Black Chicagoans See Optimism and Cynicism in Economic Future

February 13, 2008

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An unusual joint poll between the Chicago Urban League and The Nielsen Company asks African Americans to take stock of their economic standing in the city. The results were released this afternoon.

Ten years from now, nearly half of black Chicagoans believe their economic conditions will improve.

But many of the 500 polled don't believe there is enough economic and government support for start-up businesses in their community.

Chicago Urban League CEO Cheryle Jackson says African Americans are hopeful but …

JACKSON: African Americans are hopeful about their future in Chicago. The challenge is they lack a pathway to success. Black people still believe in the American dream but they aren't quite if it's for them essentially.

The organization recommends increasing public school funding, boosting funding to rehabilitate at-risk juveniles and creating incentives to encourage businesses to locate near affordable housing.

I'm Natalie Moore, Chicago Public Radio.