Gentrification and Nehemiah

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Martin is ever so interesting. Over on the Shaw Neighborhood Yahoo group he responded to an announcement about a panel discussion called, "Gentrification: Good? Bad? Indifferent?" tomorrow at the Wardman Court Gateway Community Center, that isn't in Shaw. As part of his response he wrote:

If people are feeling pushed out by the rich white (and other educated and employed ethnic) folks, they need to check themselves and whether or not they are pushing themselves out by tolerating truancy, drugs, crime in their families or neighborhoods, not calling the *po-po* on their criminal relatives, and either not voting or voting for stupid corrupt criminals -- and electing adults who can't properly pronounce simple three-letter one-syllable words, like *ask* (VO) to lead their cities and communities and provide role models for their children.

I take it the the VO is Councilman Vincent Orange. I don't like that fool enough to bother listening to anything that comes from his mouth. I've heard things come out of Councilman Marion Barry's mouth, and he sounds like an old man who needs to retire. But he won't because people for some reason keep voting him in, and at this point I think only G-d can take him out.

Speaking of G-d, I participate in a microsized prayer group that prays for the neighborhood and the city. One person chose to read from the Book of Nehemiah (Chapter 11?) about the repopulation of Jersusalem from the surrounding villages and towns. While he was reading I thought, isn't that gentrification? We talked about how a new population, from the suburbs, with humbleness and a sense of mission was good for the city to help rebuild it. I'd like to think that most people moving into the city, into neighborhoods like ours, want to build up the city, make it a better place by keeping politians honest (or more honest than normal) and accountable, and not tolerating those things that tear down the city. Yes, there is an arguement that lots of new citizens lack humility, but hey, the city is coming back, and that's a good thing.

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