11 years ago: I dream’d a dream

September 4, 2002, here on slacktivist: I dream’d a dream

Hosting a convention not only brings in money, it also brings in national attention and media focus.

So here’s my suggestion: Let’s have our political conventions in cities that really need this infusion of cash and, even more, attention. Four years from now, I propose that the parties hold their conventions in Camden, N.J., and Chester, Pa.

These are two once-great American cities that today, to be blunt, are post-industrial wastelands. They have failing schools, few or no employment opportunities, crime, blight. Each is cleft into two unsustainable parts by a superhighway that takes travelers through and past, but never to, the city itself.

For the delegates of both parties — and even more so for the corps of media elites who trail along to both conventions — a week in either of these cities would provide a healthy dose of perspective and of reality.

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  • esmerelda_ogg

    Actually, a national (Republican) convention was held near, if not in, Camden relatively recently – well, 1996, I believe. (Camden was pretty much the same then as now.) What did the city gain? Governor Whitman saw to it that Camden was Potemkin-style spruced up; specifically, a lot of room-by-the hour motels on the main highway through Camden from Philadelphia to the New Jersey suburbs were torn down, and some attractive brick-like facing was put on the median barrier of the highway. Within Camden? Just as many abandoned houses as before. Just as many drug corners. Just as many people without jobs.

    Camden and Chester both need something that offers actual jobs, not image adjustment, and that will continue for years, not days.