Views from Empire

Cries Against Displacement OR Locating Power

These posters were found in the halls of 270 Empire.

We feel the sense of frustration and woe, and we are in solidarity with you.

However, most people on Empire were disenfranchised and at the mercy of the landlords long before gentrification got aggressive. Can we talk about the people behind the curtain? The ones who pull the strings?  Or are they off limits?

Oh and can we talk about how  the neighborhood can start pulling more of those strings?

What is gentrification? 

Definition – gentrification is a process of (word?) of disenfranchised urban neighborhoods by means of an influx of more affluent residents. It is a general term for the process that dislocates traditional low-income resident (basically residents of color) and changes the social fabric of the neighborhood.

How can we fight against it? 

While there isn’t one solution that can stop gentrification there are steps we can take as a community to help it prosper:

  • Support locally owned businesses
  • Send letter to your district council asking to keep public domains (libraries, parks, and community centers) open
  • Demand affordable housing. You can do so by talking to your elected officials.
  • If possible buy property and invest in the neighborhood.
  • The most important thing is acknowledging and speaking about it.

When we stand a community, we can be unstoppable. 

Eric Adams – Brooklyn Borough President – 209 Joralemon Street Brooklyn, New York 11221 – 719.802.3700

Gentrification is new wave colonialism and it has economic, societal, and public health repercussions for communities of color. 

Why should we care? 

Families who have lived in these neighborhoods  their entire lives will no longer be able to afford it because of rent increases. Families are displaced and neighborhoods and their local culture is (sic) stripped away.

When neighborhoods are gentrified, those moving in are looking for cheap rent and the ability to make a better life for themselves. Gentrification is not about beautifying neighbors and making them safer; it is the systematic displacement of people of color from their homes. 

  • Landlords raise rent because of the influx of wealthier people.
  • Local businesses suffer as large competitors open shops.
  • People of color are criminalized as new residents “feel in danger”

Poor communities of color have spent years battling disinvestment and abandonment, but redevelopment only seems to occur when white and wealthy people move into a neighborhood. New amenities are being placed in our communities to serve the new residents, not because they want the local people to enjoy it. If they did, the amenities would have been there earlier.