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GRDadof3

How will the downtown apartment market shake out?

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GRDadof3    1830

So there are numerous apartment projects underway:

NHBC - West Side Gateway

Alabama Ave project

LMD and Seward

Fulton Place

Arena Station

RJM and Belknap Gateway

20 Fulton East

Venue at the BOB

Fulton Square

The Rowe

The Morton (I believe is finished)

The next wave includes some of the usual suspects but also for the first time includes some national and super-regional players:

WODA Group on the riverfront/Front Street

Icon on Bond II - New York based REIT

The yet to be named Grand and Benson apartments - Valdosta based developer

Orion riverfront project on Monroe

Maplegrove of East Lansing - 234 Market (Market Place)

616's projects on Plainfield

Diamond Place on Michigan - Third Coast

Green Cane's project on Wealthy

The movie theater project - apartments

Lyon & Ottawa project

And a bunch more scattered around the city like Display Pack's building on Monroe, the new project at Leonard and Alpine, the projects at Eastern and Cherry, a couple along Market near Wealthy, etc, etc..

Did i miss any obvious ones? 

Predictions as to which ones will get started this year? New ones proposed? 

 

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GVSUChris    133

I am not sure how confident that it will get started this year, but I predict that 616 will be buying the Kregel building on Wealthy (733 Wealthy, SE.), if the ink isn't already dry as I speak. 

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GRDadof3    1830
8 minutes ago, GVSUChris said:

I am not sure how confident that it will get started this year, but I predict that 616 will be buying the Kregel building on Wealthy (733 Wealthy, SE.), if the ink isn't already dry as I speak. 

Well that's news! I didn't see the existing development team getting very far. 

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EastownLeo    140
1 hour ago, GRDadof3 said:

Well that's news! I didn't see the existing development team getting very far. 

Yeah that place has been in limbo with no movement other than for lease signs.

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GRDadof3    1830
2 hours ago, john_denver said:

Are there any statistics to show where people are coming from to live downtown?

- GR Suburbs

- Within the state

- Out of state

 

 

Anecdotally they are mostly from within the state, but not West Michigan, and also from the Great Lakes area, predominantly. A lot of Chicago-ites who moved there for a short time FROM Michigan and moved back TO Michigan. 

I know several older people who have moved from the burbs to downtown/near downtown, but not to rent. 

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arcturus    145

New blood in the college faculty ranks also who come from all over.  Higher education's influence here can't be overstated.

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GRDadof3    1830
14 hours ago, john_denver said:

Are there any statistics to show where people are coming from to live downtown?

- GR Suburbs

- Within the state

- Out of state

 

 

I think it'd be worth its weight in gold if DGRI or someone did a survey of downtown/near downtown residents. There's a ton of info that could be gleaned from it: where they came from, how long they plan to stay downtown, what brought them here, what they'd like to see (more of) downtown, what is their interest level in getting involved in community activities, etc.. 

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mpchicago    187
On 5/18/2016 at 7:29 AM, GRDadof3 said:

I think it'd be worth its weight in gold if DGRI or someone did a survey of downtown/near downtown residents. There's a ton of info that could be gleaned from it: where they came from, how long they plan to stay downtown, what brought them here, what they'd like to see (more of) downtown, what is their interest level in getting involved in community activities, etc.. 

I know as a part of the DDA FY 2017 budget they plan to start a downtown residents' network.  Not sure exactly what that entails, but it will likely provide a data base so a survey could be distributed to those who live downtown. 

Edited by mpchicago

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GR_Urbanist    415

I just cant get as excited as these reports should make me.

Grand Rapids has bright spots here and there, but we are a LONG way away from having a center city that is on the same level with even an Providence, RI.

Huge gaps in the streetwall, massive parking lots all over the place, no retail, still lacking really killer cultural attractions, too many buildings occupied by non-profits, hugely underdeveloped tracts from Leonard down to Wealthy on both sides of the river.

 

When you pull back from what is being built, and what is planned for sure, it really doesn't put a dent in what should be going on in the next 2 years for a city that supposedly is doing as well as we keep hearing. You CAN get 10K people living downtown, but so what if they are scattered in pinprick apartment developments scattered over such a wide area?

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joeDowntown    664
3 hours ago, GR_Urbanist said:

 

When you pull back from what is being built, and what is planned for sure, it really doesn't put a dent in what should be going on in the next 2 years for a city that supposedly is doing as well as we keep hearing. You CAN get 10K people living downtown, but so what if they are scattered in pinprick apartment developments scattered over such a wide area?

I personally disagree. I think it's great that housing is popping up all over the city- Monroe North, West Side, Michigan Street, Fulton, East Hills, Arena South, Center City. Heck, even Plainfield is getting love. I think this is MUCH better than a concentration of apartments/condos in a 4-5 block area. People living, working and playing throughout the city will give us a strong Foundation to build upon for year to come. I can think of many cities I've been to that have a strong CBD, an area where the stadiums are located, and then a section where everyone lives. And a lot of areas end up being dead zones at certain times of day, or a ghost town when an event isn't taking place.  

I really like what I'm seeing where it's all mixed. Heck, even Chicago has some pretty dead areas (the Loop). I think we're doing something right. 

Joe

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GRDadof3    1830
12 hours ago, GR_Urbanist said:

I just cant get as excited as these reports should make me.

Grand Rapids has bright spots here and there, but we are a LONG way away from having a center city that is on the same level with even an Providence, RI.

Huge gaps in the streetwall, massive parking lots all over the place, no retail, still lacking really killer cultural attractions, too many buildings occupied by non-profits, hugely underdeveloped tracts from Leonard down to Wealthy on both sides of the river.

 

When you pull back from what is being built, and what is planned for sure, it really doesn't put a dent in what should be going on in the next 2 years for a city that supposedly is doing as well as we keep hearing. You CAN get 10K people living downtown, but so what if they are scattered in pinprick apartment developments scattered over such a wide area?

There is this little thing called economics, which does limit how much can happen in a certain period of time. This isn't China or Dubai where the government can build a bunch of empty buildings to appear like its booming. It remains to be seen whether even the current slate of apartments fills up in two years. 

And growth and investment has to come to all of the neighborhoods, and involve those neighborhoods. Just concentrated in the core will leave many people behind. 

14 hours ago, Floyd_Z said:

 

 

10,000 by 2025 seems like a very obtainable goal.

One thing that kind of concerned me was the push for "Equality-driven hiring plans" for downtown.  I'm not a fan of affirmative action.

Oh jeez, no one said anything about affirmative action. What MOST people who are actively involved in the civic life of downtown have discovered is that many of the boards and executive teams of companies and organizations downtown are predominantly white and predominantly male. Since males aren't even the majority of the population anymore (49%) and women hold more advanced degrees than men now, it seems strange that leadership would be almost all male. DGRI doesn't have the power to MAKE any organization change that, but getting organizations to think about this disparity is a good thing. 

The lack of diversity in downtown organizations has been a topic of discussion for a long time as well.

Good for DGRI for getting behind this movement. 

 

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GR_Urbanist    415
5 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

There is this little thing called economics, which does limit how much can happen in a certain period of time. This isn't China or Dubai where the government can build a bunch of empty buildings to appear like its booming. It remains to be seen whether even the current slate of apartments fills up in two years. 

And growth and investment has to come to all of the neighborhoods, and involve those neighborhoods. Just concentrated in the core will leave many people behind. 

 

While development in the neighborhoods is fine. This story from Wood was talking about the downtown area, not Eastown or Creston.

In the end, the downtown area is still the "face" of the city. If we have a downtown that has development, but it is diffused-out to the point where none of the projects are really gelling into a cohesive whole, then their impact will be limited. Right now you can see the faint beginnings of this, but like I said, it's still a long way to go before anyone can say we finally turned the corner. The movie theater, the project on Market, and the Bob expansion will go a long way to connecting things.

 

5 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

What MOST people who are actively involved in the civic life of downtown have discovered is that many of the boards and executive teams of companies and organizations downtown are predominantly white and predominantly male. Since males aren't even the majority of the population anymore (49%) and women hold more advanced degrees than men now, it seems strange that leadership would be almost all male. DGRI doesn't have the power to MAKE any organization change that, but getting organizations to think about this disparity is a good thing. 

Here's the problem with this. If people truly want to say they are "colorblind" then why are they counting skin colors and genders of anything? Unless these individuals are doing something illegal or unethical, then they are doing nothing to warrant such an disturbing characterization. So what if they are male? So what if they are white? Are they doing a good job? If they are, then leave them to their job.

It matters not how much of a population is female or not. If they want to be on these boards, then submit a resume when a position opens and give a good case as a HUMAN as to why you are the best for the job. Having certain body parts or a certain skin tone is not a rationale to get a job. Having better ideas and a higher motivation to fit in with the team and accomplish goals is.

That's like white males, whom make up a larger % of the population than blacks, demanding greater representation in the NBA. Or that men being 50% of the population, ought to be 50% of teachers. It doesn't quite work like that.

DGRI should concentrate on ensuring that interested persons regardless of background, are properly educated so that they can apply for them based on their skills and not their skin color and gender. ^_^

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GRDadof3    1830
4 hours ago, GR_Urbanist said:

Here's the problem with this. If people truly want to say they are "colorblind" then why are they counting skin colors and genders of anything? Unless these individuals are doing something illegal or unethical, then they are doing nothing to warrant such an disturbing characterization. So what if they are male? So what if they are white? Are they doing a good job? If they are, then leave them to their job.

It matters not how much of a population is female or not. If they want to be on these boards, then submit a resume when a position opens and give a good case as a HUMAN as to why you are the best for the job. Having certain body parts or a certain skin tone is not a rationale to get a job. Having better ideas and a higher motivation to fit in with the team and accomplish goals is.

That's like white males, whom make up a larger % of the population than blacks, demanding greater representation in the NBA. Or that men being 50% of the population, ought to be 50% of teachers. It doesn't quite work like that.

DGRI should concentrate on ensuring that interested persons regardless of background, are properly educated so that they can apply for them based on their skills and not their skin color and gender. ^_^

If only the best people are hired for positions, then it would seem that no one would ever need to be fired from a job. Rarely does the best qualified person get hired for a job, in an objective way. It's more likely based on subjective matter. 

If, as you say, that the best people were being hired for leadership positions in downtown organizations, then just by statistics alone, wouldn't you find an even distribution that looks very much like the population? 50% male, 50% female, 10% African American, etc.. Yet that's not the case, not even close. 

It SHOULDN'T matter whether you're male or female, white or black or Hispanic, and yet IT DOES MATTER for some reason. Otherwise you'd have even distribution. It shouldn't matter. 

So it seems to me that someone who is for equality for everyone, like yourself, would support an initiative that is trying increase awareness of bias and prejudice that a lot of people don't realize exists. 

Who gets picked for basketball teams is based on objective measures: stats, percentages, wins, speed, agility potential earnings, ratings potential. Literally hundreds of thousands of college athletes vie for a handful of professional slots. You have to be at the elite level. It's not the same thing as what DGRI is talking about (and many other downtown stakeholders). 

The teachers in the high school where my kids attend are 50/50 male/female. Women tend to more dominant in elementary education because more college women take elementary Ed as a major. 

The lack of women and minorities in leadership positions in the downtown area is not from a lack of candidates, trust me. 

 

 

 

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GR_Urbanist    415
Just now, GRDadof3 said:

If only the best people are hired for positions, then it would seem that no one would ever need to be fired from a job. Rarely does the best qualified person get hired for a job, in an objective way. It's more likely based on subjective matter. 

If anyone of the people that are currently on these boards aren't the best, then people should name who that person is and state why they aren't. I cant just say that they are the "best" for the job because of a funny feeling. That isnt fair to them. I have to assume innocence until otherwise.

 

Just now, GRDadof3 said:

If, as you say, that the best people were being hired for leadership positions in downtown organizations, then just by statistics alone, wouldn't you find an even distribution that looks very much like the population? 50% male, 50% female, 10% African American, etc.. Yet that's not the case, not even close. 

Not honestly. Because such a thing is statistically improbable. This is to assume that an equal number of people of ABCDEFG backgrounds applied for all of these positions every time, all with equal qualifications and experience. It also demands that qualification and experience (or other variables like interview performance) be tossed aside so that a quota % is ultamately obtained.

 

Just now, GRDadof3 said:

So it seems to me that someone who is for equality for everyone, like yourself, would support an initiative that is trying increase awareness of bias and prejudice that a lot of people don't realize exists. 

I dont assume that a wrong was committed, which is what far too many of these efforts assume. That is you see too many white men, then something is wrong. But if there is a business with a majority of minorities or females, then there are no efforts to "balance" that. The whole thing sets up a maddening situation where companies are demonized based on census data because their top brass doesn't mirror it.

Just now, GRDadof3 said:

Who gets picked for basketball teams is based on objective measures: stats, percentages, wins, speed, agility potential earnings, ratings potential. It's not the same thing as what DGRI is talking about (and many other downtown stakeholders). 

Well what are they basing it on other than skin color and gender? If they only care about merit, then their efforts should be on working with minorities and women to make sure they are in top form when they apply, and not just go in with the idea that their skin color or sex will potentially make up for a lakc of experience or a lackluster interview.

Just now, GRDadof3 said:

The teachers in the high school where my kids attend are 50/50 male/female. Women tend to more dominant in elementary education because more college women take elementary Ed as a major. 

Exactly! This is why you cannot artificially construct these things through quotas! Men dont take certain majors. Women dont take others. So you end up with a composition that reflects the organic nature of where men and women tend to be better at. Because there are fewer males in elementary does not mean a bunch of qualified female teachers need to get a pink slip just to make it mirror census data.

Just now, GRDadof3 said:

The lack of women and minorities in leadership positions in the downtown area is not from a lack of candidates, trust me.

If there is a nefarious plot to keep people out based on race and sex, then names should be named. Conspiracies cant be the guide.

Has anyone ever talked to HR departments and received clear data as to why X candidate didn't get a position and Y did? One variable I know of in two institutions is that these particular locations hire from within primarily, but they have to give outsiders interviews for show. These are actually Union demands at these places, and unless that person comes in high on LSD, then they get the job.

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Floyd_Z    33

Totally agree with GR_Urbanist on this one.  If the candidates were 64.6% white. 20.9% black, 15.6% Hispanic, .7% Native American, etc and were ALL equally qualified, then I would be a little more concerned.  The fact is that white males are more likely to have a more extensive education and work experience than others.  Also, many of those working downtown are working in industries such as business, banking, accounting, law, engineering, etc.  These are all predominately white male fields.  

Did they include Spectrum or St. Mary's employees in this study?  Just curious.

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discgrab21    38

This is simply DGRI identifying an ethos that it believes a community is stronger if the workforce is more reflective of that community.  I don't think anybody would disagree with that sentiment.  If we look at an extreme to illustrate, say we have a city that is 80% black residents, but the workforce is 90% white, neither population is going to have a positive view of the other.  Fortunately in GR it is not that extreme, but there is a significant imbalance nevertheless.  

After identifying that in an ideal world, it would be better to have the workforce more closely reflect the population, the debate really begins by asking, "What do we do about it?"

There are many options that have been discussed here...more education of the issue, encouraging diverse populations to take initiative, education and training for minorities and women to make sure those populations have more qualified candidates, "affirmative action" ** and others.  Really what is likely required is an all of the above approach, but I would bet that DGRI, having identified the issue and goal, is likely having this exact conversation. 

To simply assume that the current demographic makeup of our city is the end result some pure, inevitable meritocracy requires one to ignore the lasting effects of our own history, how privilege works to reinforce the relationships of the well-connected, and how board seats are actually filled.  

**  Affirmative action is so misunderstood.  It does not involve giving unqualified people jobs or admissions based on minority status.  Rather it involves when comparing two equally qualified candidates, making a conscious effort to select the minority, again who is otherwise equally or more qualified.  There is concrete evidence that when given substantially identical resume's and cover letters, the applicant with an ethnic sounding name is going to get passed over for an interview in favor of the applicant with a white sounding name.  It is usually subconscious, but it is real.   

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GR_Urbanist    415
55 minutes ago, discgrab21 said:

This is simply DGRI identifying an ethos that it believes a community is stronger if the workforce is more reflective of that community.  I don't think anybody would disagree with that sentiment.  If we look at an extreme to illustrate, say we have a city that is 80% black residents, but the workforce is 90% white, neither population is going to have a positive view of the other.  Fortunately in GR it is not that extreme, but there is a significant imbalance nevertheless.  

After identifying that in an ideal world, it would be better to have the workforce more closely reflect the population, the debate really begins by asking, "What do we do about it?"

I understand, but again this is still feels like it more of the same concept.

I rather have the best and brightest that will do the best job. If I was an astronaut, I want to know the ground crew and engineers reflect the highest and most competent people out there, not the most "diverse" in skin tones or private parts. If my ship is in trouble, skin pigment isnt going to do much to get me home safely.

The current makeup is a "problem" to be fixed. These are individual jobs to be compete for. If people want them, then fight for it.

If a city has 80% black residents, but the workforce is 90% white, then what are the jobs that are in that town? Are they highly skilled positions in fields the people there simply didnt have the skills for? Or found uninteresting? What does that company need? Find out and work like madman to train the locals on meeting that need. If a company can get all of the workers they need from next door, that saves them money! Saving an employer money opens lots of doors.

 

Quote

There are many options that have been discussed here...more education of the issue, encouraging diverse populations to take initiative, education and training for minorities and women to make sure those populations have more qualified candidates, "affirmative action" ** and others.  Really what is likely required is an all of the above approach, but I would bet that DGRI, having identified the issue and goal, is likely having this exact conversation. 

We have plenty of training right now. Women and minorities are humans no different than white males. When we have to create some segregated system for them, it implies that they are somehow subhuman and need some sort of special hand-holding. People need to have the unvarnished truth of how competitive the workplace is these days. Companies are more than happy to hire people from China and India because they bring the skills (and sadly at a lower cost), so they arent adverse to working with people with "darker" skin. The only color they care about is green. Because of green, fast food locations are now installing self-serve kiosks, and looking into bringing in robots, so it isnt going to get easier from here on out.

Quote

To simply assume that the current demographic makeup of our city is the end result some pure, inevitable meritocracy requires one to ignore the lasting effects of our own history, how privilege works to reinforce the relationships of the well-connected, and how board seats are actually filled.  

I guess I dont subscribe to that philosophy. Skin =/= privilege. That's too much tumblr stuff for me, and again accuses people of a wrong with no proof other than their skin is white, thus they must have cut some corners.

If there is a specific example of a company doing something illegal then that company needs to be named. Blanket guilt of companies is no better than a rote stereotype of a race.

Quote

**  Affirmative action is so misunderstood.  It does not involve giving unqualified people jobs or admissions based on minority status.  Rather it involves when comparing two equally qualified candidates, making a conscious effort to select the minority,

So basically making skin = actual privilege?

How is this fair to the other guy? Oh I'm sorry, but you aren't (insert minority here), so get lost?

 

Noooooooooo. That stuff needs to go. I would feel embarrassed if I knew that's how I got my job.

Ok. I'm done. Done want to take this topic too far off the original. :blush::lol:

Edited by GR_Urbanist

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GRDadof3    1830
18 hours ago, GR_Urbanist said:

If anyone of the people that are currently on these boards aren't the best, then people should name who that person is and state why they aren't. I cant just say that they are the "best" for the job because of a funny feeling. That isnt fair to them. I have to assume innocence until otherwise.

 

Not honestly. Because such a thing is statistically improbable. This is to assume that an equal number of people of ABCDEFG backgrounds applied for all of these positions every time, all with equal qualifications and experience. It also demands that qualification and experience (or other variables like interview performance) be tossed aside so that a quota % is ultamately obtained.

 

I dont assume that a wrong was committed, which is what far too many of these efforts assume. That is you see too many white men, then something is wrong. But if there is a business with a majority of minorities or females, then there are no efforts to "balance" that. The whole thing sets up a maddening situation where companies are demonized based on census data because their top brass doesn't mirror it.

Well what are they basing it on other than skin color and gender? If they only care about merit, then their efforts should be on working with minorities and women to make sure they are in top form when they apply, and not just go in with the idea that their skin color or sex will potentially make up for a lakc of experience or a lackluster interview.

Exactly! This is why you cannot artificially construct these things through quotas! Men dont take certain majors. Women dont take others. So you end up with a composition that reflects the organic nature of where men and women tend to be better at. Because there are fewer males in elementary does not mean a bunch of qualified female teachers need to get a pink slip just to make it mirror census data.

If there is a nefarious plot to keep people out based on race and sex, then names should be named. Conspiracies cant be the guide.

Has anyone ever talked to HR departments and received clear data as to why X candidate didn't get a position and Y did? One variable I know of in two institutions is that these particular locations hire from within primarily, but they have to give outsiders interviews for show. These are actually Union demands at these places, and unless that person comes in high on LSD, then they get the job.

If we are to follow your logic then, women and minorities are ill qualified for leadership and board positions, and interview terribly. That can be the ONLY reason why there is such a striking disparity in makeup of these top positions. Women and minorities do not do as good of a job. 

Got it. 

*The positions that everyone (except you) is talking about do not involve decision making by HR departments. They involve boards and large donors, primarily. 

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GRDadof3    1830
17 hours ago, Floyd_Z said:

Totally agree with GR_Urbanist on this one.  If the candidates were 64.6% white. 20.9% black, 15.6% Hispanic, .7% Native American, etc and were ALL equally qualified, then I would be a little more concerned.  The fact is that white males are more likely to have a more extensive education and work experience than others.  Also, many of those working downtown are working in industries such as business, banking, accounting, law, engineering, etc.  These are all predominately white male fields.  

Did they include Spectrum or St. Mary's employees in this study?  Just curious.

Completely not true. Did you miss my part about women predominantly holding more advanced degrees than men now? In some colleges in Michigan, women are beginning to outnumber men 55/45%. 

"These are all predominantly white male fields." - Knowing is half the battle. GI Joe. 

There is no study, it's a concensus that has been reached by a lot of downtown stakeholders. From what I understand, there is a group that is going to start publishing the makeups of downtown organization leadership teams/boards/committees, etc. 

I don't think you'd find any different makeup at Spectrum or Trinity either. Maybe at Priority Health but they're not downtown. 

3 hours ago, discgrab21 said:

This is simply DGRI identifying an ethos that it believes a community is stronger if the workforce is more reflective of that community.  I don't think anybody would disagree with that sentiment.  If we look at an extreme to illustrate, say we have a city that is 80% black residents, but the workforce is 90% white, neither population is going to have a positive view of the other.  Fortunately in GR it is not that extreme, but there is a significant imbalance nevertheless.  

After identifying that in an ideal world, it would be better to have the workforce more closely reflect the population, the debate really begins by asking, "What do we do about it?"

There are many options that have been discussed here...more education of the issue, encouraging diverse populations to take initiative, education and training for minorities and women to make sure those populations have more qualified candidates, "affirmative action" ** and others.  Really what is likely required is an all of the above approach, but I would bet that DGRI, having identified the issue and goal, is likely having this exact conversation. 

To simply assume that the current demographic makeup of our city is the end result some pure, inevitable meritocracy requires one to ignore the lasting effects of our own history, how privilege works to reinforce the relationships of the well-connected, and how board seats are actually filled.  

**  Affirmative action is so misunderstood.  It does not involve giving unqualified people jobs or admissions based on minority status.  Rather it involves when comparing two equally qualified candidates, making a conscious effort to select the minority, again who is otherwise equally or more qualified.  There is concrete evidence that when given substantially identical resume's and cover letters, the applicant with an ethnic sounding name is going to get passed over for an interview in favor of the applicant with a white sounding name.  It is usually subconscious, but it is real.   

Thanks for adding to the discussion. 

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GR_Urbanist    415
45 minutes ago, GRDadof3 said:

If we are to follow your logic then, women and minorities are ill qualified for leadership and board positions, and interview terribly. That can be the ONLY reason why there is such a striking disparity in makeup of these top positions. Women and minorities do not do as good of a job. 

Got it. 

Well, no. That's not remotely what I'm saying.

It's getting a better understanding from these people of what they are looking for in candidates, and not emotionally attributing nefarious ends to innocent folks in hopes of shaming them into hiring certain people. What person would want to get a job that way?

Sometimes it's just a matter that not enough women or minorities simply arent interested, just like most men don't become nurses, and most women don't want to work in sanitation. You cant force it if it isnt there.

Back when I was in High School, and learning how to apply for jobs, it was called doing legwork and networking. Showing enthusiasm and heightened interest in the potential employer and regularly communicating with them so you get noticed more.

If some want to call these people racist and sexist, and demand a quota system because their staff numbers don't adhere to census data (Sadly that's the only route these things ultimately end up on), that's the best way to drive them out of Grand Rapids. No one wants to be fingered as being a bad person because outside parties dont like the makeup of their staff that was the result of nothing they have proven to have done wrong.

 

 

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