Holidays Not So Happy For All WPB Residents

The City of West Palm Beach certainty jumped into the Christmas Holidays with sand sculptures, and decorative lighting making downtown and the waterfront a festive sight to behold. On December 21st It was a joy to see families with their children, and Christmas is all about the children, enjoying the sights and a visit from Santa, Santa’s helpers, elves and a moving kiddie train.

What was noticeably missing was the smiling faces of black children with very few seen in attendance. The vast majority of children, enjoying the sights and sounds were Caucasian.
The city invited all families and children to join in, so why the low attendance of black children? If you have a question, like I did, and want an answer you have to go into a black area and look for parents with children. A trip to Blum Park, 23rd. & Spruce Ave where men sit and drink out of paper bags on a daily basis, while children play on the swings and their mother’s hover over them, is where I found mothers willing to answer the question. “Did you go downtown to the Christmas festivities? All I received were “no” answers. It seems the main reason the mothers didn’t attend with their children was due to the fact they didn’t have transportation.

OK that took me back because I never thought of transportation. You don’t think when you jump into your car to run to the Doctors, Publix’s, or something as simple as lunch with a friend. There are thousands who can’t afford the luxury of an automobile.
Blum Park is located in a poorer section of WPB and is inhabited by African Americans. Children shouldn’t lose out due to the fact their parents have no transportation to drive their kids to the festivities.

Now travel back in time and consider this. The extension of State Road 7 which the city agreed to extend years ago, when an agreement was reached to allow gated communities such as Ibis (where Mayor Muoio resides) to become part of WPB. Now it seems the city is reneging on the extension, and held a rally at the South Florida Fair Exposition Center, where Mayor Muoio and City Commissioners approved 4 charter buses, paid for by the taxpayers, to take residents from 3 western gated communities to the fair grounds while one bus picked up residents at city hall, all to protest the extension.

The city of WPB have at their disposal, 5 trolleys, with 2 in continuous operation, while 3 trolleys sit parked at the garage. The residents ride, with no cost to them, on the “Yellow” line which travels to the Kravis Center, City Place, and the Clematis St. Waterfront. The “Green” line travels Railway Station, Clematis St. Dixie Highway, and Okeechobee Blvd.

These trolley’s do not venture into the poorest of poor neighborhoods, meaning black neighborhoods. The city of WPB could not free up a shuttle or 2 to take the children from these black neighborhoods to see Santa and ride the train? These African American neighborhood’s are not, and have never been, a priority to the city of West Palm Beach, or they never would have allowed them to deteriorate to the degree they have. Shame on them, and shame on the two African American Commissioners, Ike Robinson and Keith James for not doing anything to help the little Black children be able to sit on Santa’s lap and whisper to Santa their Christmas list.