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Youngstown leads nation with poverty rate of 49.7%

Published: Thu, November 3, 2011 @ 12:01 a.m.

RELATED: America's poorest of poor at record high




Youngstown has the highest concentrated poverty rate among core cities in the United States’ 100 largest metropolitan areas.

Further, the metropolitan statistical area of which Youngstown is a part — consisting of Mahoning, Trumbull and Mercer counties — is ranked just 16 from the bottom of the poverty barrel.

The No. 1 rating from the Brookings Institute, released today, compares the poor’s living conditions in major cities and whether they also live in an extremely poor neighborhood where the poverty rate exceeds 40 percent.

Roughly half of poor Youngstown residents live in such a neighborhood, 20 percent in an average city, according to a Brookings’ report, called “The Re-Emergence of Concentrated Poverty: Metropolitan Trends in the 2000s.”

At least 2.2 million more Americans now live in neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage than at the start of the decade, the report said.

Also, according to U.S. Census data for 2005-09, and in 2010, the latest year for which the Census Bureau has published data, the overall poverty rate in the Youngstown Metropolitan Area jumped from 14.8 percent to 17.2 percent. This means that the rate of concentrated poverty for the metro area likely climbed even higher by 2010, said Elizabeth Kneebone, a senior research associate and lead author of the Brookings report.

Some local officials say they are not surprised by the findings of new research from Brookings.

However, when told of Youngstown’s top ranking, Bill D’Avignon, the city’s Community Development Agency director, said, “That’s kind of a stunner. We’ve turned the corner with job creation. There’s no doubt the statistics show it’s bad [in Youngstown]. But I find it hard to believe we’d be classified as the poorest in the nation.”

Youngstown spends about $5 million a year on providing direct and indirect help to poor, low- and moderate-income people, said D’Avignon.

The indirect assistance includes money it receives from the federal government that goes to nonprofit agencies that help pay for food and utility bills, he said.

Also, the city provides free recreational and educational programs for children as well as money for those unable to make emergency repairs to their homes, and housing down-payment assistance to low- and moderate-income residents, D’Avignon added.

Most of the money spent by the city for these programs comes from the federal government, he said.

But the Rev. David Sherrard, director of the Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley, and Tom Finnerty, associate director of Youngstown State University’s Center for Urban and Regional Studies, say they are not surprised by the city’s rating.

It just further validates the need for the services the Rescue Mission provides, the Rev. Mr. Sherrard said.

“We increased food distribution from one to two days per week in order to handle the increased demand,” he said.

“It’s not unexpected. The city has a long history of extreme poverty. It is exactly where it has been all along,” Finnerty said.

Another thing the Brookings report shows is that poverty is starting to spread, Finnerty said. Poverty follows the same route that the initial spread of population followed.

“People in those poor neighborhoods [in the city] are starting to move to declining neighborhoods in the suburbs,” he said.

The Brookings report shows a similar trend across the country. It stems from unemployment and underemployment, which are also a national problems, Finnerty said.

The city is also seeing people clustered together in living quarters, the associate director said.

“You have a number of people with below-poverty wages living together to survive. That usually occurs in the city’s larger homes. It’s the new commune effect,” Finnerty said.

Law-enforcement officials added that crime rates are tied, in part, to extreme poverty.

“In my opinion, there’s a direct correlation between poverty and crime, particularly theft and many violent crimes,” said Paul J. Gains, Mahoning County prosecutor and former policeman.

“You have a segment of the community that is poor. Children grow up poor. Poor people are less likely to be educated ... and more likely to drop out of school, and those who drop out of school become unable to find gainful employment.

“If we had more jobs here, fewer people would be likely to commit crimes,” Gains said.

The vast majority of defendants in criminal cases here get court-appointed defense lawyers because they are indigent. In 2008, Mahoning County doubled its annual indigent legal defense fund from about $1 million to about $2 million, Gains said.

Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court noted that drug and property crimes are most closely linked to poverty.

“Because our poverty is more dramatic in this community than most, our crime rate is higher,” he said.

“People in poverty oftentimes find themselves longing, not only for the finer things in life, but the basic necessities of life and are often frustrated because of their poverty,” the judge added.

“Aggravated robbery is, at least in a town like ours, seldom committed by people of means,” the judge said, adding that restoration of the family unit is a part of the solution.

Addressing the problem is a major undertaking, Finnerty added.

“It’s going to take some major economic upheaval,” Finnerty said. Jobs have been created but they are jobs that pay at the poverty rate or below. For a family of four, $14 per hour is the poverty rate, he said.

Kneebone agrees that solving the poverty problem would take a huge effort which Youngstown and even the whole Youngstown/Pa. Metropolitan Statistical Area may not be able to muster by itself.

The magnitude of the problem is such that it may require combining efforts with other communities in Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, to help the entire region regain a foothold in domestic and global markets, grow employment and educational opportunities, and give people a chance at work, better earnings, and a better quality of life there or elsewhere, Kneebone said.

“People who live in extremely poor areas, be they urban or suburban, shoulder a double burden,” Kneebone said. “Not only do they struggle with their own poverty, but their surrounding communities have fewer job opportunities, lower-performing schools, higher crime rates, and more public-health problems. Being poor in a very poor neighborhood makes it that much harder to get out of poverty.”

Kneebone said the report’s findings make it clear that local, state, and national policies, from land-use and economic development to providing safety-net services, need to be reconsidered from a regional perspective to address the situation.

Contributors: Vindicator staff writers David Skolnick, Peter H. Milliken and Denise Dick


1MFC997(261 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

... and they keep right on voting for Democrats ... maybe they should check out "Road To Serfdom" ... should be required reading for all of Mahoning Valley ...

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2AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago


Apparently YOU keep voting them in. Bush and Obama gave taxbreaks to the rich to create jobs. Where are all the jobs the teapubs said it would create? Seems to me, after all the taxbreaks started, the unemployement started to rise.

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3jjking720(15 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Hold up MFC, don't you dare try to voice Bush,Tax-cuts and Obama in the same sentence. The tax-cuts for the Rich and Corporations were signed into law by G.W. Bush and the GOP over a decade ago. Where are the jobs that the 10 year old Tax-cuts were suppose to create ? Obama and America's un-employed workers employment benefits were held hostage by the GOP .........if the Tax-breaks for the Rich were not extended then the GOP refused to extend Un-employment Benefits to the Millions of Americans that they the GOP put out of work.

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4oldone(15 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court noted that "drug and property crimes are most closely linked to poverty.

“Because our poverty is more dramatic in this community than most, our crime rate is higher,” he said.

“People in poverty oftentimes find themselves longing, not only for the finer things in life, but the basic necessities of life and are often frustrated because of their poverty,” the judge added.

Judge Krichbaum states above that drugs and property crimes are linked to poverty, then continues that the poor long for the finer things in life. Okay, I can agree with property crimes, but since when do drug crimes provide one of the finer things in life?

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5author50(1121 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

All those new buildings, bars, taverns, concerts at Covelli, movies in the summer, Zombie crawls, Wick Park Neighbors, ACTION, Business Incubator, etc haven't done too much to help the REAL people in the neighborhoods. They are all victims of their zip code.

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6magnolia(27 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Sad but true. I am not surprised. What's worse is that the $14 per hour is not the norm for the jobs in this area. $14 per hour is considered good, or the highest you are lucky to get. The average seems to be $7.55 per hour. To make it worse, many of the jobs in this area are not offered at full time. So part-time, no benefits no wonder the poverty rate is as high as it is. There doesn't seem to be any plan to correct this. It has become the new normal.

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7UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Poverty and Democrats seem to go together like poop and flies! Scoop up and throw away the poop and the flies will go away.

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8Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

We are number one and far too many want to keep it that way . Yep, Youngstown's biggest industry is poverty . Those in the support structure want to maintain their jobs .

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9Iwannamove(61 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Vote more Republicans in and the poverty will only get worse

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10Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Vote Democrat and keep the status quo . . . ..

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11PHISHIE(105 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

As the communist China poverty rate declines the U.S. poverty rate increases. Too many U.S. factories are being relocated to communist China. Write your Senators and Congress Persons, tell them to initate laws to stop the relocation of U.S. factories and technology to communist China, Vietanam and other communist nations.

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12chevinsea(32 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Its always been bleaker here than other cities. Help with an electric bill and having a homeless shelter is help that comes too late. It all has to do with jobs, jobs, jobs or you must leave, leave, leave!

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13jethead11(139 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

It is funny how some here blame Republicans for poverty in Youngstown. A Republican has not been elected in Youngstown since the 1970's. Times were good under Bush for most the U.S. Obama has had three years and things only seem to get worse. Yet Republicans are to blame, even though Democrats had complete control of government for two of those three years. Youngstown's repeated "doubling down" on Democrats have backfired. Yet most of these people are going to double down on unions and vote against Issue 2, and think things will change by doing the same old thing. And of course they will blame the Republicans when cities and townships have to layoff teachers, firefighters and police to balance their budget, even though there is not a Republican in sight. The Republicans tried to find a solution, the dumb masses want the status quo, yet expect a different result.

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14walter_sobchak(2727 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Aggravated robbery is, at least in a town like ours, seldom committed by people of means,” the judge said

No sh!t, Dick Tracy! Where's your squad car? Aggravated robbery is committed by people with evil intentions that want the easy way through life. These people need to realize the solution to their problems is staring at them in the mirror. Have some self-respect, quit doing drugs, stop having children like rabbits, stay in school and out of trouble. The problem with Youngstown is that the good people recognized years ago that you have to sometimes create your own opportunity and move. You don't need to tap the "indigent legal defense fund" if you keep out of trouble.

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15VINDYAK(1824 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Jobs in The Valley are a very important part of us crawling out of our poverty...but...we have developed a reputation as a hostile environment for employers. Many in The Valley are unemployable and many others are strong union advocates.

Businesses often find good employees by importing them from other communities, if those individuals are willing to travel or move. Far too often though, it is easier to locate in business friendly communites with a pool of good workers.

So, the end result is what we have today...high poverty, high unemployment and no bright future for ourselves or our children.

We are not going to get this turned around anytime soon, unless...

(1). our leaders quit their political bickering and begin balancing budgets and making policy decisions that will restore confidence in our government.

(2). Our Valley citizens improve their liberal, anti-business attitude and proclaim businesses are not villans, but treasured jewels.

But then again, maybe we really enjoy our current sub-standard status and only complain because we enjoy it and want more to complain about.

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16Attis(1134 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

This dubious distinction of being No.1 in poverty should shock or shame us all (and Uncle Sam) into action to not only reduce, but abolish, poverty in America. But it won't. It will be business (homicides, crumbs from food drives, early deaths, ad nauseum) until it all explodes and collapses. The rich are getting richer, the poor poorer, the middle class thinner, and the fuse is getting shorter, much shorter. To abolish poverty in America in this century is as much an economic necessity and moral imperative as movement to abolish slavery in America in the 19th century. Where are the abolitionists?

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17PHISHIE(105 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Actually, the info provided in the news story is old info from Census stats. Current info is that Youngstown/Warren is the fastest growing economic area in the state. So, most of the above messages are moot. PHISHIE

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18glbtactivist(321 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Certainly not the Republicans steel mill owners. They did nothing to this area, except leave half the place unusable because of the poisons left behind by their selfish greedy way of doing business.

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19pgurney(296 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Not surprised.

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20AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Quit blaming politicians, Dems and Repubs. They do not create jobs. Busineses create jobs. Only 12% of the workforce is unionized, so blame the 12% and not the 88%. STUPID.

Tax cuts were made to create jobs. It DID NOT WORK. Many businesses can come to the vallay and not be union. But since the steel mills were union 35 years ago, you still want to blame the union from 35 years ago on todays problem. Well that is just plain wrong.

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21PHISHIE(105 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Actually, the info provided in the news story is old info from Census stats. Current info is that Youngstown/Warren is the fastest growing economic area in the state. So, most of the above messages are moot.Things are lookin good ........... PHISHIE

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22AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago


And how many jobs were created in ytown after the TAX cuts that were supposed to create jobs. Look at unemployement after the tax cuts. It went up.

Most of us stopped name calling after the eight grade. GROW UP

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23jethead11(139 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Average: Politicians don't create jobs, they create an environment that helps to create jobs... low corporate taxes, incentives for hiring and reinvestment, limited regulation, strong schools to develop the workforce, and limited union presence. We have not had that environment in a long time in the U.S. and I don't think ever in Youngstown. The unions run wild because the people and the politicians allow it. The vast majority of Ohioans, in any poll you look at, favor right to work legislation. This would make unions earn their members instead of mandating them to join or loose their job. That legislation alone would solve the union greed issue, and take politics out of the union movement, while still giving workers the protections they need. Not to mention that giving workers a choice is the right thing to do. So yes, the politicians can create jobs.

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24CommonSenseGuy(37 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

It's common sense that political competition is good for a community. Cities that are divided politically, and regularly switch back and forth between Republican and Democrat leadership fare much better! Political power will result in corruption regardless of the party. In Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, Democrats know that they will get re-elected no matter what so they have no incentive to work hard to solve our problems. Think about it!

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25peacelover(839 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

People say all the jobs have gone to China, and of course that is true. However, look at their air and water. Their government allows any and all kinds of pollutants over there for the sake of making a buck. I won't even buy food from the supermarket if it says Product of China on it because you don't know what kind of pollutants are in it. Remember the scare with the dog food a few years ago? I sure wouldn't want to see what their country will be like in 50 years .... probably one big sludge dump. I agree you have to be business friendly to attract companies and provide jobs, but you need a balance too. Corporations have to respect the places where they operate.

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26pgurney(296 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Oh ppffftttt...

The real issue is that Youngstown has a reputation as a crime-ridden, declining, poverty-stricken city. NO ONE wants to open a business here, unless it's downtown or in the suburbs.

The rest of Youngstown is being pretty much left to rot, except for small pockets like Idora, Wick Park, Crandall, and a few select others.

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27ceash(10 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

The entire brookings report can be found and downloaded here: http://www.brookings.edu/papers/2011/...

The primary point this report makes is how CONCENTRATED the poverty is becoming in Youngstown and other rustbelt cities. We are seeing conditions in our and other cities not seen in 100 years. Ghettos are re-emerging where people are clustering together under one roof just for survival in neighborhoods that have been abandoned to them by the flight of the remaining middle class. As the more economically mobile leave to pursue jobs elsewhere, the poverty becomes more stubborn and entrenched. We are at a point where Youngstown can't sustain itself at any tax rate. The population doesn't make enough money to support the basic services a city must provide. The remaining middle class is being chased from the city by the unreasonably high city income tax. Perhaps it is time to unincorporate Youngstown and take up a regional form of government that spreads the burden to everyone in the metropolitan area. That is the only way I see to save what is left of the city and promote the flow of people and money back into the former city limits, where they might be attracted to the cheap supply of housing and a reinvigorated downtown.

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28jetercp(67 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

this comes as a surprise to anyone??? really???

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29TonyL(44 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

The demise of Youngstown's economy started with Gus Hall's Labor Unions and Jimmy Carter's 1977 EPA amendment to the 1972 EPA Act. With the first victim being the Youngstown Sheet & Tube Campbell Works and the 2nd victim, it's people!!

This is how I remembered the Campbell Works:

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30TonyL(44 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Youngstown voted for Obama and they got what they deserved, Nothing!!

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31a1belle(9 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Time to vote some Republican in local ans state offices in the area. The SW part of Ohio alreaded have that blend and there are more job in SW Ohio then NE Ohio. I know since I am leaving the Youngstown area with no job there for 3 years and work in Hamilton, Ohio since July 5th for more money then I could ever earn in the Youngstown area.

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32lovedrama(139 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

The article said provide free home repairs to people who cant afford it? How do I get in on that?-or do you have to be on welfare??

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33janggler(3 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

The people in Youngstown have no idea what else is going on in the rest of the state. I live in Columbus and travel to Cincinnati for business all the time. Those two cities are expanding and experiencing an economic boom because of the Republican domination in the Ohio House and Senate. It angers me to see all the money and incentives given to these Republican strongholds, meanwhile starving the Mahoning Valley of the same opportunities. The Republican Party’s first underhanded attempt to break up the Mahoning Valley’s Democratic majority was redistricting, now it is pure economic starvation and submission.

The Mahoning Valley has the greatest corridor between two of the largest cities in this country, New York and Chicago. Why is there no investment in the Mahoning Valley? Is it because of political beliefs? If so, that is just criminal. The people of the Mahoning Valley should be as angry as me on how the leaders of the Republican Party are neglecting them. I know that I’ll here feedback from some right wing nut spouting off right wing rhetoric. Let me say one thing to you my friend. Your party has left you behind too. By continually supporting this, “It’s all about me” and “It’s us against them” doctrine, you are an accomplice to evoking fear in the ignorant and supplying them the same guttural emotions as those that led to Kristallnacht. You should be ashamed of yourself for not counting your blessings and not showing a little compassion to those who are less fortunate than you.

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34georgejeanie(1540 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Like Don Hanni said "to the victor goes the spoils". Only when Republicans are the victors, they actually do something for the people who voted them into office, while dumbocrats just line their individual pockets. Just look at the cities you mention above.

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35Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

“People in those poor neighborhoods [in the city] are starting to move to declining neighborhoods in the suburbs,” he said."

There are more soliciting opportunities available there . The city is totaly devoid of even low level opportunities . The only ones thriving are the crack dealers and government social workers . . . ..

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36JME(802 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

"Why is there no investment in the Mahoning Valley? Is it because of political beliefs?"

More like the polictical clowns that keep getting elected into office over and over.
They're the laughing stock in the state, and they're led by "incompetent" Betras.

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37joebag09(354 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Just goes to show you when they look at the unemployment figures....it really is NOT showing accurate pictures of the areas economic status!

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38jasoninohio(119 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Jangler- DOn't blame the republicans for the demise of this area. What has Tim Ryan done for this area since elected? You would think that by being Nancy Pelosi's 'boy' that he would have some pull. That has not happened. We just say Jay Williams take the first chance he could and escape Youngstown. The facts are that Youngstown and the surrounding area have been Democratic strongholds for many years. Blame the Democrats for getting elected and doing nothing.

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39janggler(3 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Jasonohio-My opinion is based on traveling thoughout the state. Your opinion seems to be rooted on hate towards the opposing party and what has been indoctrinated to you by fellow party members. I believe that it is foolish not to delelvope a vital corridor, no matter what party you belive in. So, why is so much money and infrastructure being funneled to Republican strongholds in Ohio? To say that there is no political motivation by the Republicans to "snuff out" the opposition would be myopic. That was obvious with the redistricting of the region. It's sad that we all pay taxes in Ohio, but only selected regions are receiving benifits of those taxes and federal funds for job creation. While in the Mahoning Valley, the small percentage of funds from the State are used for sustenance of the poor

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40jasoninohio(119 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago


My statement is more towards those saying that poverty is a republican or a democratic problem. I am telling those in the area that are calling out the republicans that the need to look at the local levels of government first. The local government has more to do with what happens here in the valley than the morons in DC.

Too many people are quick to blame congress or the house or the president (even though all 3 have much to do with the current state of affairs in this country) but yet they give local leaders a pass. The reason that crime is bad in Youngstown is because of Youngstown, plain and simple. Obama has little to do with aggravated assaults in the area.

While the economy is bad, that is no excuse for crime. I know how the 2 are related, but they should not be. 4 years ago I was making twice as much money as I am now, and I was living in SW Florida. Because of the economy I left and came back to Ohio. I never once robbed or stole anything from anyone.

You call out the Republicans for funneling money towards their strongholds in Ohio, yet this is nothing new in politics. Democrats and Republicans alike have done this for years. The people who call out our governor for giving his cronies jobs, all forget Obama does the same. Clinton did the same. Both Bushes did the same. That is what politicians do. So, if the Republicans are funneling money into their strongholds, my question is why are the Democrats not doing do in their strongholds? After all, that is how the game is played, right?

The proposed redistricting plan is not some new idea either. When the democrats are in control, they want to make sure the new plan is going to benefit them. Why would anyone thing the Republicans would do anything different? The lines are going to get changed, there is no stopping that.

I too travel the state of Ohio frequently. I have family in Columbus, Toledo and the Lima area. I went to high school in Cleveland and still have many friends there. I go to Cincinnati regularly. I see what is going on through out the state as well. It isn't just a republican problem, nor it is soley a democratic problem either. It is an Ohio problem. The city of Youngstown needs to do more with less. It is what the vast majority of us have been doing the last few years. You have to find a way to make things work. The city of Youngstown is really who is failing right now. That in turn is failing the people of Youngstown.

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41JME(802 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago


I also travel throughout Ohio and other states and agree that other regions of this state are in much better economical condition compared to the Mahoning Valley.

However, your theory that those regions are thriving because of being Republican strongheld is way off base. Like former mayor Jay Williams, both Columbus and Cincinnati have black Democrat mayors. If you want to use the political excuse, it's because the Valley is one-party rule, where as the other regions have a balance via two political parties. It's not a vendatta, the decline has been happening over the last 30+ years.

One distinct difference between the thriving regions and the Valley - industrial diversification, which the local political leaders failed to consider. Columbus has become a major player in the health care, finance and distribution industries. Even Pittsburgh reinvented itself from a rust belt city into the fast growing medical field.

You are using political party affiliation as an excuse, when in fact the problem lies with the ineffective politicians that have enjoyed a free ride for doing nothing - they are a complete joke to the rest of the state and get no respect, and are to blame for poor economical climate in the Valley.

I wish more Valley voters could see how well the other regions of the state are doing. They would then get a good idea of the type of clowns they keep re-electing, along with the head "incompetent" clown Betras!

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42JME(802 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

It also doesn't help to attract business when the Valley politicians and labor is highly confrontational. At a recent SB5 rally Betras asked for volunteers to go out and "drag people out of their houses and make them vote". Now, what businesses would want to locate and grow in this area with that type of rabid attitude?

I'm from Dublin and well aware of the tremendous growth in the Columbus region. It's NOT because of a specific political party!

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43Superstar7(122 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

There are ways to repair the damage:
1. Join the rest of the state & vote out all dems. THEN Columbus will stop ignoring this area's needs.
2. Stop the $5,000.000 subsidy of the urban occupiers & they will move to another urban setting that will offer them free everything for no work.
Cut them off the welfare roles NOW. Make the schools, hospitals, everything they depend upon...make it all pay for use & these urban dwellers ruining our area will leave. Why subsidize the drug sellers & drug abusers? If we want to fix our problems, send the urban dwellers out of our area & everything will SOON improve.

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44howardinyoungstown(591 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago


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45doubled(210 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

I don't know who or what to blame for this embarrasing report ....I am smart enough, however, to realize that in business, as in politics, nothing is ever so black and white that you can easily single out one cause for a problem that has taken decades to occur. That knowledge aside, all I can say is I am worried about our future ..and when I say our future, I mean all of the people that live in the area, even the ones on this board whose opinion i disagree with. I don't know what the answer is, but I know that we need to find some people that can sit down and try to figure something out that is workable and reasonable. I can say -- and not in a political way -- that it would have been nice if congress could have passed a jobs bill -- could have fixed up our roads, bridges, sewers, etc, while bringing thousands of good paying jobs to this area...I mean, if the stuff needs fixed, why not get it done now....it's not going to be any easier or less expensive 5-10 yrs from now. And our attitudes about the place in which we all live together needs an adjustment towards the positive. I've never seen people speak so hatefully about the place that they call home. Let's get it together, folks.

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46honestman(33 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

well, i'll tell you i agree with all that you people say, politicians, reb or dem are all crooked and out for themselves. i've yet to meet a good person whose a politician, they are the bloodsuckers of society, leaching of the public to keep themselves in office. you want to fix this town and country. a flat tax for everybody. say 10%, no breaks, no deals, big business poor etc. also if your on welfare, no kids, no drugs, if you cant pay for yourself, you shouldnt be getting pregnant. and you shouldnt be sitting home getting high. if you do get a govt check, you should put in 30 hours a week in govt work such as meals on wheels, street and park clean-up, daycare, etc etc. if you commit one crime, its 6 months hard labor, 2nd crime just dig a grave, 3rd crime, well you get the idea. if you are willing to work at a job and its barely enough to get by the govt should step up and make sure you get benifits and food. all politicians would be more like a jury duty. if your between the ages of 25 to 65 you get called to serve your term in congress. with today's computers, i'm sure we can get a fair level of population so that all interest groups are covered. by interest group i mean, black, white, hispanic, college educated, middle class, low income. its a two year term. no longer people wasting millions of dollars to get reelected or do doing shady deals to keep in power, and if you get caught taking bribes, or lobbying, well bam, death penalty. all decisions should just be based on right or wrong, not whats gonna line our pockets. all these politcal worms, be they dems or rebublicans spend a lifetime usurping power and cash from the american people, so far removed from the real world. the only goal is to broker more power and keep themselves in office. .............
with that being said, i think issue to is a blatent abuse of power. do i think unions need to be reformed, yes, the sad thing is a few bad apples leave a bad taste in everyones mouth,.... i say sort out the apples, dont cut down the tree. i would be more supportive of sb5 if the powers that be would be taking the cuts as well, they are not. they weld all the power, its not right, its a very calculated attack on unions. everyone talks about bloated wages etc. i have a house valued at about 100000 and i pay about 2100 a year on prop . taxes. out of that 8% goes to fire, 10% goes to cops. thats 378 dollars a year for full time cops and fire. wow what a bargain. when you look at the individual and say wow look what he makes, i only make this much.. i know, i've done that with pro sports and ceo's. but i only went to school for 3 years to do what i do, not 8 or 10. i pay more for my car insurance than i do my fire and police and i never use that either. but its nice to have. all the people compain about what it costs them. ask the corrupt politicians where the money goes.

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47redvert(2240 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Yes, old obowser came to Ytown and now has a shrine to him in that restaurant on Market street. He sure has done a lot for Ytown since he got your votes.

The question was asked, "how dumb are the Ytown people?" Do we need to ask. Would voting out all the democrats and replacing with republicans fix the problem. Would probably help initially but ongoing, a nice mix of libs and pubs would be ideal. Will this happen, the answer to the how dumb question should answer that, Nothing has changed in 50-60 years and the old saying is:

"When nothing changes, nothing changes"

Not sure why we even bother to discuss any possible ways to improve the area!

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48AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

So many of you say don't ""blame Bush"" for todays problems. However you are the same people who blame the present on the "past Democrats". Which way is it folks?

How to improve the area you ask??
The job creators were suppose to create jobs with all the tax credits. Thats why Bush got the tax incentives for the rich. To create jobs. But you just keep saying elect repubs and things will improve. Well things did improve under Clinton, then bush took over and cut taxes, and unemployement went skyhigh. HMMM

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49redvert(2240 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Well citizen, as you well know, Clinton left the white house with a big surplus! Now, for the last 6 years of his presidency both house were controlled by the republicans and that is where spending bills originate so we may wonder...or not... why there was a surplus.

Now on January 3rd. of 2007 during the Bush presidency The DOW Jones closed at 12,621.77
The GDP for the previous quarter was 3.5%
The Unemployment rate was 4.6%

Remember the day...
January 3rd, 2007 was the day that Barney Frank took over the House Financial Services Committee and Chris Dodd took over the Senate Banking Committee.
The economic meltdown that happened 15 months later was in what part of the economy?

Funny that the timing is so good but now Fannie and Freddie are asking for billions more to bail them out from their screwups. Now back to blaming the Bush tax cuts.....yea right!!!

I have posted this clip a number of times but it is worthy of seeing again. It features some of the liberal's finest!!!


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50TonyL(44 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Archie Bunker on Democrats

Democrats never change.

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51MARGEOMATIC(128 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Tim Ryan will take care of all the poverty in Youngstown- ...

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52kenup(2 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

I love this. Ok, Youngstown or the Valley if you will has been down for a while now. “Some” of you people will say humorously, it’s the Democrats fault, more or less, it’s Obama’s fault. He’s only been in office for 3 years. How is it his fault? Did he start the two wars that we as a nation are involved in? or was it he who knowingly and begrudgingly said we were going to go to Iraq and find all these weapons of mass destruction? Oh I remember, he was the president that gave billions of tax cuts to the huge corporations to open plants and factories overseas, because it is cheaper to pay 3 people in Korea $10.00 ($3.33 per) an hour, as versus a young American teen $10.00 an hour. Or wait, was it that other republican guy Reagan R.I.P.

If the color of your skin is still affecting your judgment some 146 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, and 46 years post the abandonment of many Jim Crow laws, then you’re seriously misguided. It’s not only minorities that are suffering, but its white people too. Studies have show that there are more Caucasian people on government assistance that anyone else. Growing up as a child of Youngstown, I paid no attention to race. It didn’t matter what color you were, while eating free lunch at the parks and recreation summer programs. But some of you still dwell on it. Say Reganomics never happened, or better yet, tax breaks were given to big business to maintain if not open more plants in factories in economically strained areas, who does this benefit? Everyone! But you’re a multi-billionaire, who is a product (like most are) of your parents, grandparents, and great-grand parent’s success. Yet you refuse to open factories in the USA, but most of our clothes, shoes, appliances, stereos etc, say “Made in China, Korea, Mexico” yeah that makes a ton of cents. Wait, that’s not accurate either, because many of you who relate to republican agendas, are about $5,000-$10,000 a year close to being in the poverty percentage too. There were that top 7% who benefitted from Reganomics, but the other 93% of us, were “left out in the cold.”

I wish no ill on any man, but say hypothetically an accident happens and you are no longer capable of sustaining employment and can no longer pay your bills? The same assistance you claim is a drain on or society will be the same assistance you’ll seek once your discounted insurance refuses to pay your bills.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was a republican. Who initiated many of the governmental assistance programs which are still in use today. Would he be supported for his ideas (New Deal) in today’s society, or crucified at the stake. For him to run this country longer than anyone else has or ever will, shows proof that government programs and the fruit from which is bore, is necessary. Political agendas aside, those who base comments without reliable research are just blowing steam.


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53walter_sobchak(2727 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago


"Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was a republican. Who initiated many of the governmental assistance programs which are still in use today. Would he be supported for his ideas (New Deal) in today’s society, or crucified at the stake. For him to run this country longer than anyone else has or ever will, shows proof that government programs and the fruit from which is bore, is necessary. Political agendas aside, those who base comments without reliable research are just blowing steam."

Uhh, I don't mean to question your "reliable research", but FDR was not a Republican, but a liberal Democrat in the truest sense of the word. He defeated the incumbent Herbert Hoover, who was a Republican. You may also want to check your research on the New Deal also because it had to be modified many times and was not what changed this country. It was the massive govt. spending for the war effort for the armament and ammunition to defeat those evil empires trying to take over the world similar to how Ronald Reagan's administration finally conquered the evil menace of the communist USSR.

Nice rant, though, but there are rules smokey!

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54Don7936(2 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Poverty follows immorality; never fails. Seems as our social problems deepen so does out financial state. No system works with the lack of moral common sense that is out there today. Wonder what the poverty rates are for 2-parent families versus singe parent, etc....our politicans have led us down the garden path, but our own citizens are not blameless.

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55JME(802 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

"Nice rant, though, but there are rules smokey"

Lmao. Just be carefull with those beer commercials this weekend:)

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56kenup(2 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago


Thank you so very much. I purposely put that FDR was a Republican, knowing full well that he was Democrat, to see if anyone is paying attention. Please don't believe I'm that obtuse to imply that I didn't know his political affiliations. A simple search on any search engine, will bring you +80,000 hits in 2.3 seconds that he was a Democrat.

Be that as it may, this furthers my proposition that many of the programs that are still in effect today, where comprised by Democrats, based on pumping life into a down economy. And these programs worked then in the face of a Depression. Restructured governments in DC may not be the answer. Obama's job creation bill has been (bang bang bang) shot down 3 times but the GOP controlled entities in DC.

The old saying "it takes money, to make money" has to come into play here. College, cost money, opening businesses, cost money, healthcare, and child care, guess what? They cost money! So if we have to spend the money, to create more opportunities, then so be it. Yet the GOP congressmen, and Senators who got fat off their “billionaire boys club” who bankrolled their elections, are squeezing the candidates in their “paid for offices” right now. I mean if the president wants the top 7% (financially) to pay the same percentage as the bulk of the country is paying right now, why is that unacceptable? I say 11.5% flat tax across the board, and give tax breaks where warranted. Which is in the hands of people who are trying to rebuild the economy, not those who purposely take jobs away, Go Korea, China, and Mexico, I guess.

I appreciated the educated response Walter.


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57MARGEOMATIC(128 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

the vally that keeps voting DEMO-CRACK head - must suffer from skull smashed by shopping cart syndrome...

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58smileyface(1 comment)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Youll earn more money and have more quality of life if you go to college and get a degree. That will provide more choices for you and your loved ones.

Visiting Ytown this year...its sad what the city has become. Everyone seems to want everybody else dead. Theres no mutual respect for anyone, its kill or be killed and everyone knows it.

Somone needs to take the city back to what it once was or move it forward to something greater.

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59Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

"Somone needs to take the city back to what it once was"

Many are taking the city back to where it once was . . . ..


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60MARGEOMATIC(128 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

who even wants y town ?

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61briant(57 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

just buy more crack and other drugs..The blacks have clearly ruined Youngstown with their parenting skills. They do do and have not EVER taken pride in the property. They lead the nation in gangs and drug sales...just buy more crack? After all, these are good young salesman who don't desreve any problems

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62LilPooh(1 comment)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

It is not the Democrats nor the Republicans fault. However, continuing to vote Democrats into office, especially in Washington & Columbus, is having a significant effect on the area. Not because of what they do or do not do, but because of the message it sends.

Put yourself in the position of those in Washington who are deciding to which communities to give money. You have the choice of 3 areas: one that always votes Republican, one that always votes Democrat and one which can go either way. It does not matter if you are a Democrat or a Republican, you are likely to give the most money to the 3rd one in hopes of swaying their votes toward your party. (It's all about winning elections.)

How did Traficant get the money for the Chevy (now Covelli) Centre when neither party wanted him? They may not have wanted him but they wanted his vote. Sure there are going to be times when you reward a community for being faithful to your party, but it will not be significant. In reality, the money Jim got for us was not that much when compared to what gets handed out.

So what we need to do is "bite the bullet" and elect some Republicans. Sounds like an easy fix but hold your horses; it is not as simple as that. Where do we find a qualified Republican to run for office?

Whenever there is a Republican on the ballot, I question their intelligence. This sounds very mean but you have to ask, "Why would you waste your time & money to run as a Republican in a community that strictly votes Democrat?" I am not saying the Republicans who run for office are stupid or not qualified. We just need to realize the first Republican elected from the area (in 30 years) may not be the "best" the party has to offer. Therefore, if the first one turns out to be a screwball, don't give up.

And for those of you who count Rep. Johnson as a Republican from our area; Mahoning County did not elect him … it was the counties south of us. But it could be a start.

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63Ypboy(64 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Keep voting for democrats and keep supporting unions. You folks are doing a great job of destroying a once vibrant city, Way to go!!!! On your way to socialism. How could so many people be so dumb?

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64andersonathan(687 comments)posted 4 years, 8 months ago

Here is a theory, lets give more money to the poor taxed from the rich. Then maybe the poor will will create jobs and we can consider this the trickle up theory? Or throw out the crap [anyone in office]

When Youngstown Schools were [are] failing a lot of people wanted the Superintendent out yet no one has called for City Council to quit, Hagan, Brown, Ryan, Boccieri and the rest?

Maybe just maybe in 2012 make a change for your self aim low maybe get out of the top 10

Heck maybe I should start printing T-shirts supporting being number 1 and make a dollar off of your misery.

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65SheepleHerder(22 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Every election the brain dead democrats vote the party line and what do they get for their loyalty? A number one rating in the countries poorest cities.

Now run to the polls next month Vote Nobama again so you can keep the valley poor.

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