Neighborhoods

News related to housing, cities, gentrification and urban development.

Are Coffee Shops a Sign of Gentrifying Neighborhoods?
A person not entirely in the frame brews coffee in a jug at a cafe.

Are Coffee Shops a Sign of Gentrifying Neighborhoods?

People are taking action along the supply chain from the coffee fields to neighborhood coffee shops to make sure coffee can be suitable for all of us.

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2400 1600 Andrew Lee

Decolonize the parks.

In his article “Return the National Parks to the Tribes” David Treuer reminds us that national parks are the result of Indigenous dispossession. Everglades National Park is Seminole land. Olympic National Park was created by a violation of a treaty with the Quinault tribe. The first white people to ever see what is now Yosemite National Park were members of a California militia, intent on slaughtering and driving Miwok people off the land and into reservations. “Native people need permanent, unencumbered access to our homelands,” wrote Treuer, an Ojibwe author and historian. “All 85 million acres of national-park sites should be turned over to a consortium of federally recognized tribes in the United States” (The Atlantic).

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150 150 Andrew Lee

Confront rising temperatures.

Neighborhoods of color affected by redlining, historic bank and government-sponsored housing discrimination, are five degrees hotter than non-redlined neighborhoods since they have dramatically less tree cover. In Portland, OR, they’re a shocking 13 degrees warmer (NPR). Communities of color are where state and business elites dump toxic chemicals, coal-fired power plants, and chemical factories across the country. “The climate emergency will have a disproportionate impact on Black and Brown communities” (Guardian) since “the lack of equitable investment in low-income communities leaves people even more at risk for climate change impacts” (NRDC).

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150 150 Nicole Cardoza
Support immigrant vendors.

Support immigrant vendors.

This San José flea market is threatened by the construction of a “transit village” around a new light-rail station.

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800 450 Andrew Lee

Question private security forces.

Citizen is a privately-owned “public safety” app that reports neighborhood crime to residents. It has 5 million active users, more App Store downloads than Twitter (Forbes), and is backed by venture capital firms like Sequoia Capital, which is also investing in heavyweights like Cisco, Instagram, and YouTube (Sequoia). It’s a rebrand of an app called Vigilante, which actually encouraged users to go after suspected criminals (Tech Crunch). After the Pacific Palisades fire last month, Citizen sent the full name and photo of a suspected arsonist to 860,000 users. Citizen put a $30,000 bounty on this man, who was unhoused (Oaklandside), and, as in its days as Vigilante, encouraged its users to “get out there and bring this guy to justice” (Vox). As it turns out, he was innocent.

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150 150 Andrew Lee

Learn about safe haven communities.

The Freedom Georgia Initiative springs from a “desire to create generational wealth for our families” in a place where “restoration, recreation, and reformation” are possible. The ability to conserve family resources and enjoy ample rest and recreation has been denied to generations of Black families. As an explicitly pro-Black city in an anti-Black nation, Freedom, Georgia hopes to be a new start (Complex).

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150 150 Andrew Lee
How Low Appraisal Values Affect Black Homeownership
A black couple standing in front of a house.

How Low Appraisal Values Affect Black Homeownership

Black homeowners are routinely experiencing low appraisal values, preventing them from building generational wealth.

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4980 3735 Nicole Cardoza
Reverse racist land grabs.

Reverse racist land grabs.

In April, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to make amends for a massive land grab rooted in white supremacy, though this remedy came almost a century too late (MSN). In the early twentieth century, Charles and Willa Bruce opened a Manhattan Beach resort that offered other Black families the opportunity to vacation under the Southern California sun. The white residents of Manhattan Beach were not pleased.

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1486 991 Andrew Lee

Decommodify housing.

Just because we’re all affected by the pandemic doesn’t mean that we’ve all been affected equally. Women accounted for all 140,000 jobs cut last December. Black and Latina women in particular lost jobs, since employment for white women actually rose that month (CNN). The data is clear: Black and Latina women were the worst-impacted by layoffs, white men the least (Bloomberg).

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150 150 Andrew Lee
The Answer to America’s Food Desert Problem
Two people near a food display inside a New York bodega.

The Answer to America’s Food Desert Problem

Underserved communities are disproportionately becoming zoned as food deserts as access to grocery stores becomes limited.

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2400 1597 Sydney Cobb
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