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Thu Mar 12, 2015, 01:29 AM

Berkeley: Difficult to balance sustainability, equity, planner says

This article makes me feel like one of the most disposable pawns on the chessboard of Berkeley city leadership:

http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_27678042/berkeley-balancing-sustainability-equity-difficult-balance-planner-says

It's also more than a little bit creepy that this conference took place downtown (not sure what floor of the building - it would be even creepier still if it was on a high floor where they were looking down on everyone) where a bunch of ivory tower scholars and "thought leaders" got to talk about the people who were actually living all around them.

I wonder how one of them would feel if they were displaced out of their housing and forced to commute back into the city? I suppose they feel heroic that they are standing up for the poor by arguing for higher wages and discouraging the displacement/commute cycle. The problem for me is that the people at risk for displacement need more platforms to represent their own problems - and be respected and attended to - rather than having to be represented by (highly compensated and valorized) "filters" who have to be the PR Face of the situation.

This is just one step away from the Great White Savior problem. We wouldn't need Great White Saviors if people weren't looking for them. Want to learn about The Homeless? Why assume they are all inarticulate and incapable of communicating their situation and unable to connect it to the Big Picture? Some homeless people have nothing better to do than to spend all day in the Public Library, since that's one of the last free public spaces left that allow homeless people to sit down for a while. I'm not saying all, or even most, homeless people are as scintillating as Rachel Maddow. But it's also foolish to stereotype all homeless people as illiterate, uneducated, mentally ill alcoholics. Just the SSI application gap has the potential to create a terrible housing gap for people who may have Ph.D.s. These people could use a hand up, so why give all the gravy to unnecessary filter people who speak "for" them?

For months people in Berkeley have been fighting to have a conversation about gentrification and housing displacement in Berkeley. This location of this "thought leader" conference was a rather tin eared response.

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Reply Berkeley: Difficult to balance sustainability, equity, planner says (Original post)
daredtowork Mar 2015 OP
KamaAina Mar 2015 #1
daredtowork Mar 2015 #2
KamaAina Mar 2015 #3

Response to daredtowork (Original post)

Thu Mar 12, 2015, 11:27 AM

1. My friends at TransForm will be quite interested in this.

 

TransForm promotes both sustainability and equity.

http://www.transformca.org

And there is a perfect location in south Berkeley to hold such a shindig -- Ed Roberts Campus, of course, where we just caught up a week and a half ago.

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 12, 2015, 01:23 PM

2. This also seems like a good place for a Do Gooder link

Want to give DIRECT HELP to a homeless person in need - with situation vetted through case managers and 100% of the money going to the homeless person in need? Isn't that the main obstacle?

Well, no more excuses: https://handup.org/

Go for it!

So when are you heading back up toward civilization?

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Response to daredtowork (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 12, 2015, 01:28 PM

3. No idea.

 

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