Women's Half Century Parity Climb and This Election

By Jack Riordan

August 25, 2016

The rioting in Milwaukee, where I went to college caused me to reflect on the changes since the riots in my Chicago in the 60s where I worked with the elderly poor and got my first taste of efforts for Black Civil Rights and Equality. Much has altered our lives since, the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, his brother Bobby trying to be president, and Martin Luther King trying to make America an America for Blacks, war in Vietnam, the realization my America was not there for everybody and that our Government was sometimes very wrong. Even though Lyndon Johnson tried to make things better for poor people he was losing an unwinnable war and stopped trying to be reelected. His clarification of Title Nine of the Civil Rights Act gave women a ladder for more education, employment, and participation in athletics which resulted major changes for women in society and great participation in the workforce.

Richard Nixon beat Hubert Humphrey.  I was looking for work out of a War Zone.   HUD was new and hiring. There was a lot to do in out towns and cities. OCCD was shaking off its almost all male link to Urban Renewal with its first female President Gloria Snider in 1972; she would be the only female president until 1988.

So what happened in those 50 plus years to make living in towns and cities better or for some worst?

Culturally there are more interracial couples indicating that racism is declining among the young who are looking ahead, but sexism and racism are still prevalent among many old White guys who are looking backward. More and more women and minorities are entering politics and public life.  Bob Dawson was the first black president of OCCD in1973. Oren Henry was the second in 1987 then Verna Vance and Angela Brown a quarter century later.  Women got more opportunity to demonstrate their skills in collaboration and communicative, which grew in demand as the nature of work has changed.  Women moved up into management and the pay gap narrowed while men declined in social and economic importance; trying to go back in time, they rally behind Trump.

For more than 40 year we have had CDBG trying to patch up towns; too often trying to make markets instead of taking advantage of existing markets. Big cities have done well. Some of our grandchildren have decided they like it downtown with other young educated, ambitious people working in the growing service and office jobs.  These demographics reversed trends that plagued cities since the 1950s and brought back population and taxes to the big towns. There is exciting entertainment, new residential and commercial developments. Some in close neighborhoods look better today than they did when new; newly invented land banks have helped to manage the enormous amounts of urban land vacated by 50 years of population and job loss.

Small towns have not done well with declining, aging populations, economies, and infrastructures,  plus loss of local newspapers, doctors, taxes and less state and federal support with ever increasing cost .  There is hope. Some towns are selling their livability, reasonable housing prices and access to growing on-line income opportunities. Big old houses have plenty of room for his and her offices with easy access to major cities for excitement.

The biggest success was housing and caring for the elderly most of who are female.

The biggest failures are the denigrating public service, overselling home ownership, and embracing “no new” tax policies which reduced local capacity to oversee real estate transactions allowing sleazebags to sell houses for prices and loans way beyond their value. These excesses cause the Great Recession which further reduced low skilled manufacturing and whipped out the nest eggs for many in the middle class and made it easy to fall into and harder to get out of poverty. Many women ended paying and raising families by themselves.     

In my view Aid for Dependent Children (ADC) and a disproportionate draft of Blacks for Vietnam helped to destroy the black family and turned young black males into itinerant fathers. In my youth physically demanding work could be found even in a racist White male dominated economy. A growing problem is too many men are not working or in less meaningful jobs.  This is very pronounced among black males for whom much prejudice continues for those who are not well educated or outstanding.  New York Times had a quote of a black female lawyer married to a white Baltimore cop about their baby boy, “Black boys aren’t allowed to be innocent or Young.”

 We do have a Black president and there is a good chance we will have a female president both were unthinkable in the 60s.

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I am really happy about the century parity climb and election updates. They were listed all the important au.edubirdie.com review stories on womens half century party. So, we all come forward to make better reports and essays.
Caprico at 1:15pm EDT - August 23, 2018

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