One of the most frustrating things about our supposed local news isn’t that they are fake news, but that they don’t tell the full story after passing off press releases as a news story;
Sioux Falls grew again, according to the city’s planning and development department.
The new estimated population for 2020 is 195,850. That’s an increase of 5,100 from the 2019 estimate of 190,750. The new number was released Friday afternoon by the city.
The Planning and Development Department calculates its year-end population estimate based from data released by the U.S. Census Bureau annually in July.
While this is all fine and dandy in a year without a census, I find it odd that no one asked the city why they didn’t just wait until the official census is released (hopefully SOON)? I have argued that I think that number is high and fudged so the city has more bonding leverage. I am NOT sure what it is, but I think we need to wait and see once the official Census is released.
â€œSioux Falls continues to demonstrate our resiliency and optimism as evidenced by the steady growth of the past year. This confidence, along with our City’s ability to improve and expand infrastructure and manage our land resources has been a proven formula of growth for many years,â€ Jeff Eckhoff, director of planning and development, said in the news release.
This statement ties into another Stormland TV story about right wing radicals and racism;
â€œFor me to sit here as the mayor and say, â€˜Well, that doesn’t exist here in Sioux Falls’ would be naÃ¯ve, because certainly some of the same racial tensions that we saw bubble up in Washington and some of the slogans we saw on shirts can certainly exist here,â€ TenHaken said. â€œWhat I can do as mayor is just continue to promote a message of unity, of inclusiveness.â€
â€œLast summer, we’ve had it before, we’ve had KKK fliers distributed around our community, we, people found them in parks and things, and I’ve always wondered, is that just a prank, is that a teen trying to get a rise out of someone, or is it very real,â€ TenHaken said.
Whatever the intent or the maturity behind such imagery, the Ku Klux Klan stands for real, documented hate.
â€œI think that’s the sort of thing we just can’t tolerate, there’s just no place for that,â€ TenHaken said. â€œThere’s no acceptance of that.â€
I have often thought there is a correlation between racism and economics. I’m not sure how Amazon or an egg roll factory will solve our low wage job issues in the community. Studies have shown that Amazon actually drives wages down. Recently I was asked if I thought Noem or TenHaken had anything to do with bringing them here. My answer was simple, “Sure. They got the Hell out of the way.” Only one entity made the decision to come to Sioux Falls, and that was Amazon based on logistics of their operation. I have often chuckled about how politicians like to pat themselves on the back for bringing in business but rarely say anything about trying to prevent harmful businesses from coming. I think trickle down economics doesn’t work. In fact the founder of them, Ronald Reagan and his administration has proven that nothing trickles down to us. The rich have gotten richer, the poor have gotten poorer and main street is disappearing. I have even predicted that in 10 years or less, large corporate retail stores will be virtually non-existent.
So back to economics and racism. The state and the city can do more to combat racism, they can do it by building up communities starting at the bottom and working up. Besides cute messaging and education they can start investing tax dollars into the core of our city to provide more affordable housing they can also recruit businesses that will be locally owned and provide living wages. I had to cringe a bit last week when Planning Director Eckhoff made an interesting comment about affordable housing. He was referring to the practice of tearing down small houses in the core of our city, essentially saying they were obsolete because people want houses with two-stall garages now. He was basically saying the city’s housing department isn’t interested in rehabilitating smaller affordable houses. I have no doubt in my mind that the city’s housing and planning department (who have merged in recent years under the direction of TenHaken) has been in cahoots with contractors and developers to eventually wipe out existing affordable housing in our core (houses that are smaller with either no garage or a one-stall and one or two bedrooms) that can cheaply be fixed up because developers have seen that multi-housing units are where the money is to be made. I have suggested mini-TIFs to homeowners and small apartment owners to fix up our core neighborhoods essentially investing in people instead of big developers and international low wage corporations that never trickle it down to rest of us. (FF: 1:18:30)
If we are going to combat racism in Sioux Falls, it starts with economics, that means creating living wage jobs and affordable housing in our core. Giving millions in TIFs to egg roll factories isn’t a very good plan.