Prior to her involvement in social activism, Star Parker was a single, welfare mother in Los Angeles. After receiving Christ, Star returned to college, received a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and launched an urban Christian magazine.
Then the 1992 Los Angeles riots destroyed her business, yet that tragedy served as a catalyst that prompted her to focus on conservative activism.
“I got caught up in the whole distraction of life that says, ‘you don’t have to think about the responsibility and the choices that you are making, we have safety nets and I ended up seven years in and out of welfare; three and a half years consistently. I ended up not taking my education seriously, and I ended up trying to live that way and think that one day maybe life would get better. I was self destructive. It wasn’t until I started really recognizing, after a Christian conversion, that I played a role in this, that I could start making proper choices for my life.”
Parker is a now a social policy consultant, author, syndicated columnist and founder of her own non-profit organization–the Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE)–which is a think tank that strives to provide a national voice of reason on issues of race and poverty in the media, inner city neighborhoods, and public policy.
On incarceration rates:
“A record number of young men who are going in and out of the criminal justice system are coming from single (parent) households where we have women trying to raise boys, and the boys get a tendency toward aggression, and begin down this path of criminal activity.
We have to start addressing the welfare programs, the HUD (Housing and Urban Development) programs and other initiatives that are coming out of Washington, D.C. that have a tremendous impact on our community to break down family life,” said Parker.
On the achievement gap:
“The African American student challenge is one that has to be addressed, because we have overwhelming numbers of minority children who are getting left behind. There is a recent study that showed that if we could just get the Black and Latino students up to the national averages (in education) then we are looking at $500 billion of worth (of revenue added to) our economy.
“One particular idea is (something) that the 100 Black Men are doing in New York. They have finally said ‘maybe we should think outside the box, get the Black boys in one classroom together and see if they can learn.’ They took on this project, and now we have several students that are performing, finally, because they have been focused,” said Parker who claimed she would absolutely be interested in doing something like this in the 37th District.
On unemployment and economic development:
“I plan to address the corporate tax structure to see if we can use the fact that all of the 37th is an economic enterprise zone (a designated geographic area in which businesses enjoy favorable tax credits, financing, and/or other incentives), and try to break the cycle of poverty by attracting new business. We have to look for ways to create jobs, and I am amazed that after almost three years in office (Richardson) has not looked at the opportunities right in front of us to remove governmental barriers so that business will come here. So, one of the first things I hope to do is to attract business to this area,” said Parker.
Parker also believes she can use her life story to build community life in the 37th District.