The same day I heard that commercial, I read a story in the Argus Leader regarding the poverty in our school system. In May of this year, 46.8% of the elementary school students received free or reduced price meals at school. To qualify for the federally funded program, families must be at less than 185 percent of the poverty level. That put the annual income limit at $33,874 for a household of three people last year or $40,793 for a family of four.
Percentage of Sioux Falls School District elementary students on free or reduced-price meals:
How lucky for Shelby and Heather that they had the discretionary income to blow $1,000 in one weekend to go see an entertainer and eat and shop in a distant city. Somehow, that commercial rings a little hollow after reading this article about the number of children and households eligible for free or reduced meals because of their poverty level income in this community.
I don't have the money to produce a commercial like Build It Now so here is my idea of a commercial for you to read:
John: This event center vote has me wondering whether voting yes is the right thing for Sioux Falls.
Judy: You know, the mayor promised there would be a down payment and now he says we have to finance the whole thing.
John: You mean he is breaking his promise to the taxpayers?
Judy: Not only that. There was a promise that there would be private sector funding to help pay for an event center and no one has stepped forward with any money.
John: Well, if promises are broken now how do we know anything the city promises about this plan will come true?
Judy: That's the thing John, promises are a dime a dozen. Its hard facts we need, not promises and projections based on estimates and a rosy picture of if we build it they will come.
John: I'm voting no on November 8th.