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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Staples Dream Park and economic disparity

Hunting Park is one of a handful of area parks that are in the Staples Dream Park competition. People go online to vote for their park and the community with the most votes wins $25,000 in park improvements plus a big party with Eagles defensive stud, Brian Dawkins.

Here's the problem.

Voting is online. Internet access in poor communities is low. The median household income in Berwyn, where current leader Mill Road Park is located, is $74,886. The median household income in Hunting Park (currently in 4th place!) is $19,877.

Of the ten or so kids in our Boy Scout troop, one has home internet access. They come to my office to update their MySpace pages. I don't have numbers on the whole community, but I am plenty confident that internet access in Hunting Park is significantly lower than in Berwyn.

I'm not one of these people who believe everyone should get a trophy. Hunting Park has a lot of people and we should be able to compete in Staples creative new contest. But one has to ask if the playing field is fair here and whether or not a Main Line, old money town should be in a competition with poor, under-resourced communities.

It kind of bothers me actually. Because it often seems like this is how everything works.

But no pity parties here - Vote for Hunting Park every day!! If you go to Staples and get a "Power Card" your votes counts as 10 votes!! Let's do it people!!!

Grand Prize - $25k in park improvements and a party with B.Dawk.
2nd Prize - $10k in park improvements
3rd Prize - $5k in park improvements
4th Prize - $500 in park improvements - awarded to all participating parks!

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