In the early 2000s, I was the business. I was rockin' my best Beyonce, Aaliyah, and Missy mash up. The Westside of Cleveland had no idea what happened. I felt at home in a fresh new way. Livin' Single leaving 227 behind. I was young and ready to hit the world.
The Westside of Cleveland was a vibrant, fun place to be for the come up, that was affordable and supported the rental community. What made this town unlike others in Cleveland was the promotion of small businesses, startups, and people with vision that were supported by local government and it's community. Let me shoot from the hip.
The housing market is literally is killing the racial non majority. If you are haven't noticed it, it was designed that way, so don't feel too bad for drinking the Kool-Aid. Spoiler Alert: If you haven't noticed its because most likely you are white, the majority. Let's just call it and move on, shall we? What does matter is what the racial majority can do to be supporters not saviors. First, please find your people. I am not it.
As a black woman, I cannot count how many times, people ask what to do be involved. Here is the answer. Get Involved. Learn your history. Give some power to the racial non majority. Yes, folks that means taking a systematic look at how you and your actions either support or destroy the racial non majority. I assume if you are continuing to read it is because of genuine interest, so thank you. The actions of support do not necessarily mean you have to hit the marches. Where do you shop? Does your local market or grocer stock products made by people of color? When you are looking to cater an event, are you looking up local black and brown business owners? These are just a few examples of how you can support people of color daily. Also, please acknowledge that we are black, brown, or whatever. The words, "I don't see color," translates to, "I don't care, therefore your experiences mean nothing." Now that we've opened our minds a bit..... shall we continue?
The cost of rent in this once affordable town has gone sideways for real. On top of that many owners and rental companies restrictions on section 8 participants making it impossible for to find or continue housing in this town. The influx of money, disruption of social networks and communities is desecrating the once eclectic town. Lots of great things are happening as well, updates on parks and roads, etc. Unfortunately, this only helps the people that live in the town, not the folks that are slowly being pushed out due to rental hikes and restrictions. Sweet.
Below is chart below accurately illustrates the methods of how a original neighborhood and the factors legacy households make decision on whether to stay or move, thus changing the health of the original community. To prove my point, in response to a recent park shooting the Mayor of this town thought "Taking down the basketball nets" would stop the crime there. Really?!? We are still here?
Next week I will be offering solutions to potential problems with the gentrification and how to keep the existing communities and support growth and development. Stay tuned!