If I didn't know better, I'd think this was Beirut in the nineteen seventies. But, in reality, it's the current state of the housing for which Barack Obama claims responsibility as a "community organizer." It turns out the developers enriched by his government-funded subsidies did a heck of a lot better than the folks who once lived here.
I say "once", because the Boston Globe ("Grim Proving Ground for Obama's Housing Policy") calls many of the units "uninhabitable".
As a state senator, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee coauthored an Illinois law creating a new pool of tax credits for developers. As a US senator, he pressed for increased federal subsidies. And as a presidential candidate, he has campaigned on a promise to create an Affordable Housing Trust Fund that could give developers an estimated $500 million a year.
But a Globe review found that thousands of apartments across Chicago that had been built with local, state, and federal subsidies - including several hundred in Obama's former district - deteriorated so completely that they were no longer habitable.
Grove Parc and several other prominent failures were developed and managed by Obama’s close friends and political supporters. Those people profited from the subsidies even as many of Obama’s constituents suffered. Tenants lost their homes; surrounding neighborhoods were blighted.
Progressive blogger River Daughter put it succinctly:
In terms of concrete accomplishments, Obama and “hundreds of other organizers” were not able to transform the South Side neighborhoods or bring in new industries to provide jobs...
Obama’s most commonly cited achievement was in forcing the city to begin testing for asbestos in all city apartments.
Regarding Obama's asbestos assertions, the L.A. Times alludes to the real story:
...critics claim Obama, now 46, exaggerates his accomplishments, particularly in spearheading asbestos cleanup at a low-income housing project. He omits from his account of that fight a longtime community activist who many people say played a significant role.
And for all his emphasis on the value of grassroots organizing, Obama eventually decided he also needed a law degree to enact lasting change, attending Harvard University... Further blurring the picture are his descriptions of community organizing in his youthful memoir, "Dreams From My Father," in which he admits he disguises names, creates composite characters, switches some chronologies and uses "approximations" of dialogue.
I can see why.
Look at this beautiful playground, with all of children frolicking; they're so care-free and so delighted that Barack Obama's community-organizing has helped them at the expense of his developer friends.
The squat brick buildings of Grove Parc Plaza, in a dense neighborhood that Barack Obama represented for eight years as a state senator, hold 504 apartments subsidized by the federal government for people who can't afford to live anywhere else.
But it's not safe to live here.
About 99 of the units are vacant, many rendered uninhabitable by unfixed problems, such as collapsed roofs and fire damage. Mice scamper through the halls. Battered mailboxes hang open. Sewage backs up into kitchen sinks. In 2006, federal inspectors graded the condition of the complex an 11 on a 100-point scale - a score so bad the buildings now face demolition.
Grove Parc and several other prominent failures were developed and managed by Obama's close friends and political supporters. Those people profited from the subsidies even as many of Obama's constituents suffered...
As a community organizer, Obama's a hell of a public speaker.
The poor people living here have gotten the shaft from Obama and his developer buddies. And the mainstream media couldn't care less.
I think a video tour of the area would make one heck of a campaign commercial for the GOP.
Update: Ace nails it:
Kaus calls this "Obama's Katrina," explaining that if Obama is running on his record as a community activist and advocate, it's a pretty big deal a housing project he had his hand in is an almost-unlivable slum... Perhaps Obama had good intentions here. Trouble is, he has a decidedly thin resume, and one of the biggest bullet points on it reads Miserable Failure.
Linked by: LGF, Jammie Wearing Fool, Dust My Broom and Noblesse Oblige. Thanks! Hat tips: Marathon Pundit and Larwyn.