By Cheryl McGrapth – Let’s define gentrification and how to engage.
According to the Urban Displacement website, gentrification is defined as a process of neighborhood change that includes economic change in a historically disinvested neighborhood —by means of real estate investment and new higher-income residents moving in – as well as demographic change – not only in terms of income level, but also in terms of changes in the education level or racial make-up of residents. 1
This definition of gentrification will be seen, here in Jacksonville, coming soon to the Mixon Town neighborhood (Railyard District); the neighborhoods behind the Jaguars stadium, and the neighborhoods around Emerson street (East San Marco). Is there a way to combat gentrification? As a Black American living in a city that has certain areas, within the city limit, beginning to gentrify or a city that is in the middle of it, you have the opportunity to be in the mix, to advocate, to buy real estate, and to bring awareness to residents.
If certain neighborhoods in your city, are in the middle of gentrification, then it is clear where it is occurring and the action to take is to advocate for remaining residents, buy houses and/or land. If your city is on the verge of gentrification, in certain neighborhoods, then we as a community have to be engaged on the front end. We must read the Business Journal, buy land and houses, sit in on the City Council meetings and their various committees’ concerning specific zip codes or topics. Here in Jacksonville, I encourage participation in the following meetings: Citizen Planning and Advisory Committee (CPAC); City Council Neighborhoods, Community Services, Public Health & Safety Committee; City Council Land Use & Zoning (LUZ) Committee; City Council District meetings; Economic Development Fund meetings; Redevelopment Area Agency Board Meetings, and the Activating JAX Riverfront meetings.
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