Gentrification In West Town

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Gentrification In West Town

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Gentrification In West Town

  1. 1. THE POLITICS OF GENTRIFICATION THE CASE OF WEST TOWN IN CHICAGO
  2. 2. • GENTRIFICATION IN WEST TOWN • RACE, CLASS, ETHNICITY • POLITICAL, PRIVATE, AND PUBLIC INFLUENCE • PUERTO RICAN STRUGGLE FOR NATIONAL, PERSONAL, AND GLOBAL IDENTITY • MARKET VALUE OF PEOPLE AND PROPERTY
  3. 3. GENTRIFICATION IN WEST TOWN • WICKER PARK, HUMBOLDT PARK, UKRAINIAN VILLAGE, EAST UKRAINIAN VILLAGE, SMITH PARK, NOBLE SQUARE, RIVER WEST • GENTRIFIERS VERSUS THE WORKING CLASS COMMUNITY • NEIL SMITH AND THE REVANCHIST CITY-THE ACCUMULATION OF CITY CAPITAL DEPENDS ON THE DISCREDITING AND EXCLUSION OF “MINORITY” GROUPS (G.R.E.C.O.). • ANALOGOUS WITH THE GENTRIFICATION OF COMMUNITIES IN NEW YORK AND ACROSS THE GLOBE • BLACK AND LATINO REMOVAL RELATING TO GENTRIFICATION • CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT, NEAR NORTH, LINCOLN PARK AND THE UPPER CLASS.
  4. 4. GENTRIFICATION IN WEST TOWN • 1950’S TO PRESENT STARTING WITH LINCOLN PARK. • URBAN RENEWAL EQUALS THE REMOVAL OF LOW INCOME MOSTLY MINTORTY AREAS. • HISTORICALLY HOME TO WORKING CLASS EUROPEAN IMMIGRANTS. • AFFLUENT EUROPEANS BUILT MANSIONS • LOCAL CITY GOVERNMENT AND CORPORATIONS PLANNED REDEVELOPMENT EFFORTS IN THE 1950’S FORMING THE “CHICAGO CENTRAL AREA COMMITTEE” • FOR THE PURPOSE OF BUILDING MIDDLE CLASS HOUSING AND SERVING THE CITY’S BUSINESS INTERESTS, DEPARTMENT OF URBAN RENEWAL
  5. 5. GENTRIFICATION IN WEST TOWN • REAL ESTATE AGENTS MARKETED “WEST TOWN” • THEY TARGETED DISPLACED ARTISTS TO “BREAK IN” WEST TOWN BY CREATING A FAVORABLE CLIMATE FOR BUYERS. • REAL ESTATE AGENTS CONTINUED TO PERFECT THE BUSINESS AND PUBLIC SUPPORTED FORMULA USED TO GENTRIFY WEST TOWN. • SOME REALTORS COULD BUY PROPERTY AND SELL IT BACK WITHOUT WORRY OF ANY LONG TERM OR SHORT TERM LOSS TO CAPITAL. • IN THE 1970’S, WITH THE GAINS FROM REDLINING AND OTHER QUESTIONABLE BUSINESS PRACTICES LIKE “SLUMLORDISM”, REAL ESTATE AGENTS BECAME THE “ENGINE” OF GENTRIFICATION.
  6. 6. GENTRIFICATION IN WEST TOWN • 1960’S LINCOLN PARK GENTRIFICATION STARTED SLOWLY FROM BUYING CLASSIC ARCHITECTURE AND REHABBING WITH THE HELP OF PUBLIC FUNDS. • WICKER PARK GENTRIFIED THROUGH THE CITY’S INVESTMENT IN “IMPROVING” THE AREAS IN ADDITION TO REALTORS ACQUIRING EXTREMLY CHEAP HOUSING WHILE NETWORKING BUYERS UNDER THE COMMON GOAL OF STEADY EXPANSION. • GENTRIFICATION HAS BECOME AN INDUSTRY IN WEST TOWN AND NOW INCLUDES ALL FORMS OF REAL ESTATE • LOW INCOME HOUSING IS RARE OR NON-EXISTANT • LONG TERM RESIDENTS BLAME EACH OTHER WHILE PROPERTIES BECOME TOO EXPENSIVE FOR LOW-INCOME PEOPLE • NEW BUYERS DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT REHAB WORK THEMSLEVES. THEY CAN PAY TO HAVE IT DONE FOR THEM.
  7. 7. GENTRIFICATION IN WEST TOWN • WEST TOWN DESIGNATED A CONSERVATION AREA IN 1958 • PRO GENTRIFICATION GROUPS LIKE THE OLD WICKER PARK COMMITTEE FORMED TO BRING GENTRIFYING REAL ESTATE AGENTS, HOME BUYERS, AUTHORITIES, SPECULATORS AND BASICALLY ANYONE WHO SEES GENTRIFICATION AS A POSITIVE FORCE FOR RENEWAL. • THEY LOBBIED, AGGRESSIVELY MARKETED, HARRASSED LONG TIME LOW INCOME RESIDENTS, AND WORKED ON HISTORICAL DESIGNATION AND OTHER METHODS OF ADDING VALUE. • THEY OPENLY EXPRESSSED RACIST BEHAVIOR AND USED CODED LANGUAGE TO VILIFY PUERTO RICANS SPECIFICALLY. • GENTRIFIERS WORKED FOR EXTRACTING VALUE WHILE THE GENTRIFIED WORKED ON IMPROVING THEIR SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC STABILITY. • THE SUCCESS OF GENTRIFICATION MEANS THE LOSS OF COMMUNITY FOR THE WORKING POOR AND THE WORKING CLASS.
  8. 8. GENTRIFICATION IN WEST TOWN • GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE BUSINESS WORKED TOGETHER TO SUSTAIN GENTRIFICATION • THE NORMALIZED VIEW OF GENTRIFICATION AS A NATURAL ECOMONIC PROCESS DISREGARDS THE UNIQUELY RACIAL COMPONANT • NCO ISSUED A PEOPLE’S CONSERVATION PLAN TO FIGHT GENTRIFICATION WITH LOW-INCOME HOUSING, LOCAL RELOCATION, REHAB LOANS, AND OTHER MUCH NEEDED SERVICES • A PLAN FOR EAST HUMBOLDT PARK ADDRESSING THE NEEDS OF LOCAL RESIDENTS WAS NEVER ACTUALIZED BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF FUNDS COMPARED TO THE CITY SUPPORT GIVEN TO URBAN RENEWAL. • IN THE END GENTRIFICATION AFFECTS ALL WORKING CLASS AND WORKING POOR GROUPS. • GENTRIFICATION WAS NOT VIEWED NEGATIVLY IN THE 60’S AND 70’S AND WAS OVERSHADOWED BY THE THREAT OF WHITE FIGHT AND DISINVENSTMENT
  9. 9. RACE, CLASS, ETHNICITY • RACE AND CLASS SPECIFIC • MILITARIZATION OF CLASS AND RACE OR “CLASS WARS”. • THE CONNECTION BETWEEN AND INTERPLAY BETWEEN RACE, POVERTY, AND CLASS. • FOR EXAMPLE, UPPER AND MIDDLE CLASS RACIALIZED MINORITIES MOVING INTO WORKING CLASS AREAS. • AFTER WWII DISINVESTMENT AND CLASSIC RACISM LEAD TO “WHITE FLIGHT” • IN THE 1960’S “WHITES” WHERE 97.7% OF WEST TOWN’S POPULATION. • PUERTO RICANS CONGREGATED AFTER WHITE FLIGHT AND THE COMBINED “LATINO” POPULATIONS ROSE TO 60% BY 1990. • NORTHWEST COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION TRIED TO CURB “WHITE FIGHT” WITH THE HELP OF THE ARCHDIOCESE DEPARTMENT OF URBAN AFFAIRS.
  10. 10. RACE, CLASS, ETHNICITY • BLACK OCCUPANCY IN NOBLE SQUARE AND ADDRESSING BLACK PEOPLE’S HOSUING NEEDS CHANGED THE SCOPE OF THE RENEWAL PROJECTS. • URBAN RENEWAL MEANT “NEGRO REMOVAL” BUT IN WEST TOWN IT ECOMPASSED A BROADER RACIAL SPECTRUM. • REGARDLESS OF THE CLASS ISSUE, THE RACIALIZATION OF MINORITES REENFORCED RACIAL AND ETHNIC COMFLICT AND THE SUBSIQUENT VILIFICATION AND REJECTION. • CONTINUED DISINVESTMENT IN MINORITY AREAS AND THE FAILURE TO FACTOR IN OBVIOUS RACISM IN LIMITING THE MOBLITY OF RACIALIZED MINORITES LEAD THE NCO TO FAIL. • INTERNAL CLASS BATTLES DIVIDED THE LATINO COMMUNITY ON PRO AND ANTI GENTRIFICATION.
  11. 11. POLITICAL, PRIVATE, AND PUBLIC INFLUENCE • CONSERVATION AND RENEWAL SUPPORT FROM AFFLUENT COMMNUNITIES, ORGANIZATIONS AND INSTITUTIONS • ECONOMICALLY AND SOCIALLY POWERFUL GROUPS VERSUS THOSE STRUGGLING FOR ORGANIZATION AND POLITICAL POWER OR BASIC RESOURCES • THE UNIFYING OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AND DEVELOPMENT COPORATE ENTITIES. • URBAN RENEWAL IS SEEN AS AN INSTITUTIONAL FORCE AIMED AT DISPLACED LOW INCOME RESIDENTS. • COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANTS BACKED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AIDED COMMUNITY BUILDING. • THE SUBSEQUENT DALEY MACHINE AND THE ARCHDIOCESE HAD MORE SUPPORT FROM “WHITE” ETHNICS BECAUSE MINORITIES WHERE AT THE BOTTOM BOTH ECONOMICALLY AND SOCIALLY.
  12. 12. POLITICAL, PRIVATE, AND PUBLIC INFLUENCE • WEST TOWN WAS THE SOURCE OF CATHOLIC PATRONS AND THE SCHOOLS AND SERVICES THAT CATERED TO THEM • MOST OF THE PEOPLE OF WEST TOWN WHERE IGNORANT OF THE PROCESS LET ALONE TO THE TERM GENTRIFICATION • THE SUCCESS OF GENTRIFICATION MEANS THE LOSS OF COMMUNITY FOR THE WORKING POOR AND THE WORKING CLASS. • THE COMMUNITIES THAT LACK THE MOST, STATE, PRIVATE, AND NATIONAL SUPPORT ARE DESTROYED BEFORE GETTING ANY CHANCE TO ESCAPE THE PITFALLS OF LOW INCOME, MARGINALIZED, AND/OR POOR RACIALIZED GROUPS.
  13. 13. PUERTO RICAN STRUGGLE FOR NATIONAL, PERSONAL, AND GLOBAL IDENTITY • THE PUERTO RICAN STRUGGLE AGAINST GENTRIFICATION WAS AND IS A STRUGGLE FOR A PLACE TO LIVE, ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF THEIR CULTURE, AND IN IMPROVING COMMUNITY LIFE FOR THE LOW INCOME AND WORKING CLASS. • AFTER GAINING SOME POLITICAL POWER WITH THE ELECTION OF HAROLD WASHINGTON THE PUERTO RICAN COMMUNITY FACED A GREATER THREAT BECAUSE THE NEW INVESTMENT FROM THE ADMINISTRATION MADE THE AREA MORE DESIRABLE TO GENTRIFIERS. • LUCHA
  14. 14. MARKET VALUE OF PEOPLE AND PROPERTY • AS TAXES RISE, THE MARKET GAINS MORE WEALTH AND LOW OR AVERGE INCOME HOUSHOLDS HAVE TO IMPROVE THEIR HOMES OR SELL • THE SUPPLY AND DEMEND ASPECT OF THE FREE MARKET WAS INSTEAD MANIPULATED BY THE MARKETING OF RACISM, PUBLIC OFFICE CORRUPTION, AND THREATENING CRIMINAL PRACTICES EVEN BY CIVIL SERVENTS OF THE STATE. • RACE AND CLASS ARE MOLDED TO CONFORM TO MARKET PRACTICES NO MATTER HOW CORRUPT, IMMORAL, OR UNJUST.

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