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Old 03-01-2014, 08:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Spike Lee makes some really valid posts, and they'll get lost because people don't like him.

For example, in most cities in the US, "we" decided to divest in our cities and their downtowns, and ignored it for 30, 40, 50 years. And then suddenly the "white people" came in, it was more important to actually provide the promised city services.
urban divestment was a series of federal policy decisions and that's really the long and short of it. things didn't turn around until a lot of the most egregious anti-urban stuff was nixed during the Clinton administration.

If you work in municipal planning or know much about city politics you know that where city money and city services go is about politics and campaign cash. First and foremost, neighborhoods in decline see their services decline. If your entire city is in decline then the neighborhoods losing the population the fastest are going to see services cut the fastest. On the other hand, your city councilperson isn't doing his or her job if s/he isn't bringing home an outsized portion of city money.

It also matters a great deal which party is running your state and/or county government and which one is running your city.

I've lived in mostly white neighborhoods, mostly black neighborhoods and diverse neighborhoods in my city
and I've been around long enough to know that nothing changed in any of those neighborhoods until the fortunes of the city changed as a whole . . . the one white neighborhood that I lived in that got better services wasn't getting those services from the city. It was from a BID that local property owners were paying through the nose for.


Quote:
Now some people might say it was mostly a class thing. But it really isn't. Let's look at PG County in DC. It is a largely black county with an average income of like $80k. Generally speaking, cities with an average income of $80k have no problems attracting "high-end" retail. Why has PG County been having problems of decades? [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...53101334.html]. $80k is $80k.
$80k household income is decent money . . . but it's not that great for DC. PG County is significantly less wealthy than all of the counties around it - including the District itself. Still, I think your 9 year old article is well past its expiration date, even through the mortgage/foreclosure crisis (which wasn't particularly kind to PG) there's been quite a bit of development there since then.

Quote:
He makes a point around of not trying to "change" the neighborhood values because their is stuff you don't like. Obviously there is obvious stuff like you don't want drug dealers on the corner. But complaining about the neighborhood block party or the local band practicing in the garage, the ethnic grocery etc is pretty ridiculous. It was there when you moved in.
Of course. But the mistake is in assuming that this stuff only happens to black people and is only 'perpetrated' by white people. As if all white people are the same and that the socio-economics of white neighborhoods don't change dramatically just because a neighborhood remains majority white. That the white working class residents of Fishtown and East Passyunk don't groan about 'the yuppies and hipsters' and how "now all of the sudden the city cares."

Not knowing about those things and/or not caring to find out isn't evidence of racism - it's a complete lack of perspective.

As if white people don't try to bust other white people for not cleaning up after their dogs
Passyunk Community Deals With Dog Owners Who Don't Clean Up - Philadelphia News, Weather and Sports from WTXF FOX 29

Or that latino guys don't call out black guys for the same thing
Man Killed in Dog Poop Dispute: Cops | NBC 10 Philadelphia

Or that entitled black and asian people don't move into a neighborhood and expect everything to change to their standards, don't call the police on the white kids playing music in their basement or the guy selling satay on the corner without a license . . . I know they do. I've met them.

On the other hand, when my drunken block party goes past 11 (when it's legally required to be over by 9) is when fights happen and guns get drawn so when it gets to be 11 I go inside and call the police to come break it up. 12 hours of socializing and boozing is enough. When you know your neighbors you know when stuff is about to go down and I don't need to pull any more bullet frags out of my brickwork.

When people put their garbage in front of my house the day after the pick up because they forgot that trash gets picked up the same day every week for the last 20 years and they don't want to deal with it at their house for another week . . .and I get a ticket for it on top of having to deal with the flies and the smell . . . damn straight I'm reporting them to sanitation. And when you call them out on it you get "I lived on this block for 20 years." When the store across the street puts in an illegal grill and starts a fire that almost takes down half the block . . . damn straight I'm calling L&I every time they change a light bulb.

Quote:
Most people want their neighborhood to improve from a Quality of Life perspective. But are not happy when the only way their voices are heard is when the "white people" move in. You might have been looking for improved lighting, or better street quality or trash pickup forever. All the while you paid your city taxes for services without getting reciprocation. Then suddenly, problems you have been complaining about for months or years get fixed in a week..... You start to think, do I not matter?
My neighborhood is about 55% owner occupied. The average annual property tax bill is <$400. People like it that way, people want it to stay that way, then they complain about the crap municipal services. Old ladies complain about "those boys on the corner" but won't call the cops. In a neighborhood of 13,000 people 7 old ladies show up to the monthly police meeting. They complain about that streetlight being out and say "I told my committee man" so they think they don't have to call 311. Wanting things to change and looking for things to change are something completely different from doing something to make them change and different from being socially and/or politically and/or tech savvy enough to make stuff happen. That has nothing to do with being white and everything to do with being under 50 with a decent education.

The problem in my neighborhood and in cities like Camden and neighborhoods like Ft. Greene wasn't a lack of well-intentioned people. It was a brain drain. The people who were best equipped to lead the neighborhood/city abandoned it. That's why you have inept leadership all the way down to the ward level. Spike Lee didn't stick around to lead the renaissance in Ft. Greene - he left for Manhattan. More importantly, people don't vote for the best person to lead them, they vote for the person most like them. You only need to follow national politics for a minute to see how that plays out on a bigger stage - when poorly educated, paranoid white people vote for people just like them.

Quote:
What about stuff like working on education quality? As a country, we don't care about poor people. We don't want them in our neighborhoods. We don't want to be associated with them. So we find ways to price them out, push them out, and isolate them into places with no economic opportunity. And then suddenly we are surprised there are problems. And then the problem becomes...oh crap, they are located where we want our next development. We need to get rid of these people.
And here I agree for the most part . . . but these aren't problems cities can solve on their own. Cities don't have the resources to solve the schools problem. They might be able to pull off the housing problem in cities like Philly where houses are still cheap but in a place like NYC or SF that's not really possible . . . besides, housing is regional (especially when you can have neighbors across the street who live in a different municipality) and needs to be solved on a regional level.
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Crooklyn, New York
28,249 posts, read 26,220,119 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQConvict View Post
The neighborhood I grew up in, an inner-ring suburb of NYC, was blue collar middle-class White, mostly Italian. Now it is becoming professional class Black with lots of Black doctors, teachers, and lawyers moving in.

Where is the outrage?!?!?

(Most people just want decent neighbors who keep up their yard.)
Why don't you ask the old residents?

The issue is not different people moving in. That's inevitable. The issue is people moving in and then complaining about anything and everything in the neighborhood. They don't like the fact the churches take up so much parking. They often don't like bodegas (low class). They don't like the festivals that have been going on in some of these communities for decades. And they often come in with a set of priorities that are often very superficial. For example, in my neighborhood, we had a huge dispute as to whether money from a community benefits agreement would be used to (a) purchase some expensive ornamental street artwork or (b) provide needed upgrades to the community center. Why is that even a dispute in the first place? Why are we talking about $150,000 dog parks when our community center doesn't even have air conditioning? Half of the bathroom stalls don't even have doors.

People usually move to a neighborhood because they like most of the things about it including the neighbors. Most of these people like the architecture and the convenience, but not much else. They are awaiting the day when the bodega closes down and gets replaced with a fancy gourmet sandwich shop. And they are awaiting the day when all of the current residents get swept away in a tidal of wave of gentrification, carrying them out of the neighborhood and sending their property values through the roof in the process. Whereas older residents seem to be more concerned about church meetings, they are more focused on amenities, amenities and more amenities, so that they can then brag to their friends about how loaded with amenities their "nabe" is. It's this clash of values that becomes the real source of friction.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:24 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,984 posts, read 102,540,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
And here I agree for the most part . . . but these aren't problems cities can solve on their own. Cities don't have the resources to solve the schools problem. They might be able to pull off the housing problem in cities like Philly where houses are still cheap but in a place like NYC or SF that's not really possible . . . besides, housing is regional (especially when you can have neighbors across the street who live in a different municipality) and needs to be solved on a regional level.
We've talked about education before, and it always comes to an impasse. I'm not suggesting another conversation about schools, but I do think it would help for the gentrifiers to at least have some concern about city schools. Yeah, they can afford to send their kids to fancy private schools, or get their kids into the magnet/charter schools b/c they know how to work the system. But, the city schools will always be an impediment to people who need to use the public schools, including middle class people.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:52 AM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,816,131 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Spike Lee makes some really valid posts, and they'll get lost because people don't like him.

For example, in most cities in the US, "we" decided to divest in our cities and their downtowns, and ignored it for 30, 40, 50 years. And then suddenly the "white people" came in, it was more important to actually provide the promised city services.
"We" -- white people -- didn't simply decide to divest. "We" were chased out. Literally burned out, in many cases (as in Lee's "Do The Right Thing").

Quote:
Now some people might say it was mostly a class thing. But it really isn't. Let's look at PG County in DC. It is a largely black county with an average income of like $80k. Generally speaking, cities with an average income of $80k have no problems attracting "high-end" retail.
Because while $80k is good nationally, Montgomery County is still a heck of a lot richer. There's no high-end retail (unless you count Whole Foods) in my town with average income is $87K; it's all in neighboring towns with average incomes of $133K and $228K.
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Old 03-01-2014, 09:57 AM
 
9,520 posts, read 14,816,131 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
We've talked about education before, and it always comes to an impasse. I'm not suggesting another conversation about schools, but I do think it would help for the gentrifiers to at least have some concern about city schools.
The early gentrifiers generally don't have kids. Even if they did care about schools, they'd be told off by the school board if they showed an interest -- people without children are convenient to have around when getting funding, but they're just supposed to be piggybanks, not to have any influence.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:42 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,650,120 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BajanYankee View Post
I'm with Spike on this. As much as people are trying to make it a race thing (it is to a degree...an upper middle class white/race thing), it's not. This new class of people contains a lot of annoying Puritanical little pukes who don't care much for people unlike them. Case in point....



Mangia! But please not here | New York Post

It's not black against white. It's Prole against SWPL. Working Class against Creative Class.
We have this problem too. A couple of months ago there was a blog posted on the local PBS site that was a review of Oakland. Well basically only white yuppie oakland. And then the writer proceeded to basically call the rest of Oakland a wasteland to be avoided because of all of the icky people or whatever.

So even though the whole gentrification/hipster thing is happening, there aren't all that many place representative of this "new Oakland." If you go out to eat or shopping or whatever in Oakland, in most places you will see all of the infamous Oakland diversity in full display. People of all types at every turn (the Saturday farmers mRket is a perfect example) and somehow the author managed to miss the 65% of the city that is like this with her segregated world view.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
27,165 posts, read 29,650,120 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
"We" -- white people -- didn't simply decide to divest. "We" were chased out. Literally burned out, in many cases (as in Lee's "Do The Right Thing").
We is pretty collective and mostly related to policy. Policy made it hard to get loans to fix up urban properties. Policy decided to use eminent domain to bike freeways and destroy black communities. Policy decided to put up the factories in the neighborhoods were people did not have political power so they'd have to deal with the poor air quality and quality of life issues. Policy decided to start a war in drugs that is completely useless. This isn't about "blaming" white people. Our society made a series of decisions that killed our urban areas.

I had a really good chat with my dad about the race riots in the late 60s, and how he was feeling at the time. He was in the army and get lucky and was stationed in England. All the while, he and his peers were feeling more and more uneasy about the ideas that people like him could go to war and die for the country but couldn't get basic civil rights at home. His dad came back home from ww2 and couldn't get a job at the factory or anywhere in his town, even though he had a masters degree at the time when only 10-15% of his peers finished high school. He didn't want to come home from war and face the same fate as his father after serving his country, and his peers felt the same way. If civil rights didn't happen he was prepared to do something drastic. Now my dad was lucky, he came back went back to finish college and went on to get his MBA and a good amount of opportunities were open to him when he finished in the mid 70s. But the first year after he came back was really tense.

It wasn't that he "hated white people." He hated that society thought and treated him like he was worthless, but suitable to die for the cause.


[/quote]
Because while $80k is good nationally, Montgomery County is still a heck of a lot richer. There's no high-end retail (unless you count Whole Foods) in my town with average income is $87K; it's all in neighboring towns with average incomes of $133K and $228K.[/quote]

The same thing happens in Oakland. Oakland has a ton of people with over $100k incomes and no very little retail. We did get a whole foods a few years ago. It is packed, and in an area with an average income of about. $60-65k which isn't a whole lot on Bay Area standards, but the store is one of the busiest in the region. And draws a completely different crowd than your typical whole foods, income levels are way more diverse at my store. Food obsession crosses class lines here.
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:23 PM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,713,490 times
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Offers no solutions. Just a rant.

The problem with gentrification ONLY arises when land use policy prohibits or severely restricts new units. There is a side issue of cities having very poor budgetary controls - as land use goes up, tax revenue increases, but rather than lowering rates to stay revenue neutral, the cities view that money as a windfall for pet projects and bloated salaries.

Anyway, if anyone wants to ever do something real about affordability here's two solutions:

1. Liberalize landuse regs to allow market to meet demand.
2. Attack city budgets to force them to hold at steady level or only slight increase to meet addition demand, and not use escalating property valuations as big windfalls for city budgets.

Or we can rail against whitey and try to get as many "Affordable Housing" projects built for lottery winners. . .but that won't do squat all.
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:29 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,984 posts, read 102,540,351 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post
The early gentrifiers generally don't have kids. Even if they did care about schools, they'd be told off by the school board if they showed an interest -- people without children are convenient to have around when getting funding, but they're just supposed to be piggybanks, not to have any influence.
Gentrification will come to naught if the schools don't improve.

I once read an article about schools written by an urban planner, someone who really does this work for a living. He said he never gave a thought to schools until his own kid was ready to go to school. Of course, he solved his problem the typical gentrifier way, he put the child in some sort of charter/magnet school. When it gets to the point that there aren't enough spaces in these schools for all the gentrifier kids, then maybe something will happen.

As has been pointed out to me by some on this board, in some cities the schools are a part of city government. Even where they're not, they are another govt. agency, like transit. It's interesting to me that urban planners spend so much time thinking about, and pontificating about transit, but don't give a rip about schools.

I am interested in how you know that the school boards will simply "tell off" the gentry if they don't have kids.
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Old 03-01-2014, 01:34 PM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

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Location: Long Island / NYC
45,983 posts, read 41,929,314 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Gentrification will come to naught if the schools don't improve.
Not sure if that's true, gentrification is usually by childless adults, the end result may be a well-off place with few children.

Here's an urban planning blog that has a post on schools (there may be others but I haven't looked through it in detail):

http://danielhertz.wordpress.com/201...uttal-wanting/

The blog is rather Chicago-specific, which might explain why. Saying something meaningful about schools might require more specifically local knowledge then many other city topics. And the author likes talking about transit, too (says he likes trains in about me).
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