Sigh. Again. I don't think Fetterman ever claimed to have "saved" Braddock or "turned it around" or any of the nonsense that the folks in that article seem bitter that he didn't do. I come from a town exactly like Braddock. A coal town that was hopping in the 50s/60s and even the early 70s. We had a vital downtown with "skyscraper" office buildings (12 floors!) and a multi-level department store and a theatre where the philharmonic played. I remember all of this from when I was a child. But the mines closed and the old people died off and there were no jobs and everything shut down and yes Hazleton went through a dead boarded up phase just like Braddock - I remember that from the late 80s and 90s. Hazleton had a slightly different fate in that it was discovered as a cheap place to live by Hispanic immigrants looking to move out of NYC/NJ and they came in, bought up the boarded up housing and boarded up businesses, and reopened things. So now the population is up and the downtown stores are open again but the signs are in spanish and there are big city problems like drugs and gangs which causes the "old guard" white folks to pitch conniptions all day long when they aren't electing out-and-out racists to mayor and then congress and then trying to get them elected to senate and/or governor. (Google: Lou Barletta).
Braddock apparently didn't get an influx of immigrants to fill the town back up so it's stuck in the late 90s phase of Hazleton - boarded up and dying. And let me tell you that having lived through that sort of decline, there is nothing that any one person can do to stop it. Hazleton had a business consortium called "Can-Do" that progressively looked ahead as the mines closed and opened business parks and wooed industries and it wasn't enough. You can't get businesses to come to a town without workers and you can't get workers to move to a town without jobs. It's a catch 22 and Hazleton only managed to escape that fate by being discovered by immigrants who moved there because the cost of housing was dirt cheap and then made their own businesses and jobs. Braddock wasn't so lucky (or unlucky, depending on how racist the person you're asking is.)
But Fetterman at least tried. He took a shi**y paying job in a shi**y town and tried to make life better for the people who lived there instead of going off and getting a fancy law firm job and living in a Pittsburgh high-rise and hob-nobbing with the high society people his wealth and education would have entitled him to hob-nob with. I think that definitely says something about his character and the type of man he is and wants to be. The fact that he didn't somehow manage to miraculously singlehandedly save every person and business in Braddock like some kind of superhero doesn't negate that for me.
|Has Achieved Nirvana|
Another view of Braddock, perhaps a bit more balanced than the NYPost.
That article seems pretty factual, from what I know.
As my location indicates, I live in western Pennsylvania. I saw the decline of many Monongahela River towns, Braddock included, as the steel industry that was the backbone of those communities occurred. The same thing happened in the upper Ohio River valley to the mill towns there. I grew up near Steubenville, Ohio and that town is a shell of what I remember as a boy.
When the workplaces close down, the workers leave town to survive. Some of the older residents remain, living on their pensions and social security checks, but the commerce largely vanishes with the wage earners who used to live there.
I know a good bit about what John Fetterman did and what was accomplished in Braddock. He's the real deal when it comes to trying to make a positive difference in the place he chose to make his home. I don't think Dr. Oz has any similar accomplishments, even in New Jersey.
John Fetterman definitely has my vote for US Senator in this election.
OK, so this is not about Oz and Fetterman, but The Onion has a feature about our governor's race.
For those of you not up on PA politics, the Republican candidate is a complete election-denier lunatic whose campaign staff is full of religious prayer-leader nutbobs. He has basically campaigned on a promise to slash funding for public schools, ban pole dancing and porn in elementary schools and make all forms of abortion illegal even in cases of rape and incest. Most republicans (including the ones controlling the pursestrings) are refusing to support him and his campaign has basically run out of money and instead of running commercials they are now promising "40 days of fasting and prayer" leading up to the election. Oh Pennsylvania. How I detest this state sometimes.
Anyhow, the Onion has it pretty spot on.
Oprah has spoken:
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