over the killing of George Floyd have laid bare the underbelly of America. No, I am not in any way justifying the violent elements of otherwise understandable anger, but I am making the case that America must address the social and economic inequity which has plagued our nation since its birth. Our poorest communities are like dry timber vulnerable to any spark that might create a destructive wildfire. Lack of public healthcare, adequate infrastructure, or sustainable income have combined to create an environment which makes our poorest the most vulnerable to disease and economic downturn. It does not need to be this way.
America is the greatest hope for freedom and economic opportunity in the world, yet we have allowed generational poverty and deprivation to hold down segments of our society which have suffered incalculable injustice and discrimination.
This is why I am so inspired by the progress made by Uptown and the opportunity we have today to create a new world for citizens who have yet to participate in the economic miracle that has lifted so many out of meager subsistence.
Uptown is the alignment of community energy and focused resources for the express purpose of creating equitable economic growth. The Tampa Innovation Partnership has committed to an unprecedented partnership with the Uptown residents for the express purpose of creating what President Reagan called “a city on a hill; a beacon of hope for all mankind.”
I am certain that America’s greatest days are ahead of us. We have faced great trials before and will successfully manage our current challenges. Physics teaches us that pressure creates diamonds and that stress can make us stronger. We will weather this series of storms and come out better and stronger, yet this is not enough. To make the suffering of those before us, like Mr. Floyd meaningful, we must cross the chasm, to a place where everyone excels. This my friends is Uptown. Join us.