“American Cities and the Great Divide”

Bob Herbert, one of my favorite columnists, wrote a great editorial in the NY Times this week called “American Cities and the Great Divide.”

In it, Herbert expresses his concern for New Yorkers left behind in what’s been considered a successful era for the nation’s largest city. “It’s a measure of how low the bar has been set for success in America’s cities that New York is thought to be doing well, even though 185,000 of its children ages 5 or younger are poor, and 18,000 are consigned to homeless shelters each night. More than a million New Yorkers get food stamps, and another 700,000 are eligible but not receiving them.”

I whole heartedly agree with Herbert’s concern with urban issues being left out of presidential debates, saying, “There was a time, some decades ago, when urban issues and poverty were important components of presidential campaigns. Now the poor are kept out of sight, which makes it easier to leave them farther and farther behind. We’ve apparently reached a point in our politics when they aren’t even worth mentioning.”