Greenville is a city on the rise; even so, not all citizens are benefitting from this explosive growth.

Based on census data, the median household income for a white family in Greenville city limits is $59,000. For a black family? $24,000. Let it sink in that there is a $35,000 difference in annual income in this city based solely on the color of one’s skin.

That disparity is unconscionable and requires immediate action. We must partner with government, for-profit, and non-profit stakeholders to identify and address barriers to prosperity. Increasing access to transportation and affordable housing are necessary first steps, but we shouldn’t shy away from measuring the costs and benefits of raising wages.

The costs of doing nothing – homelessness, the school-to-prison pipeline, unemployment, and  poor health outcomes – will always be greater.

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