The pandemic has created greater awareness of the state of poverty that exists for so many in the community and its connections to hunger, homelessness, and health. There is a desire for addressing the gap.
Addressing poverty is a major concern for many of the poll’s respondents when articulating their desired future vision for Greensboro:
Fair and equitable policies for housing, salaries, education and city services for all residents of Greensboro with consistent and fair distribution of city services and resources for everyone within the city's boundaries.
I want Greensboro and the city budget to adequately reflect the cities citizens and beliefs. I'd like the police department to stop seeing million dollar bonuses and schools, community programs, and welfare programs to see investments. I want our city not only to be more equal, but more equitable. I want every child to have a meal, every homeless person have a place to sleep at night, and everyone have the chance to health care both mental and physical. I want Greensboro to continue to be on the forefront of the civil rights movement, and they only way we can do so is to have justice for Marcus Smith and acknowledge the systematic racism present in our city.
Some respondents acknowledged they may be coming from a place of privilege and the Greensboro they experience is not the one everyone does and that wealth inequality is a major issue:
I was personally happy with Greensboro the way it was before the pandemic. However, I'm sure that's not universally true for all Greensboro residents. I would like all residents to have affordable housing and healthcare; loving community; enough resources to be able to eat well and play joyously; freedom to be who you are; an appreciation for, and ways to celebrate, the diverse cultures that make the city what it is.
So many problems would be solved if we could attain a more equitable distribution of wealth
Lead the nation in eliminating the wealth and resource gap by letting communities decide what serves them best.
I would like to see equal parts creativity and equity as we move forward. I feel that, as a small city that is growing quickly, there are a limited number of people making great gains, and a majority who are locked out, and will be left behind. I have seen this over my life in other areas, watching small and medium sized cities grow much larger over time. We have to make a conscious effort to focus on equity to be successful - we cannot just assume we are good people, so the outcomes will be equitable.
Many respondents have hope for alleviating poverty and achieving a better future in the city:
I see Greensboro as a city committed to being the best it can be for everyone; residents as well as visitors. A city that considers the earth and all beings above economic interests; a city that honors the arts and the artists; a city that provides for those less fortunate and continues to support diversity through its free concerts. I see Greensboro as a destination city because it stands out for its free cultural events and a place that all residents are proud to call home. I also see Greensboro as an open-minded community where difficult conversations about racism, homophobia, gender equality and how we care for our earth are encouraged and places created where people feel safe to have them. I see the Greensboro PD practicing community policing where they reach out as neighbors to residents, creating relationships, dialogue and a sense of safety vs. law and order policing.
I would also like to see diversity in economic resourcing and opportunities. East Greensboro needs more support than it's received, and the disparity traces back a long time. I'd love to see our city rally around the disadvantaged, the talented and under-resourced, and do something about it together.
While these issues connected to poverty and related issues remain major concerns, respondents believe in the ability of civic organizations to come together to solve them, as exemplified by a respondent whose vision is that in the future:
"Greensboro is recognized as a leader in the USA for creating an amazing community! By investing in United Way's initiative to eliminate generational poverty; NCCJ's work to celebrate our diversity and eliminate institutional racism; and Action Greensboro's work to provide leadership and access to resources, we've created a livable community where everyone feels safe to live, work, worship and play; where there are living wage jobs, affordable housing and access to quality health care."