by BAR Managing Editor Bruce Dixon
Denuded of their manufacturing sectors, urban America is the scene of a new gold rush. Chambers of commerce and speculators are scrambling for the last goodies, many of which are literally nailed down -- the assets of her public transit, public health and public education systems, her tax revenue streams and the land beneath her remaining public housing. The "regionalization" and eventual privatization of these lucrative assets is high on the agenda of chambers of commerce everywhere, and protecting them is seems not even on the horizon of the black political elite.
In Atlanta state and exurban public officials and business interests have carjacked billions in transit assets the region's two majority black counties have taxed themselves to build and operate over a generation while the black political elite is silent or complicit. Leadership is emerging from the communities themselves, who have offered a concrete plan for the democratic development of the region, but will the black political elite prove an ally or a stubborn obstacle?