Today’s seminar was really fantastic! Our three residential speakers, (introduced– with commentary– by Karen Gibson), Charlotte Rutherford, Maxine Fitzpatrick, and Michelle DePass, were all very insightful. They all brought up interesting topics, such as growing up in the Albina district, gentrification, and what happens to people when development displacing them.
Charlotte Rutherford gave us a personal account of what growing up in Albina felt like forty years ago. To expand on this subject, for those of you that live, or have lived, please leave a comment about how your experience was growing up in the Albina district.
Rutherford also commented a lot on the importance of owning her own home, and how difficult it was for black people to receive a loan for a house, in which case a white person would buy it and then sell it to a black person. The process of gentrification and redlining helped push black people out of the city (or at least farther east). During the period where whites fled out of the Albina district, banks would sometimes loan out a block at a time for black people. Maxine Fitzpatrick, the executive director of the Portland Community Reinvestment Incentives Inc., works with a company that buys houses to help them to stay in their homes. They help bring back single family homes to black people, to help enrich the community, and saving people from being displaced.
Michelle DePass, is a community neighborhood activist, and on the State Holder Advisory Committee of the North Williams transportation. She actively works to try to make her street safer by doubling the bike land, and reducing a two lane road to a one lane road. She also works with different sub-committees one of which is creating the principles to “development without displacement.” This way development can still be achieved while the people surrounding it are not affected or displaced. The sub-committee also works on incentives to include black owned businesses.
There was a lot discussed today, and the audience had a lot to say too, from schools being affected to the media not doing enough. What are your thought about how to resolve these problems, and is there anything we can do as individuals to help?