Everyone hates gentrification, or so they claim in comments hoping new arrivals to the neighborhood get murdered. But no one seems to have any ideas how to fight it outside of the aforementioned wishes for the murder rate to spike. The people who made My Brooklyn are pretty much experts on the topic, and after making a movie showing that gentrification is an almost unstoppable force in Brooklyn, they’ve put together some tips on how to slow it down.
1. One of the most important things you can do, whether you’re a gentrifier or a resident of the neighborhood for your whole life is to sit down and talk with each other. Or stand we guess. The important thing is making a connection with your neighbors off the bat, before each side of the argument can harden their opinion of the other as “lousy entitled hipsters” and “poors in the way of progress.” Without a community being connected to each other, every other way to fight gentrification is useless. Just don’t let the friendly chat become a haughty lecture.
2. They also point out how important it is to fight for and save public areas, like schools, parks and libraries. Demand that libraries in your neighborhood stay open and that the schools don’t become charter schools, and fight to make sure homeless shelters and soup kitchens don’t get driven out by high rent.
3. Finally, always be ready to confront elected officials, from the community boards up through Gracie Mansion. It might seem like City Council members are elected to rubber stamp giveaways to real estate developers, but there’s actually no law in the city charter that says that. Don’t forgive and forget, remember things like Christine Quinn’s proposal to cap property taxes for landlords that was so friendly to developers that even Mike Bloomberg rejected it.
They’ve got some more ideas at the My Brooklyn site, so check it out and complaining about gentrification can become doing something about it.
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