Urban America At Critical Crossroad: Why ‘Little Cities’ Is The Answer

Written by Kevin Fobbs on October 16, 2020

The future of urban American residents, businesses, and communities have been hanging on by a thin economic viability thread. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a dwindling high skilled workforce, shrinking business base, and educational and dwindling career opportunities, failure is imminent. There is a viable and realistic solution that will bring about a multi-tiered economic, educational, and strengthened community foundation to urban America. It is called Little Cities: Where American Dreams Are Re-Born.

The challenges of urban America — and to a lesser extent rural America — has been to re-tool or re-establish an economic base to accommodate 21st-century emerging markets and create solid real estate value in their respective communities.  Little Cities is the solid wraparound solution for both. It creates economic and social partnerships with local businesses, educational and government entities, along with the faith community. In addition, it partners with the city to provide insurance for their constituents, and licensed supervision, which builds economically sound teamwork.

Lawrence Jasper, CEO of Omega investments which created the Little Cities visionary plan has lived in the system and understands the fight for basic survival that far too many urban residents experience daily.

He firmly believes everyone deserves the right to the American Dream and designed the Little City franchise to provide those citizens high-paying jobs and education to meet the technological needs of tomorrow’s economy. The bonus of Little Cities is that it will provide an equity interest in the mixed-use development for the impacted city residents. Jasper explained, “This way they can claim their needed value and feel they are a part of the growth. It is the citizen that pays for the politicians, not the other way around, so we need to protect their lives and their families, by providing digital education, medical, and professional services at wholesale cost not retail.”

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Jasper added, “The Little City is the nucleus of the City itself, if you may,”’ the heart and soul’” of the community.  We hire the local workforce for construction, operations, and R & D interacting with current technology and more. “

Pontiac, Michigan is the pilot Little City franchise location because it has all of the necessary ingredients for building and showcasing what the Little Cities systems through its Intradependent business model can accomplish and serve as a model for urban and rural America. The city is obviously in an emerging market but has not taken advantage of it, and relevant economic indicators provides solid real estate value and easy Opportunity Zone (OZ) benefits. The Little Cities development project would be situated in the heart of the city’s downtown, which falls within a dynamic OZ where a cross-section of eligible and qualified projects is available to purchase, develop, and own, but without a plan, it doesn’t work for the citizens.  

What Has Not Worked

Since the 1960’s starting with President Johnson’s Model Cities and War on Poverty programs, countless trillions of dollars have been spent in urban communities across the nation like Pontiac. Progress in educational achievement, increased homeownership, and career and business development have been negligible.  This has resulted in black and minority families mired in hopelessness and detached and disengaged from the American Dream. What has escalated has been crime, black-on-black terrorism, and murder against black families, children, and burned out businesses.

Little Cities Partnership with OZ municipalities and the Trump Platinum Plan is the answer.

President Trump’s innovative Opportunity Zones have provided the necessary economic and psychological stimulus that black, Hispanic, and minority families and businesses have needed.  Upward mobility is a core aspiration that all urban and rural families desire and is at the very core of what it means to be American. With the Little Cities project being launched in Pontiac and, eventually, in dozens of targeted communities across America, a rebirth or resurrection of economic viability in the tens of billions will be realized.

For Black communities, President Trump’s Platinum Plan commits to unlocking $500 billion in access to capital, creating 3 million new jobs, and bridging historic disparities in health care and education. School choice, criminal justice reform, and favorable trade deals for Black farmers and manufacturers round out the list of the president’s platinum promises.

Jasper supports the President’s plan and stressed, “The Little City franchise uses 50/50 percentage leases along with the help of the down payment by the Federal and State government entities. Its educational systems pay the workforce through the training process, providing childcare for their children, so they can support their families during the transition, which in many cases stop the growth of the minority community.“

This new Platinum Plan coupled with the President’s accomplishments with the implementation of the OZ has provided opportunities and property value devaluation created through the pandemic which will spur even further avenues for redevelopment.

Jasper believes that through Omega’s leadership in the implementation of Little Cities by coupling leadership partners within local governments to achieve the benefits will enhance OZ and Platinum Plan success.

When launched in 2017, OZs were anticipated to spur $100 billion in private capital investment, and thus far in only 2 years, it has generated $75 billion. Little Cities partnerships will serve as a viable segment of the president’s visionary revitalization of urban America and will spur tens of billions of new development and career and neighborhood growth and opportunities.

The solution to the historic marginalization of urban American families, communities, and futures can be reversed. True prosperity can be restored for those families that have been left behind by politicians or set aside by intentionally manufactured policies that recycled poverty and educational abandonment.

Little Cities is an innovative project that America’s urban areas have waited several generations for. By joining as willing partners to build and create a true rebirth of the American dream for them the future is guaranteed.  Through Christian-based teamwork, technology products, a new and innovative digital infrastructure Little Cities residents will enjoy full access to the American dream. After all, Little Cities is truly where American dreams are re-born.

Kevin Fobbs
Kevin Fobbs has more than 35 years of wide-ranging experience as a community and tenant organizer, Legal Services outreach program director, public relations consultant, business executive, gubernatorial and presidential appointee, political advisor, widely published writer, and national lecturer. Kevin is co-chair and co-founder of AC-3 (American-Canadian Conservative Coalition) that focuses on issues on both sides of the border between the two countries.