Some people’s refusal to engage in reality has profound consequences for low income people and people of color. For residents of the W-suburbs, Green Line suburbs, & certain coastal towns- you don’t live in a middle class community. You are middle class living in luxury housing.
I wanna say to those folks: Your house with 15-year old appliances, and the same countertops that I have is valued at $950k. It drives me up the wall to see residents in these homes decry $500-750k condos. Like, where do YOU think you live?
Though intentional polices, market forces, and regional trends, it is nearly impossible to build anything other than “luxury housing” in these communities- not that the phrase has any real meaning any more. What’s even more frustrating is a refusal to put forward real solutions.
Small lot sizes, smaller unit sizes, larger buildings that will be both more affordable and could support inclusionary zoning units. I say this not just to rehash an old thread, but to point out that these peoples actions directly contradict with the signs in their front yards.
You see the only place “trickle down” does apply is in housing demand. That couple that would have bought a $650k condo in Newton or Lexington will now buy in Jamaica Plain or Everett. With that supply gone, the couple in the next bracket will now buy in Eastie or Dorchester.
And of course this just crowds out poor folks renting who are living on the margins. It also zaps supply for the POCs who are mortgage ready, but are now competing against people who were ready to put down 20% on a house in Wellesley or Hingham.
So by refusing to acknowledge the realities of the housing prices in their own neighborhoods and by refusing to embrace realistic solutions these development skeptics push housing demand onto poorer communities. No amount of dog whistle signage or appeals to white ethnic heritage
will explain away those facts. Your town cannot be progressive in the metro area with a minuscule amount of people of color- and cannot be progressive anywhere with working class and low income people. Not just kids in your schools- but families in your communities.
There folks in each of these communities organizing and working hard to change parochial, nativist, or sometimes well meaning- but wrong ideas about housing; they’re doing the yeoman’s work. It’s time for state legislators, neutral mayors and councilors, & even the state parties
to support that work. They need highlight that the status quo on housing doesn’t work. Local control with no recognition of the interconnected nature of housing fails poor people and people of color. Full stop. Massachusetts’ ridiculous housing costs are a blight on the CW.

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More from @jarjoh

11 Mar
It's so disappointing to see the Governor, Environmental Affairs, & the GM seek to activately kill demand for transit, or at least let the agency wither on the vine. Excuses are being made about "the changing nature of work", but they're just excuses.
Baker has hated transit since he loaded the T we/ debt to make the Big Dig's numbers work. He wouldn't have ever taken any interest in the T if not for the 2015 winter storm. COVID is providing the perfect excuse for Baker to launch a partisan attack on transit riders & workers.
Our peer cities aren't cutting transit, quite the opposite. Is the Baker Administration smarter than officials in Philly or Montreal? No, this administration and Governor have no vision.
Read 19 tweets
24 Nov 20
It's hard to take the T at good faith when they can't explain how you bring service back when people make semi-permanent decisions based on the service cuts- ending a lease, buying a car, switching jobs. These cuts will be a death spiral. Forgive me if I don't give the T
the benefit of the doubt here. There's no straight answer about how you gauge demand for lines or services that don't exist. Where's the modeling for lost revenue from weekend passes? From higher income riders, who the T has said in the past buy monthly passes at a higher rate?
There's no answer for how these cuts square with the Governor's own climate change goals. Or what impact it will have on the already cautious Housing Choice. Has the Secretary discussed the cuts with EOHED? Even more will work from home if they think T is unreliable. What kind
Read 9 tweets
13 Nov 20
I couldn't imagine being the Secretary who presides over the permanent decline of the MBTA. The T is not just an iconic part of the region, but it helps address climate change and traffic, connects people to jobs and opportunity, and is one of the few egalitarian spaces left!
To go from an advocate who fought for better transit to carrying water for fare hikes, service cuts, and arguing for hoarding federal funds.
To be clear these permanent cuts are not fiscally responsible... They will devastate future ridership and housing production as well as accelerate and climate change.
Read 11 tweets
24 Jul 20
I mean @BostonGlobe & @binajv , John Lewis isn't even buried yet. Publishing cutesy vauge opeds in support of racial justice don't mean anything if you don't challenge the status quo or re-examine your biases. Black people are disproportionately jailed for crimes white people
get probation and a slap on the wrist for. We know that black and brown people make up an oversized percentage of the prison population. (@PrisonPolicy).
And despite the Commonwealth's liberal reputation (which should have been obliterated by the shambolic police reform debate in the House anyway), Mass locks up too many people.
Read 7 tweets
20 Jun 20
As folks learn about #BlackWallStreet, they should also learn that the final nail in the coffin was a far more banal form of racism and white supremacy... The highway.
After rebounding from such a racist massacre, the district would be cut in half by a noisy, polluting highway. Thousands of white commuters have benefitted from the pain this neighborhood suffered. In addition to reparations paid to descendants, OK should remove or deck the road.
As others, pointed out, it wasn't just the highway, "Urban Renewal" is to blame too. @cityoftulsagov leveled buildings for a new school. You can see just how densely settled the area was. @osutulsa sits where Booker T Washington was. #BlackWallStreet
Read 10 tweets
9 May 20
We have to start thinking about land use and density post-COVID. And no, I don’t mean getting less dense. The Iowa versus So. Korea numbers answers that. No, I mean 15-20 min neighborshoods. This means people don’t have to try or even use transit for their daily needs.
That can be a little scary for those of us who want to see transit ridership rebound. But we have to rethink what makes transit successful. We have to center equity, livability, and sustainability. This means reviving main streets in EJ communities to have healthy food options.
Also, I meant “drive” not try earlier. But it also means you need to turn over more street space to pedestrians, cyclists, & micro-mobility users. We have to reallocate public curb space from storing private vehicles to accommodate the long term shift to deliveries.
Read 11 tweets

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