Trader Joe Non-Oppressed
The Portland African American Leadership Forum sent a blistering email to PDC leaders and Mayor Charlie Hales Wednesday demanding the urban renewal agency suspend the Trader Joe's development and all tax-increment-financed projects in the Interstate Corridor urban renewal area. The lot is currently vacant and has been for years. PAALF, established in 2009, is a group of African American leaders united around an agenda of equity in education, economic development, housing and health issues. The Trader Joe's development will increase displacement of low-income residents and "increase the desirability of the neighborhood," for "non-oppressed populations," PAALF wrote. PDC's board authorized selling the land, valued at $2.9 million last December, to Majestic Realty for just $502,160 last month. PAALF said the subsidized deal benefits "one of the richest families in the country."Trader Joe's pulled out of the deal, so the really oppressed residents get to keep their 2.9 million dollar vacant lot vacant. I guess no one thought that maybe some of the oppressed residents might get a job there and be able to improve their lives? Or that maybe the rising tide of an improved economy and more affluent residents might lift some of the more oppressed residents out of poverty? Or maybe the community organizers got worried that maybe their captive population of disadvantaged people might get away and they'd end up having to get a real job?
Posted by: WVinMN at February 10, 2014 12:15 PM
Posted by: unPC at February 10, 2014 01:38 PM
Posted by: Kafiroon at February 10, 2014 08:01 PM
What good is it to the black community as a whole if this somehow employs, say, 30 people all from that neighbourhood (unlikely), but drives up the rent for 400 by $100 a month or more? (possible). Also: poor people don't shop at Trader Joe's, they will shop at the Safeway a half-mile away.
The fear of gentrification is not totally unfounded, as "young, moderately affluent hipsters who will overpay for housing in a 'good' location" is pretty much the target demographic of TJ's, and Portland is lousy with those types already.
Also keep in mind that Portland has a track record of "improvements" to black neighbourhoods that ended up closing black-owned businesses and driving black people out, so there is an understandable degree of bitterness.
Posted by: Guest at February 10, 2014 08:22 PM
Posted by: Bright Eyes at February 11, 2014 12:20 AM
and H for hypocrit T for treason ... the stench of burnt flesh will circle the planet three times before it dissapates.
Wink the Wonder Cat so prophesizes....
Posted by: grentorfst at February 11, 2014 10:40 AM
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