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Republican National Convention: Large Economic Inequalities Divide City of Brotherly Love

Aired July 28, 2000 - 1:35 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: When the GOP presidential hopeful and his running mate reach this city of brotherly love, they will find it dealing not only with a political convention.

But as CNN's Maria Hinojosa tells us, struggling with an economic gap that separates some of its residents.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MARIA HINOJOSA, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Early one splendid June morning, Robert Montgomery Scott surveys his 78 head of black angus cattle.

ROBERT MONTGOMERY SCOTT: They're beautiful, they're wonderful to have around.

HINOJOSA: His lush 350 acres and 42 beagles.

SCOTT: Every one of them and I could have told you who their ancestors were.

HINOJOSA: Ah, the marvels of main line Philadelphia, home of high society and its signature film, "The Philadelphia Story."

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP FROM "THE PHILADELPHIA STORY")

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: Wouldn't you know you'd have to be as rich as the lords to live in a dump like this?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

HINOJOSA: Modeled after Scott's grandparents.

SCOTT: I think that particularly my grandfather had a rather nice view of himself as a potential English baron or something like that, somebody surrounded by his acres with the foxhounds nearby, the cows around, the rather noble house.

HINOJOSA: Noble indeed, a small mansion of 51 rooms. the yellow room, the blue room, the green room, and then one bedroom after another after another.

SCOTT: In my father's era, people like that, who came from, sort of old English and Scottish stock, believed that it was their world, and it isn't anymore.

HINOJOSA: But less than half an hour away, the city's former downtown, also centuries old, but where decades upon decades of abandonment have created communities entrenched in poverty and despair.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I feel as though we've never fit in, never. I feel when I was a kid around here, it was -- I was told, with my shoeshine box, to keep my black so-and-so across Lombard Street.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where stoop-top card games, or corner drug sales mark the local economy.

SEAN THOMAS: Like I said, Republicans are for themselves, they are for the upper class people, you know what I mean? They do not care what's going on in this neighborhood.

HINOJOSA: Just blocks away from where the Republicans will hold their convention, the median income is $10,000 a year.

LOANN THOMAS: They don't speak for poor people, when did the Republicans speak for the poor peoples, when they started doing that? They speak for rich people, they won't come do anything for us, because we have nothing.

SCOTT: It's not exactly the way it was in the old days, but it's pretty close.

HINOJOSA: A life long Republican, Scott hasn't voted Republican in over two decades, hoping the Grand Old Party will catch up with the modern Philadelphia story.

SCOTT: I hope they'll be thinking about the other Philadelphia, which in a sense, I view as -- that's the Philadelphia that needs attention is the Philadelphia of the future.

HINOJOSA (on camera): Will there ever be a time when there is a connection there? when Philadelphia, in fact -- between the haves and the have-nots?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's what we hope for. If they'd wake up and realize we are here and we are not going anywhere, why not strap your boots on and help us raise to the next level also?

HINOJOSA (voice-over): Where perhaps the distance between the haves and the have-nots in Philadelphia closes just a bit.

Maria Hinojosa, CNN, Philadelphia.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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