I wonder if Ford will bring Mr. X?
Mayor Jack Ford said black businessmen should remember that smiling faces sometimes pretend to be their friends. Mayor Ford, addressing about 35 members of the Minority Contractors Group on Saturday morning, March 19, pledged that he will continue to insist on diversity in the awarding of government contracts.
He said some white business people smile and say they also embrace diversity, but really are upset that they’re not raking in as much government money as they used to.
[Ford] said that no matter which part of town he’s in, he always reminds groups that minorities strongly support public works and other levies, and that they should have a fair chance to compete for contracts.
[Ford said,] "Some of the school levies would never pass if it wasn’t for the black and Latino vote. I point that out all over town. Folks nod their heads in the majority community but I have the sense sometimes when I walk out the door that they say ‘Yeah, that’s true, but we want it all.’ Affirmative action really has no teeth to it anymore. So the only teeth you can put into it is what the mayor and the council say that they want to see happen."
The mayor also got laughs when he talked about some white businessmen’s reactions to artwork in his office on the 22nd floor of Government Center. One is a picture of Muhammad Ali. The other is of Malcolm X, the more militant Civil Rights Movement peer of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"That’s so when folks come in there, I want them to see instantly what time of day it is. Literally, business guys have come in there and their legs buckle. They come in and say ‘Oh my gosh, the mayor’s got Malcolm X on his wall.’ That means we’re going to do the right thing; that’s why that picture’s up there," Mayor Ford said.
Jack Ford has ideas for improving Toledo.
Ford on reducing Toledo's "brain drain:"
We might look to Boston where the city fathers have increased part of their population by catering to immigrants from South America. Columbus is growing because of its aggressive annexation policy – and it caters to Somalians.
As soon as Mayor Bell returns from his current trip to China, we should send Bell to Somalia. Maybe Toledo can get hooked up in the diamond trade. Then we will attack and annex Perrysburg.
Ford's idea on increasing Toledo's population:
Recently a report made it appear as if housing in Toledo is on the increase. No, no, no. Figures lie and liars can figure. The increase in housing inside of Toledo is almost totally in black and low-income neighborhoods. We need more white folks with middle-class paychecks.
Maybe it’s time to stop [funding] only in the inner city and start building upscale housing on the west side of the Maumee by Riverside Park and east of Detwiler Park and north of Alexis. Maybe we should take part of the parks north of Alexis and turn it into middle class housing for both whites and blacks.
Ford dislikes the outlying communities, so that makes him an instant hit for Toledo government.
We have seen several stories on population decline. Again our die was cast in the 1960’s when we sold Toledo water too cheaply to points north, west and south of Toledo. Nor did we engage in a program of aggressive annexation. And, why are there two separate public school systems in Toledo?
More from JaFo:
Current office holders say it is the loss of jobs and poor schools that drive folks away from Toledo. I disagree. I say the main culprit is H2O. These [water] agreements allowed areas to take virgin farmland, water it and transform it into retail and residential centers.
Ford knows why a Toledoan would move to an outlying community:
It's greener, it appears newer and we think it is safer. And, for those of us who really are honest, it's whiter!
If we can get Carty on city clowncil at the same time, that will be a hoot.