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Public Corruption in Chester County, PA

I believe an unlikely mix of alleged drug trafficking related politicos and alleged white nationalist related politicos united to elect the infamous “Bloc of Four” in the abysmal voter turnout election of 2005. During their four year term the drug business was good again and white nationalists used Coatesville as an example on white supremacist websites like “Stormfront”. Strong community organization and support from law enforcement, in particular Chester County District Attorney Joseph W. Carroll has begun to turn our community around. The Chester County drug trafficking that I believe centers on Coatesville continues and I believe we still have public officials in place that profit from the drug sales. But the people here are amazing and continue to work against the odds to make Coatesville a good place to live.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I am fine with people who want to remain anonymous.
I received this anonymous comment:
“Has Coatesville already rezoned the area around the train station for high-density mixed use? I can't stand how they want to replace low-income and affordable housing with new luxury townhomes... "Expanding the tax-base" ... To heck with gentrification and revitalization. Where are poor folks supposed to live? Where are we supposed to go?”
It’s a good question and I am very glad you asked.
The area around the train station has been high density mixed use since there was a thing called zoning. The zoning that was changed to any degree in Coatesville is on former heavy industrial zoned steel mill property. There is a zoning overlay on the heavy industrial property so that residential and business development can take place. 

Right now the best estimate of the City of Coatesville’s population is about 12,000 people. We might have a better idea after the 2010 Census. The City of Coatesville has the infrastructure in place, such as water and sewer capacity, to support 20,000 residents. 
Most of those 8,000 or so new residents, if they come, will be living on land that never was residential. 
I believe that gentrification in Coatesville is mostly a political ploy used by people who wanted the drug dealers and the underground economy they support in Chester County to stay in place. Gentrification is unlikely in Coatesville. Any possibility of gentrification in Coatesville is decades away. 

And just where would poor people that live here go if there Coatesville was ever gentrified?  The answer is supposed to be just about anywhere they want to live.
Once a person is qualifies and receives a housing subsidy voucher he or she can live anywhere in Pennsylvania. If you qualify in Pittsburgh you can live in Coatesville. 

The HUD low income housing was intended to be evenly distributed across Pennsylvania’s townships, boroughs and cities. That didn’t happen. What did and is happening is de facto segregation. 

Over one half of the HUD supported low income housing in Chester County is concentrated in Coatesville making what I consider to be segregated neighborhoods in parts of Coatesville. You will find very little HUD housing in Tredyffrin Township. 

So where would poor people go if all of Chester County’s municipalities became middle class and up? That is, gentrified? They would live along side of middle class and upper class people as the HUD housing was intended. What we have now is segregation northern style. 

Below are some of Coatesville City Council President Ed Simpson's comments at Monday evenings Coatesville City Council Meeting April 26, 2010, concerning subsidized housing and HUD:
“It seems like everything is funneled toward certain geographic areas. And what that does is goes against, I think, everything that HUD stands for which is; to try and eliminate segregation.  But right now what you are doing by funneling into certain areas. You’re basically segregating… I think we need to jump on this.”
Listen to Ed Simpson’s comments here:

The City of Coatesville will join with; Norristown and Pottstown and Congressmen Jim Gerlach to discuss subsidized housing and the revitalization of our older suburbs  on June 10 at the Montgomery County Community College in Pottstown. 

The purpose is to ask Congressman Gerlach to publicly endorse First Suburbs efforts to change the fair market rent formula, which is the policy used by HUD.

Western Montgomery and Northern Chester Counties 
Thursday, June 10, 2010, 7:00 - 8:30 PM 
Montgomery County Community College, Western Campus 
Room: South Hall 
101 College Drive, Pottstown, PA 19464

The First Suburbs Project Public Meetings will put our First Suburbs' regional issue agenda before local legislators, administrators, and gubernatorial candidates. We will secure support from these key decision-makers for specific changes in infrastructure, housing, and education policies and funding mechanisms and priorities. Together we can stabilize and revitalize our older developed suburbs that are at the heart of our counties and vital to the prosperity of our whole region. The public meetings are designed to get our voices heard and demonstrate the power of our communities and coalition. All organizations and community members who care about the future of our townships and boroughs should be present. 
All Public Meetings are free and open to the public. To register, emailFirstSuburbsProject@gmail.com
"Southeastern Pennsylvania's housing stock is increasingly segregated, to the detriment of employers, workers and their families, older communities and the region as a whole. Employers in exurban job centers are increasingly finding that their lower-paid workers must commute vast distances because of the lack of affordable housing closer to their jobs. Older suburban communities are experiencing deteriorating housing stock and increases in low-income and affordable housing that concentrates poverty to the detriment of their communities, their tax base, and the life outcomes of the families involved. These housing trends negatively impact the region as a whole, yet our public policies only reinforce these trends. First suburbs cannot access public funds that allow them to build and promote "market-rate" housing to increase their tax base. Affordable housing programs prioritize the provision of affordable housing in areas with distressed housing markets rather than in the newer suburbs that lack such housing. The region as a whole lacks a housing plan that would provide a vision to achieve greater socioeconomic balance and diversity throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania."

Southeast Pennsylvania First Suburbs Project

The entire discussion of HUD and the First Suburbs Project is here:


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