Edwardsville has historically been a more inclusive, integrated community than others in Madison County.
- Some local municipalities functioned as Sundown Towns, with no tolerance for racial diversity.
- In the past, through its Human Relations Commission, Edwardsville made efforts to address de facto discrimination in housing.
- Current efforts to address the thorny issues of the role of racism and slavery are an indication that leaders in Edwardsville are interested in giving voice to multiple views and concerns often given little official recognition.
Like many communities that seek and promote growth of new residential and commercial development, Edwardsville’s successes have benefited some sectors and income groups while leaving others behind.
- Many of the jobs created are in the service sector, where wages often do not keep pace with the cost of living.Housing is the single greatest expense for most households, and safe and stable housing is the necessary foundation for positive outcomes in child development, education, employment, and family well-being.However, for persons and families earning at or near minimum wage levels, reliance on the housing market in a gentrifying community presents sometimes insurmountable obstacles to living where they work.This is a problem faced by many communities viewed as excellent places to live. Costs of land and competition for market rate housing make market-based solutions [such as: “Let the market take care of it.”] ineffective at keeping sufficient housing affordable and accessible to workers earning lower wages.
Every time you hear a local booster discuss another magazine tribute of Edwardsville as a wonderful, safe, comfortable place to raise a family, train yourself to think of the people who serve you and your family in restaurants, retail developments, childcare, senior care facilities, preschool, auto repair, recreational services, and so on.
Do you have a clear idea of what kinds of market rate housing are affordable and accessible to working families in Edwardsville?
Do you understand the dilemma faced by people and families who cannot accumulate a down payment or financial cushion through the wages they earn?
Their families deserve the same wonderful, safe, comfortable place to raise a family.