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Undecided 40%
Joe Biden14%
Kamala Harris11%
Elizabeth Warren11%
Pete Buttigieg8%

Mon Apr 15, 2019, 01:00 PM

 

What Happened When Pete Buttigieg Tore Down Houses In Black And Latino South Bend

"Everyone wants to find a villain," a South Bend politician said of Mayor Pete Buttigieg's housing program. "This is just how economic development happens."

SOUTH BEND, Indiana — Regina Williams-Preston got into politics so that the city wouldn’t do to anyone else what the mayor’s big redevelopment plan did to her.

His program to knock down hundreds of homes in black and Latino neighborhoods like hers smacked of gentrification and ultimately cost her family several investment properties they hoped to repair but couldn’t after Williams-Preston’s husband suffered a serious illness.

Williams-Preston turned her anger into a successful run for city council. She pushed for more resources and fewer fines for those eager but struggling to renovate vacant homes. She demanded a deeper understanding of how big redevelopment plans can wipe out the fragile capital accumulations in communities of color. And now she is running for mayor, a job that’s opening up because the man behind the aggressive demolition program wants to be president.

Pete Buttigieg, the improbable, suddenly upper-tier Democratic contender, treats the initiative as an unfailing example of his executive leadership and one that shows why the mayor of South Bend, Indiana (population 102,000), deserves a promotion to the White House. Buttigieg gave himself a nice, round-numbered goal and an urgent deadline: 1,000 vacant and abandoned houses bulldozed or repaired within 1,000 days. Then he finished ahead of schedule.

“In some ways, it was a classic example of data-driven management paying off,” Buttigieg writes in his recent political memoir. “But the most important impact of the effort was unquantifiable. Hitting such an ambitious goal made it easier for residents to believe we could do very difficult things as a city, at a time when civic confidence had been in short supply for decades.”

But the story of what happened in between — of an ambitious white leader literally plowing ahead before addressing concerns in the community of color — is not the story Buttigieg, 37, tells. You won’t read about that part in his book. You likely won’t hear about it when Buttigieg, who would be the youngest and first openly gay president, preaches “intergenerational justice,” or Sunday, when he's expected to officially launch his campaign from the city's revitalized downtown.

The fallout from his approach to urban redevelopment has relevance in a primary where candidates promote economic and racial equality. The “1,000 Houses in 1,000 Days” program promoted neither, at least not at first, in the minds of critics who spoke to BuzzFeed News.

“He is using that as a flagship,” Williams-Preston said last week in an interview at her campaign headquarters, a house on the city’s northwest side where she works from behind a folding table in a sparsely furnished living room. “That’s cool, but you can’t do it like we did it.”

Buttigieg has acknowledged some missteps and, to the appreciation of Williams-Preston and others, made changes to make repairing houses an easier and more affordable option.

“I’m not sure we got that completely right,” Buttigieg told the Christian Science Monitor last week, specifically with regard to aggressive code enforcement.'>>>

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/henrygomez/mayor-pete-buttigieg-south-bend-gentrification?
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
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Reply What Happened When Pete Buttigieg Tore Down Houses In Black And Latino South Bend (Original post)
elleng Apr 15 OP
not_the_one Apr 15 #1
elleng Apr 15 #2
Politicub Apr 15 #4
Luciferous Apr 15 #15
Trenzalore Apr 15 #18
Duncan Grant Apr 15 #3
WeekiWater Apr 15 #5
msongs Apr 15 #6
loyalsister Apr 15 #7
elleng Apr 15 #10
loyalsister Apr 15 #11
andym Apr 15 #8
elleng Apr 15 #9
Recursion Apr 15 #14
marylandblue Apr 15 #17
Hortensis Apr 15 #12
Recursion Apr 15 #13
Luciferous Apr 15 #16
FreeState Apr 15 #19

Response to elleng (Original post)

Mon Apr 15, 2019, 01:09 PM

1. ok, i'll be the first....

 

"several investment properties"?

Was the concern over the community, or flipping for a profit?

Pete admitted it wasn't perfect, but was the overall result a boost for the city, or just another instance of rampant gentrification for profit?

no matter what someone does, someone else is going to be unhappy about it.

I think I will look at the big picture.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Pete Buttigieg

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Response to not_the_one (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 15, 2019, 01:10 PM

2. Yes, the big picture's important.

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to not_the_one (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 15, 2019, 01:29 PM

4. Here's how the blighted investment property scheme works in Atlanta:

 

Atlanta has its share of dilapidated houses. These houses sit in disrepair for years and often are inhabited by squatters. That doesn’t mean that someone doesn’t own the property, though. Often it’s an “investor” that comes in and pays peanuts for these properties.

They don’t do anything with their investments for years. But when the neighborhood or neighborhoods around it began gentrifying or getting re-developed, that’s when they tear down a house and build a new one or sell the lot at an inflated price. Investors have no interest in building up the existing community. They are happy to let properties sit idle until someone will pay them more for the land.

Back to Atlanta. Atlanta has a big project called the beltline. Once it is finished, the beltline will encircle Atlanta with a network of trails, light rail and parks. When the beltline development comes near a neighborhood, property values start to rise. Right now the beltline is undergoing development in South Atlanta. One of the neighborhoods that will abut it, a historically black neighborhood called Adair Park, is now experiencing the predictable increase in property values.

Even though investors sat on dilapidated properties for years, it is only now that they are starting to develop them by tearing them down and replacing them with new homes. These new homes are made to appeal to professionals who want a sanitized city experience but can’t afford other neighborhoods that have already gentrified. Taxes are going up. Long time residents of Adair Park will get pushed out by the higher property taxes. These longtime residents can probably make some money by selling their house. But that means they will need to move out of the neighborhood where they lived for years.

My husband and I thought about buying a property in Adair Park and fixing it up ourselves to live in. We gays like to move into neighborhoods that people don't want to live in and stay there . There are some beautiful homes from the early 20th century in the neighborhood and amazing examples of Craftsman homes that should be preserved and not torn down. What we learned quickly, however, is that occupied homes and empty lots were purchased in bulk by a handful of investors during the recession. We couldn’t buy a property there to fix up even though we wanted to.

This is a long post, but like I said, it’s a complicated issue. If the city of Atlanta had taken a more proactive role in revitalizing the neighborhood and not leaving it to investors who have no stake in the neighborhood, Adair Park would stand a better chance of being better for its residents and not instantly going through gentrification. The city could’ve also taken a more proactive approach in addressing the neighborhoods high crime rate. But it didn’t. It’s in the hands of investors now who care nothing for the neighborhood or its residents.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Kamala Harris

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Response to not_the_one (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 15, 2019, 05:34 PM

15. That stood out to me as well.

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Elizabeth Warren

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Response to not_the_one (Reply #1)

Mon Apr 15, 2019, 06:23 PM

18. My hometown is slightly larger, Allentown PA

 

We had a downtown rejuvenation project that involved building a stadium for minor league hockey.

The results are mixed. It isn't the shot in the arm everyone thought they were getting but it isn't the disaster some people were projecting. The mayor went to federal prison over corruption.

10 years ago the main street was porn shops and pawn shops and it has turned around a bit. Not as much as everyone hoped and respectable businesses are returning to the area.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Pete Buttigieg

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Mon Apr 15, 2019, 01:27 PM

3. His critics also say:

 

“Odom and Williams-Preston also praise Buttigieg for making more resources and money available for low-income residents to fix up homes. In January, Buttigieg launched South Bend Repair, an initiative composed of three programs and more than $1 million in investment at the city and federal level, according to the South Bend Tribune. The effort is aimed at helping homeowners make renovations small and large. One of programs, Love Your Block, includes a $25,000 grant from the national Cities of Service nonprofit, matched by $25,000 from the city. Odom recently helped the city connect property owners with resources available from that fund. The mayor, she said, has shown an open door.”


Interesting story - this is relevant in countless cities.

And it intersects with so many other important realities. Let’s elevate this in order for other candidates to address it, too.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Kamala Harris

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Mon Apr 15, 2019, 01:37 PM

5. Really not a bad story about him.

 

With the headline I went in thinking it was going to be bad. Looks like he put his neck on the line for something that they are still building off of today.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Joe Biden

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Mon Apr 15, 2019, 01:43 PM

6. being a real estate speculator to flip properties has hazards and takes funds nt

 

If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to elleng (Original post)

Mon Apr 15, 2019, 03:30 PM

7. I'm anxious to hear if he addresses his in more detail

 

His dismissive tone here is disappointing. Development and housing initiatives are historically common deep manifestations of institutional racism. I really hope he gained greater awareness since then.
The pervasive nature of white supremacy as a default system where cries of harm are dismissed when malice is absent is something we really need to deal with nationally.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to loyalsister (Reply #7)

Mon Apr 15, 2019, 03:39 PM

10. Not dismissive, imo;

 

he recognized the issues/complaints.
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Response to elleng (Reply #10)

Mon Apr 15, 2019, 03:59 PM

11. He's on the right track

 

but I don't think he's quite there. "Hitting such an ambitious goal made it easier for residents to believe we could do very difficult things as a city, at a time when civic confidence had been in short supply for decades.”
His generalization of residents ignores the people for whom "making it easier to believe" refers to making it clear how easily a city can destroy what ignored residents value if it is numerically determined to benefit the residents who are automatically part of the equation.
He has an opportunity to talk about something discomforting and shedding light on a widespread injustice. His success was built on heartbreak and loss for people whose voices were not heard.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Undecided

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Response to elleng (Original post)

Mon Apr 15, 2019, 03:32 PM

8. There's a problem with tearing down vacant and abandoned houses?

 

What?
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Response to andym (Reply #8)

Mon Apr 15, 2019, 03:38 PM

9. Read the article.

 

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Response to elleng (Reply #9)

Mon Apr 15, 2019, 05:27 PM

14. I did. The article makes it sound like they were all investment properties

 

that weren't being maintained, and that some of the investors (naturally) feel like the city was too trigger-happy in tearing them down?
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Elizabeth Warren

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Response to Recursion (Reply #14)


Response to elleng (Original post)

Mon Apr 15, 2019, 04:19 PM

12. This action alone is more than Sanders has taken.

 

All actions have various sets of costs and benefits.

Only to empty-sack politicians can decades of no achievements that thus had no costs be of benefit -- to those politicins, though to no one else. Zero admiration here for can't-doers who then try to get elected by tearing down all their opponents.

Mayor Pete was famous among the nation's mayors and experts in government as one to watch and emulate long before most of us heard of him. Sanders known to a few as the face in group pictures with an I next to his name in the caption.
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Response to elleng (Original post)

Mon Apr 15, 2019, 05:26 PM

13. So, Williams-Preston had investment properties

 

wasn't in a position to keep them up, and the city stepped in and demolished them?

And this is being portrayed as a bad thing?
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to Recursion (Reply #13)

Mon Apr 15, 2019, 05:36 PM

16. That's what I took away from the article. It's not his fault she couldn't fix up her

 

investment properties.
If I were to vote in a presidential
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Response to Recursion (Reply #13)

Mon Apr 15, 2019, 06:50 PM

19. +1

 

Sounds like an attempt at a smear that just doesn't work.
If I were to vote in a presidential
primary today, I would vote for:
Pete Buttigieg

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