I received this note from a friend of mine. He is very perceptive when comes to how the press treats the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. After listening to David, I have also become sensitized to the poor treatment our cities often get. There seems to be an assumption, in the press, that Minneapolis = dangerous and suburbs = safe. Whenever something negative happens in Minneapolis the press links the happening to Minneapolis = danger.
Here is David's note to me making this more explicit.
Maybe Southdale, in the suburb of Edina, Minnesota, should take a lesson from the Minneapolis, Block E, downtown mall. Over the last year in the 30 block downtown area, including Block E, serious crime has dropped by 19% [Star Tribune 1/19/07]
Over the past few months suburban Southdale has been plagued with a gang related stabbing 5/13 /06, a shoplifting ring 11/13/06 and now a clothing store used as a front for selling drugs. The time has come to acknowledge that this kind of behavior is not limited to the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
Can you imagine the media hoopla had these events occurred at Bock E? It would have been front page news. Instead of the front page treatment, Soutdale's troubles were buried in the Metro Section. I think we need to ask ourselves why the difference in coverage?
Clearly poor behavior at shopping malls is a regional problem. It makes sense for all municipalities in the twin cities area to share strategies, information and resources to combat these unfortunate behaviors. For a start Edina and Southdale might benefit from the techniques Minneapolis has used to make Block E a safe place to shop, eat and go to the theater."