I expect to see David Lubell and his “Welcoming America” gang stepping in here to support the Somali “entrepreneurs” who say business is booming in South Minneapolis and to get the minds right of these clearly “unwelcoming” neighbors.
However, here is what I don’t get, how does this notion that business is booming fit with the statistics we reported yesterday from Minnesota that 63% of Somalis in that state live below the poverty level. Where are they getting the money then to shop and hang around to watch soccer and drink tea?
From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Local Somalis had high hopes for the expansion of a Somali mall in south Minneapolis, after the owner proposed adding nearly 9,000 square feet of space and expanding the parking lot.
But one by one, the mall’s neighbors showed up to testify at a Planning Commission meeting late Monday that the mall had already caused many traffic and parking problems in the area.
City planning commissioners voted down the expansion Monday night, calling on the developer to further study how it would affect traffic. City planners had supported the project.
The crowded mall is the latest example of a problem throughout the city: balancing the needs of neighborhood businesses with complaints that their customers overwhelm the streets. [Do you have “customers” overwhelming the streets where you live?—ed]
Are they just hanging around with not much to do (on the taxpayers’ dime)?
Cars park where there are no designated spaces, often boxing each other in and sometimes even blocking the mall’s entrances as East African immigrants stream in to drink tea, watch soccer, log on to computers, have their hair cut, and buy dresses, scarves and rugs.
Here is what the neighbors say:
Many Somali immigrants stepped up to support the project before planning commissioners on Monday, but opponents said that Village Market, as the mall is known, was never designed to support so many visitors and businesses. It has invited noise, illegal parking, littering, crime, dangerous driving maneuvers and loud music. Some said they had seen ambulances struggle to weave through.
Hey, lucky Cheyenne, Wyoming! This could be you someday!
Thank Catholic Charities, Lutheran Social Services and World Relief Minnesota for helping make this lovely situation possible in Minneapolis!