Posts Tagged ‘ Gentrification ’

Green Jobs a Real Opportunity to Restore City’s Economy

Majora Carter, the MacArthur Genius Award recipient, founder of Sustainable South Bronx and president of the Marjora Carter Consulting Group that focuses on “green collar” jobs, believes the way we do business is simply not sustainable. In her round of public appearances and speeches, Carter, the keynote speaker at the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize Forum at St. Olaf College, made a vital assessment that we can restore the economy and alleviate poverty with the same thing, the environment.

As Carter stands at the wooden dais on a tall and extended stage in the St. Olaf College auditorium, she spreads her arms wide with a warm smile, a sort of embrace to the largely white audience in a small Midwest town and states, “Green is the new Black!” She quickly follows with, “What do I mean by this? Regardless of how poor you are, or what color, you have an inherent beauty and you should be able to look outside and see that too.”

Environmental Justice Advocate Majora Carter

Environmental Justice Advocate Majora Carter

We must, she said, invest in the people we’ve given up, thrown away and literally dumped on.  This echoes what Nieeta Presley of the Aurora/St. Anthony NDC argues about the Central Corridor: “This project should be based on neighborhoods instead of the metropolitan or statewide governments.”  Creating projects based on communities, neighborhoods and the people is the alternative strategy that Carter focuses on to move from a polluting economy to a people-based economy.  It is what Carter refers to as “Greening the Ghetto.”

Environmental justice is an increasingly important element of policy-making in transportation. As the Central Corridor LRT approaches and “green branding” increases, it is imperative that social, economic, and environmental goals not be separated, but approached holistically by asking the right questions and stipulating the importance of exploring race and class as inextricably linked to the entire health of the community.

— By Ashanti Austin

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Resisting gentrification

central-corridor-station

Stay in Place and Thrive Community Forum on Resisting Gentrification will be held from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Lao Family Community, 320 W. University Ave., St. Paul. Sponsored by the Preserve and Benefit Historic Rondo Committee, the Asian Economic Development Association/Hmong Business Assn., and the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability. The forum will feature national presenters who will discuss strategies for resisting displacement in low-income communities of color when redevelopment occurs. Dinner will be provided. For more information, call (651) 222-0399.