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Gentrification

Trailer Park Residents Take On Venture Capitalists—And Win

Durango, Colorado - On a cold January day at the height of ski season, as tourists check into Durango’s resort hotels and wealthy vacationers roll suitcases into their second homes, Alejandra Chavez pulls away from her single wide trailer on the outskirts of town and drives the two-lane road south to look for a new place to live in New Mexico. Chavez dreads the prospect of making this same 1.5‑hour-drive, back and forth, every day, but she sees few options. Her work is in Durango, but Durango, it seems, may no longer have a home for her. Chavez, 30, moved to the area 18 years ago to join her parents, who fled economic desolation in Mexico and found work in Durango. In 2008, the family bought their trailer in Westside Mobile Home Park for $12,000.

New Reparations Focus: Black Enclaves Lost To Development

Providence, Rhode Island - Terrell Osborne knows well what happens when urban renewal comes to communities of color. As a child growing up in Providence, Rhode Island, in the 1950s and 1960s, huge swaths of his neighborhood of Lippitt Hill, a center of Black life at the foot of the stately homes of the city’s elite East Side, were taken by eminent domain for redevelopment projects. Hundreds of Black families and dozens of minority small businesses across some 30 acres were bulldozed. In their place rose an apartment complex catering to downtown workers and students and faculty at nearby Brown University, as well as a shopping plaza now anchored by a Whole Foods and a Starbucks. Meanwhile, Black families like the Osbornes were scattered across the city and never compensated.

Oakland Teachers And Dockworkers Fight For Their Community

Oakland, California - On April 29, thousands of teachers, students and parents from Schools and Labor Against Privatization (SLAP) rallied at Oscar Grant Plaza next to City Hall in Oakland, California, then marched to the Port of Oakland where they held a picket line that shut the port down. The innovative joint labor action was an historic day in the campaign led by SLAP, union teachers of the Oakland Education Association (OEA) and International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10, against racist gentrification in Oakland. Local 10 honored the picket line with a stop-work action in solidarity with the teachers and community to fight the privatization and destruction of the port and Oakland’s public school system engineered by billionaire John Fisher.

The Jackson-Kush Plan And The Struggle For Land

While the land relationships that dominate this society have implications for every relation in society, the recent crisis of gentrification and forced removal in low income Black communities, along with the volatile boom-bust real estate cycles, has made the struggle for adequate housing the most pronounced battleground in an increasingly intense war over the vision for the future of how we relate, prioritize and manage access to land. The current regime of land relationships renders housing and community development fatally flawed in at least two respects: first, houses serve dual social functions in this society, but those functions are contradictory and at odds with each other. And second, decisions about land use is fundamentally undemocratic, rendering people unable to make basic decisions about how to improve their own communities.

The Gentrification Of The Rural West

Most of the windows in the Dover, Idaho community hall face old Dover, still looking over the original mill workers’ houses and church that were transported upriver in 1922. Slipping into the kitchen and peering out the back window, however, is a reminder of how much Dover has changed. In the 1950s, it would have looked at a tangle of trees, then a deep meadow in the distance, and the community’s sandy beach just beyond that. Later, the view would include massive piles of woodchips, the birch trees providing some cover between the building and graying piles of sawdust. Today, there’s a walking path that skirts the back of the community hall and, beyond that, brand-new homes. Dozens of buildings, from condominiums to bungalows to massive mansions, now sit in the fields where the mill once stood.

The Ivory Tower Is Dead

Davarian L. Baldwin’s recent book, In the Shadow of the Ivory Tower, offers an insightful examination—and stirring critique—of the role of universities in the political economy of U.S. cities. In this interview, Baldwin shines a light on how institutions that define themselves as key contributors to the public good have entrenched new forms of urban inequality. Understanding the meaning of higher education in American life today requires seeing the university from the perspective of the workers it exploits, the residents it displaces, and the people it polices. Sam Klug: You claim that many major cities have not just embraced the eds and meds economy but have actually become company towns for large institutions of higher education—what you label “UniverCities.” How do universities exercise this kind of control?

The Obama Presidential Center Will Displace Black People

The soon to be constructed Barack Obama Presidential Center poses a great danger to the surrounding Black neighborhoods on the South Shore of Chicago. In fact, thanks to this $500 million, 19-acre homage to the 44th president, there may not be any Black people living there much longer. Families are already facing rent increases and homes that were once moderately priced are now unaffordable to Black working people. These market manipulations are integral to the gentrification model of urban development. The end result is always a displaced and dispersed Black population. This crisis is but the latest Obama slap in the face to the people who loved him the most. His 2008 presidential campaign stump speeches were replete with the worst stereotypes about Black men.

Food As A Spearhead For Gentrification

I live in San Diego, where I teach courses on urban and food geographies and conduct research on the relationship between food and ethnicity in urban contexts. In recent years, I started to notice a pattern playing out in the city’s low-income neighborhoods that have traditionally lacked food options. More ethnic restaurants, street vendors, community gardens and farmers markets were cropping up. These, in turn, spurred growing numbers of white, affluent and college-educated people to venture into areas they had long avoided. This observation inspired me to write a book, titled The $16 Taco, about how food — including what’s seen as “ethnic,” “authentic” or “alternative” — often serves as a spearhead for gentrification.

Destroying Black And Brown Lives For High-Rises In The Nation’s Capital

Washington, DC — “Where that McDonald’s is right now,” he says pointing across the street. “That used to be a news stand where I’d buy comics as a kid.” Dumah Muhammad stands in Adams Morgan Plaza in Washington, D.C., a light drizzle misting a small crowd of supporters and press. A few people wrangle a tarp over the PA system and there’s a tent where folks can grab snacks, pamphlets, water and shelter. Five Metropolitan Police cars are parked alongside the plaza and just behind the plaza there’s a staging area stacked with fencing and mingling cops. Despite literally being surrounded, the energy in the plaza is that familiar direct-action blend of defiance and celebration. Between speeches, music pumps out of the PA and folks dance alongside anti-gentrification artwork and handmade signs.

Gentrification And The End Of Black Communities

Brooklyn, New York is the epicenter of gentrification, the displacement of Black people from cities in this country. Recently released census data shows that neighborhoods like Bedford-Stuyvesant , which was nearly all Black for decades, no longer has a Black majority. Bedford-Stuyvesant’s white population rose by 30,000 from 2010 to 2020 while its Black population decreased by 22,000. The devastation has been wrought by finance capital, which has once again upended life for Black people. Money was taken out of the cities in the 1950s and 1960s, creating what was known as “white flight” to the suburbs. Now the same forces have reversed themselves and are putting money back into the cities, and Black people are the losers.

Big Business Loves The Housing Crisis

What’s your favourite type of landlord? It’s an odd question, but it’s one that commentators keep asking as housing crises of various types continue to take shape across the world. In a recent series of articles, economist Brett Christophers analysed the workings of Blackstone, a New York-based asset management firm which has become a phenomenally successful (and deeply harmful) institutional player in American housing markets. At the moment, the picture in the UK is very different—small-scale individuals vastly outnumber institutions in the buy-to-let market—but there are signs that this is starting to change. Last week, Lloyds Bank announced its plans to become one of the UK’s biggest landlords by buying 50,000 homes over the next four years – roughly equivalent to buying every dwelling in Exeter.

A Crisis Of ‘Forced Mass Displacement’ Of Black Pittsburghers

Pennsylvania - Why did 7,000 Black Pittsburgh residents leave the city between 2014 and 2018? The answer depends on who’s talking. Community activist Randall Taylor, a former Pittsburgh Public Schools board member and city council candidate, calls it a “crisis of forced mass displacement” of Black residents. City councilmen Ricky Burgess and R. Daniel Lavelle say the issue is more nuanced and that most of the 7% of the Black population that left during that time period did so by choice. Taylor and 31 other city residents on Tuesday petitioned Pittsburgh City Council for a public hearing on the issue and to begin a discussion about what to do about it.

Report Warns Climate Change Threatens Affordable Housing

A recent study in Environmental Research Letters examined how coastal flood risks tied to climate change threaten affordable housing. The authors also touched on the social justice aspects of housing scarcity and climate change, as well as the importance of not displacing people when flood-preparation housing improvements are carried out. “Affordable housing residents have far fewer safe options and much more to lose than their neighbors as sea level rise increases coastal flooding risks in their communities,” Benjamin Strauss, study co-author and Climate Central CEO and chief scientist, told Invisible People.

The Red House And The Future Of Eviction Defense

Portland, Oregon has been in the headlines again over the last few days, and this trend will continue.  The reasons for the headlines will vary depending on who you ask.  If you ask the far right they will say something about Antifa terrorists having violent confrontations with the police because they hate law and order.  The mainstream media’s headlines will also tend to lead with the so-called violent clashes, but then they may inform us that the reasons for the confrontation have to do with folks trying to prevent the eviction of a Black and indigenous family that has lived in the Red House at 4406 North Mississippi for multiple generations.

Red House Remains ‘Unceded Territory,’ Portland Family Says

A local family says their home in Portland's historically-Black Albina neighborhood remains "unceded territory" — despite authorities' vow to remove barricades and enforce what they say is a lawful eviction. Several members of the Kinney family hosted a press conference outside the "Red House" on North Mississippi Avenue just after 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 9. Since Tuesday, hundreds of black-clad activists have used fencing, plywood and other materials to block access to the area near the home by erecting palisades across city streets. Portland Police Bureau officers and Multnomah County deputies arrived in the early morning Dec. 8...
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