Ft. Wayne, IN as the “world’s front door”

 Your tax dollars

As I’ve said before, thar’s gold in them thar refugees.  If you think this is all about taking in the world’s poor and downtrodden, forget it!   We’ve seen it with big businesses like Tyson’s Food that need labor and we see it here.  Ft. Wayne business-types are talking about setting up a kind of one-stop shopping bizarre/social services headquarters for all the immigrants in Ft. Wayne and all the tourist types who might like to come to experience the diversity at the “world’s front door.”   

[As an aside,  I saw this type of thinking years ago when preservationist types were turning the Amish of Lancaster, PA into tourist attractions.] 

With thousands of refugees and other recent immigrants already here and many more on the way, local government and civic leaders hope to consolidate many of the services and businesses they need in one place.

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Next week they’ll meet with officials of the Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. to explore use of a now-closed grocery store at 324 E. State Blvd. But even if a deal can’t be reached on that 41,450-square-foot building – it’s listed for sale at $1.7 million – Marilyn Moran-Townsend said she’s convinced the center will happen sometime, somewhere.

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“It would allow us to welcome new income and leverage our assets to become the world’s ‘melting pot,’” said Moran-Townsend, a board member with Invent Tomorrow, a private group that promotes downtown revitalization and other civic projects.

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In addition to offering immigrants information about and access to various services, the center would also allow various immigrant groups to showcase their culture, crafts, foods, businesses, entertainment and other unique aspects largely unknown to most Fort Wayne residents.

This might all just be fine if that is what the citizens of Ft. Wayne want, but I suggest they be let in on the plans.   It is flat-out wrong when ‘smart people’ in non-profit groups team up with government to make plans behind taxpayers’ backs.

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