The Clarksdale Model For The Whole State?
In speeches, ads, and nearly everywhere he goes, Bill Luckett likes to tout the revitalization of Clarksdale; and you might even get the impression that he and his hammer did the whole thing themselves. Last night at a gubernatorial debate, he said he would bring those results to the entire state if elected governor.
Whatever might have happened in downtown Clarksdale, the city’s statistics do not lie.
- In 2000, Clarksdale had a population of 20,645. A 2009 estimate put that at 17,733, a population loss of some 14 percent over those nine years.
- The estimated median household income in Clarksdale (in 2009) is $24,288. It is $36,646 for the state.
- The City-data.com crime index put the city’s rate at 597.2 for the latest available data. The U.S. average is 319.2.
- In March of this year, the unemployment rate in the city was 14.1, about 4 points higher than the state average. (And it hasn’t been under 9 percent since 2004).
- And the Clarksdale school district was categorized as “At Risk of Failing” in the most recent ratings from the Department of Education. Of the seven possible accountability status’ only “Failing” is worse.