low income neighborhoods

Image: Chris Kindred for NPR

In Supersizing Urban America, history professor Chin Jou chronicles how the federal government made it easier for minorities to open fast-food franchises in low-income neighborhoods, rather than grocery stores. Today the landscape of urban America reflects this history: There’s a fast-food restaurant within walking distance in many low-income neighborhoods, but nary a green leafy vegetable in sight.

‘Supersizing Urban America’: How U.S. Policies Encouraged Fast Food To Spread

So many people trying to move out to Los Angeles because they aspire to live this picturesque lifestyle. The city is actively investing billions to “develop” (gentrify) low income, black and brown neighborhoods so the entire city of LA is that idealized, upper middle class area, displacing the people who give this city its vibrant culture and energy. I need yall to chase your dreams in your own cities. Fuck off.

i am so disgusted by betsy devos’ confirmation. she does not understand the socioeconomic and cultural factors that impact public school districts and their students—this is evidenced by the fact that she thinks implementing more charter schools will improve the already-existing school system. improving school and student performance involves more than just building new schools, and i don’t think devos understands the root of poor student performance.

basically, poor schools are trapped in a cycle of poverty while schools in more affluent neighborhoods gain more funding. public schools are funded three ways: state education funds, property taxes, and standardized test scores.

it is well established that schools with less funding do worse than schools with more funding. the more money and resources a school has, the better students perform in school and on state tests. for poor schools, this is where the cycle begins: the school doesn’t have enough money, so students are not getting the same quality education as their wealthier counterparts; because they are not getting a quality education, they perform badly on standardized tests; because they perform badly on standardized tests, the school doesn’t get much funding; repeat cycle. add low property taxes to this equation and you get what is known as a “bad school.”

it is no coincidence that “bad schools” are located in low-income primarily black neighborhoods, and “good schools” are located in upper class primarily white neighborhoods. this casual segregation is not only a result of low funding, it’s a result of racism. many public schools did not fully integrate until the 1980s; while segregation was illegal by this point, many people of color (especially black people) were confined to their neighborhood schools. additionally, the racist housing market disallowed black people from moving into certain neighborhoods (where mostly white people lived), meaning many could not move into a better area.

as a result, poor black schools stayed poor and black, and wealthy white schools stayed wealthy and white.

there is a history to our public school system. it is a history of anti-blackness, racism, classism, and disenfranchisement. we can do better, but defunding public schools is not the answer. further disenfranchising poor people, black people, and people of color will only serve to further advance upper class (white) students while everyone else falls behind. sending these low income students to a charter school will not magically improve their performance. if we want to improve student performance, we must first work on improving our public schools and creating an education system that benefits every student.

Explaining Diversity as an Ally 

    Yes, I am a white female.  Yes, I am blessed to have privilege by living and growing up in New York.  Yes, I can only sympathize with, try and comfort, my friends of color who face discrimination daily.  Luckily, growing up in the city, and going to a school which offers an array of classes based on Race, I have been able to learn more about race through historical and personal anecdotes. However, what do you do when a close relative visits your ‘liberal bubble’, and immediately says things that you deem as ‘politically incorrect’? Here is my experience.

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I deplore the aggressive recruiting tactics the state employs in low-income ethnic neighborhoods and I despise the conditions that cause students of color to be victimized by this phenomenon but I still have no sympathy for people who become soldiers, sorry! We have to approach education overhaul from a systemic perspective not one that subsumes domestic victims into an apparatus that commits international imperial violence.

That whole “sidewalks and roads are socialism” argument that left leaning liberals give about America is so weak, and it’s not even true. Have you ever been to a low income neighborhood here? Where the fuck are all the sidewalks?

Don’t You Try To Run Right Now

aka five times Mick Rory had to save Len Snart’s ass before he made a terrible decision about who to fuck, and one time he didn’t, in roughly chronological order.

aka what happens when @wacheypena and I agree that it looks like Len and Malcolm/Went and John are flirting in a gifset and everything spirals from there

1.    David Singh

They’ve made a habit of heading out to Saints and Sinners (the local dive bar) on Friday nights, in order that they can get drunk and find people to hook up with, in a rare show of humanity on Lenny’s part. Honestly, Mick’s begun to wonder whether Lenny’s just some kind of particularly pretty futuristic android. Usually Lenny sits and drinks until his hand gestures get more extravagant and he walks the block home with a wobble, and Mick watches Lenny until he’s inside the lobby of their crappy apartment building and leaves with some sweet little thing. Tonight, however, Lenny’s got his eye on some square-looking guy at the bar. Mick’s got to admit, Lenny has good taste – the man is certainly attractive – but there’s a major factor that makes him a no go.

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… [I]n some (perhaps many) cities, discriminatory property assessments left [African Americans] with less disposable income than whites with similar earnings. … An investigation of 1962 assessment practices in Boston, for example, found that assessed values in the African American community of Roxbury were 68 percent of market values, while assessed values in the nearby white middle-class community of West Roxbury were 41 percent of market values. The researchers could not find a nonracial explanation for the difference.

Seventeen years later, an analysis of Chicago assessments found the most underassessed neighborhood to be Bridgeport, the all-white home of Mayor Richard J. Daley, where resistance to African Americans was among the most violent in the nation. Bridgeport assessed values were about 50 percent lower than the legally prescribed ratio of assessed-to-market value; in the nearby African American North Lawndale neighborhood, they were about 200 percent higher than the legally prescribed ratio.

In a 1973 study of ten large U.S. cities, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) found a systematic pattern of overassessment in low-income African American neighborhoods, with corresponding underassessment in white middle-class neighborhoods. The study revealed that in Baltimore, the property tax burden in the white middle-class community of Guilford, near Johns Hopkins University, was one-ninth that of African American East Baltimore. In Philadelphia the burden in white middle-class South Philadelphia was one-sixth that of African American Lower North Philadelphia. In Chicago the burden in white middle-class Norwood was one-half that of African American Woodlawn. The report provoked no action by the U.S. Department of Justice. Considering all these studies, the differences are too stark and consistent to make benign explanations likely.

The higher property taxes paid by African American owners—and through their landlords, by African American renters—contributed to the deterioration of their neighborhoods. After taxes, families had fewer funds left for maintenance, and some were forced to take in boarders or extended family members to pay their property taxes.

In Chicago, excessive taxation also led to loss of homes by African Americans because speculators were permitted to pay off delinquent tax liabilities and then seize the properties, evict the owners, and then resell the houses at enormous profit. Because African Americans’ property taxes were often higher relative to market value, black families were more likely to be delinquent in tax payments and more likely to be prey for speculators who could seize their houses after paying off the taxes due. There are no contemporary studies of assessed-to-market value ratios by community and by race, so we cannot say whether discriminatory tax assessments persist to the present time, and if so, in which communities. In cities like Baltimore and Cleveland, however, African Americans are still more likely than whites to lose homes through tax-lien repossessions.

Costs of segregation attributable to discriminatory assessment practices, suffered by an unknown number of African Americans, are not trivial. This was not simply a result of vague and ill-defined “structural racism” but a direct consequence of county assessors’ contempt for their Fourteenth Amendment responsibilities, another expression of de jure segregation.

Richard Rothstein’s The Color of Law is a pretty good book

“Logan and Molotch argue that the city-as-growth-machine is an inherent feature of late capitalism in the United States. Cities, more than being places for people to live, have become ways to produce, manage, attract, and extract capital.

Molotch and Logan point out that in the heyday of urban renewal—when highways and housing projects were forced on top of low-income neighborhoods, displacing tens of thousands—the main metric for deciding where these projects should go was not crime, education, or the health of its residents, but whether those areas could be used for more profitable things. Detroit destroyed an area of the city based on the fact that the area’s residents took more tax revenue in the form of government services than they produced in the form of property taxes. And while it’s not usually as explicitly stated as it was in Detroit, poverty and race are often the lines along which infrastructure decisions fall.

There’s a reason new highways and new industry go in poor, often black and Hispanic neighborhoods: sections of cities with lower real estate values have less tax base to be destroyed. Pushing a highway through a rich neighborhood wouldn’t only cause more opposition, it would lose a city more money.“

- Peter Moscowitz, "How to Kill a City”

Benefits of living in a low-income neighborhood: when your city is testing a new public transportation service meant to compete with Uber, they roll it out for free in your neighborhood.

Just got picked up in front of my apartment and dropped off at Walmart, did my shopping, now I’m being picked up and dropped off at my apartment again.

(Btw, despite being a conservative Libertarian I am totally cool with my taxpayer dollars funding public transportation.)

Chapter 19.3 Two is Company, Three is Even Better. (TRIXYA) ~ Mistress

A/N: Mad thanks to chykopon. God protect them. Link to part 2, which has a link to part 1 in the author’s note.

Read ALL the tags.

Summary: Deciding to give poly a go, Katya, Trixie and Matt start their rial run as a threesome(thruple?). Yeah, smut happens in this one.

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I just had an interesting conversation with my girlfriend about education.

The biggest flaw with the education system is the student’s capability to access that education. And that capability is based on economic factors–on whether or not they can afford to continue the education from either their own pockets or from their family’s. And in turn, these economic factors determine the status of the school–determines its ability to educate the students and to have a steady supply of up-to-date resources.

But whenever the political topic of the week is education, everyone’s instinctive gut reaction is to give more money to the schools so they can become bigger and better.

But this solution ignores the economic factors of the families who could barely afford sending their kids off to school in the first place.

This solution ignores the functions of the us education system; how it receives funding based on standarized test scores–how any subject that isnt reading or mathematics is pushed off from the bigger slices of the budget. Which in turn inhibits the student’s ability to stay dedicated in school because the subjects they struggle with are what determines their academic future. And since every other subject is pushed aside in favor for the standard, kids drop out and become exposed to the stress of working life at an early age and the real life troubles of their homes or communities.

Schools receive funding based on standardized test scores –> therefore, schools are more likely to admit students who have a high performance in testing for the sake of further funding –> students from low income neighborhoods or with disabilities are put into an extreme disadvantage, whereas students who came from places of privilege that can afford education, study, and/or tutoring face smaller obstacles in comparison –> which is why public schools are almost always at risk of closure or lack of funding but private schools arent, because these private institutions only accept those who come from a place of money or who can promise high test scores for the sake of more funding.

So all in all the education system doesnt give a real shit about teaching you anything of worth. It only wants to exploit your ability to remember facts and to regurgitate procedures step by step for the sole purpose of filling someone’s pockets. It only cares for those who can promise more money. Anyone else is ignored without regrets.

In other words, it teaches you what to expect when you live under capitalism.

You cant solve an education issue without solving the economic issue.

A New And Needed Declaration of Independence

With the current atmosphere of hatred and violence, it’s hard to remember what this country once stood for. While the current government ignores and demurs the current actions of many hate groups and Nazis, the rest of us cannot. 236 years ago, a group of citizens got together and declared, “No more.” Now it is time for us, all of us, to do the same. 

In that spirit, I took the original Declaration of Independence and have since rewrote it into a more modern and pointed version. It is below the cut.

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