EXECUTIVE SUMMARY OF SITUATION ANALYSIS According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, gentrification is "the process ofrebuilding a community accompanying the influx of middle-class and upper-class people intodeteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents." To many, gentrification is"equated with neighborhood improvement, but in reality it is a process of classtransformation: it is remaking of working-class space to serve the needs of middle- andupper-class people" (Newman & Wyly, 2005). When gentrification occurs in a community, it occurs in a series of three stages. Thefirst stage of gentrification occurs when there is a significant amount of redevelopment andnew tenants inhabiting any vacant units in the area. This step can occur over a few yearsand does not always immediately affect the community. During the second stage, peoplebegin to learn of the low costs within these communities and landlords begin displacinglong-time residents in order to rent and sell to higher-paying tenants. The influx of newresidents causes an increase in amenities that serve higher income citizens and thissituation creates conflict in the community. In the third and final stage, prices increasesignificantly and more long-term residents are displaced (Rose, 2001).Evidence that shows the effects of gentrification in New York City include: - The New York City Housing and Vacancy Survey, NYCHVS, revealed that 176,900 renters were displaced between 1989 and 2002 (Hampson, 2005). - “The 2003 American Housing Survey showed that in the previous year about 225,000 renters with income below the poverty line had moved at least once and cited cost pressures among their reasons. Of these, 96,000 were directly displaced either by private landlord or government actions” (Hampson, 2005). IDENTIFICATION OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY AUDIENCES Primary audiences and secondary audiences will both be greatly influenced by ourPublic Relations Campaign. The primary audience consists of law makers and developerssince these are the people who have the ability to effect gentrification. The secondary audience is the residents of the cities that are undergoing
gentrification. These residents are defined as secondary audiences because they are those who are mainly affected by the changes that we are trying to implement. They are the ones who need to know what courses of action they must take in order to further their chances of staying in the neighborhoods they’ve been living in for many years. These are the people who should be protected from the gentrification process. CAMPAIGN GOALS (GENERAL) The goal of this campaign is to get legislation passed to end gentrification and to also promote alternative methods for community development. Furthermore, we hope to decrease the number of residents who will be negatively affected by the gentrification process. CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVE (SPECIFIC) The objective of this campaign is to reduce the number of residents who are displaced by gentrification throughout New York City by 70%. CAMPAIGN STRATEGIES (GENERAL) In order to put a stop to gentrification, we first must make sure the community is educated about the gentrification process. It is essential that the campaign bring awareness of the issue, as well as inform the public of its severity. While informing the communities, the campaign also hopes to foster different methods of community restoration. By educating these residents, we hope to instill in them a strong initiative to take action against gentrification through local legislation. CAMPAIGN TACTICS (SPECIFIC) Within each of the campaigns strategies, there are specific tactics used to ensure the most productive way of reaching our end goal. Below is a more in depth look at how each step will be1) Educating the residents- Education about the issue of gentrification is the most important step because there are many who do not know what it is or have very little information about
it. Also, many residents may not pay attention to the news about it because it hasn’t directly affected them yet. Communities for Progress plans to implement this step by: - Flyers and posters will be put up all around the city at public transportation spots and telephone poles to show the parts of New York City that have already been gentrified, and to show some areas that may be affected in the near future. - The brochures will have more facts about gentrification and show upcoming events and informational sessions that will be held in the community, as well as a link to our website: www.StopNYCgentrification.com. They will be given out at local community centers and local churches throughout some target areas in New York City. - Communities for Progress will also be sponsoring a Community ay within one of the communities that is currently facing the problem of gentrification. We plan to renovate their local park and have the community day as an opening to the newly renovated park. Community Day will be a day where the community will come together to learn that positive development does not have to come from gentrification and to become more educated about actions they can take to prevent gentrification. At the event, there will be information tables, guest speakers, and a variety of fun activities in order to help us market to a larger audience. The promotion of the event will be spread through direct email, news coverage on local channels, and through community center information forums.2) Open communication with developers and legislators- As a community, the neighborhoods must keep track of future plans and ways to maintain a mixed income community that sponsors development without displacement. By providing incentives for the developers, such as tax breaks and credits, legislation could be passed to ensure affordable housing for lower-income residents. Some specific things to ask developers for are:• Code enforcement policies that assist residents with home improvements• Implementing rent controls• Preserve federally subsidized housing programs MESSAGES FOR AUDIENCES Residents need to be educated about the gentrification process and how it is affecting them
and others in their area. The residents also need to be informed of the severity of the issueand need to be told ways they can help put a stop to gentrification in their area. Developers must be aware that their level of involvement in the gentrification processwill negatively affect their corporate image. There are alternate methods that thedevelopers can use to renovate the areas without displacing any residents and to helpmaintain a mixed income community. Legislators need to be concerned with how the gentrification process is affectingtheir voting constituents. Many of the residents in the communities that are voting for theseelected officials come from low-income households who may not vote for them if they do notplan to help people who are being displaced through gentrification. BUDGET CONSIDERATIONS
TIMETABLE May 2012: • Plan Community Day: catering, speakers, music and events • Get website up and running • Have all brochures, flyers, and posters printed up and posted around New York City June 2012: • Host Community Day at McNair Park • Set a schedule for community involvement meetings • Continue to hand out flyers and brochures July 2012 • Continue to hand out gentrification information • Host weekly community involvement events and meetings August 2012 • Host protests • Talk to developers about gentrification in the New York City Area • Continue community involvement meetings September 2012 • Talk to legislators about getting involved about the laws on gentrification • Continue community involvement meetings October 2012 • Ensure a proposal has been made about addressing gentrification in New York City and follow through to see it hits the Senate floor CAMPAIGN EVALUATION PROPOSALIn efforts to evaluate our campaign, we must first be sure the message was heard. We would have aresearch team creating and administering surveys that would help us determine this. Using severalfocus groups that live in the neighborhoods in which we advertised, we plan to check if they hadseen our advertisements or had heard of our campaign, as well as if they understood whatgentrification is and the harms it has on the community. Our second form of evaluation will be through the actual neighborhoods themselves. Wemust look at displacement rates within these neighborhoods to see if people are still getting evictedfrom their homes. In addition, we will be looking to see if the laws themselves that are set to protect
the people of these communities have been passed and are being enforced.
CITATIONGentrification (n.d.). In Merriam-Webster dictionary online. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gentrificationHampson, R. (2005, April 19). Gentrification a boost for everyone. [Electronic Version] USA Today. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-04-19- gentrification_x.htmNewman, K. & Wyly, E. (2005). Gentrification and resistance in New York City. http://www.nhi.org/online/issues/142/gentrification.htmlRose, K. (2001) Beyond gentrification: Tools for equitable development. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nhi.org/online/issues/117/Rose.html