Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Changing face of the city, schools and politics

Here's what has replaced public housing in Rahmville.  2 Bedrooms In Cabrini-Green's New High Rise Start At $3,200 A Month. The units boast such amenities as Nest Thermostats, floor-to-ceiling glass windows and exposed concrete ceilings. The building's shared spaces include a rooftop with a chef's kitchen and two dog runs.

Selective -enrollment high schools are ubiquitous in Lincoln Park and Rahm keeps trying to build more despite a shrinking population in that area. Many of Chicago's wealthiest neighborhoods are dramatically below their peak populations. Selective enrollment magnets, originally created as a result of a court-ordered desegregation mandate, are now used like charter schools,  to promote racial and class resegregation.

And now, a lifetime ban and possible heavy fines imposed on families who try and "cheat" their way in. That doesn't apply of course, to the clout-heavy or to wealthy suburbanites, like Bruce Rauner, whose kid didn't meet entrance requirements at Payton, but got in through the back door after Rauner made a phone call to Arne Duncan.

According to Chicagoist,
...a goldmine for developers who have planned new, luxury high rises for the Near North Side area not far from where the dilapidated public housing towers once stood.
With Chicago in the midst of a housing crisis we can't help but see the promises of these luxury developments coinciding with the displacement of Chicago's working class and the hastening demise of its affordability for anyone making less than $72,000 a year (that's how much you'd have to make to reasonably afford a studio apartment at $1,825 a month, based on this popular rental formula).
Change in Chicago's population
Former Cabrini residents got a housing voucher, amounting to a one-way ticket out of their neighborhood and in many cases out of town. Waiting lists for subsidized housing vouchers in Illinois are closed. Nearly 82,000 households use housing vouchers, commonly known as Section 8, but  advocates say there’s a deficit of 321,394 affordable rental units in the state.
“This means that people who need affordable housing to avoid being homeless can’t even get in line and this signals that we need more resources,” said Bob Palmer, policy director for Housing Action Illinois.
Net loss to Chicago -- The 2010 census showed the city of Chicago lost 200,000 people over the last decade. The city now has about as many people as it did in 1910. There are nearly a quarter-million fewer African-Americans in the city than there were two decades ago, a drop of nearly 20% and tens of thousands fewer in the region as a whole. An estimated 1 million Blacks remain — about one-third of Chicago's population.

The political implications are great. A big power-shift marked by redrawn political maps and black pols losing their base of support. The loss of black cultural and educational institutions. Mass school closings in historically black neighborhoods, replaced by privately-run charter schools. Even Chicago State University is now on the chopping block.

I'm sure these numbers haven't eluded machine political strategists and they make plans to maintain their hold on the city and it's school system based on the new demographics.

1 comment:

  1. If exposed concrete ceilings are an "amenity", you can find that in prison for free. Which is probably where at least half of those people belong anyway.

    Anyway, when I get to be emperess (if democracy isn't good enough for Rahm Emanuel, it's not good enough for me) my first decree is going to be that all residential developments have to be mixed income, from subsidized/Section 8 all the way to luxury, no exceptions, not even in currently elite, exclusive areas. My second decree will be to eliminate all forms of school choice, including private schools, religious schools, magnet schools and especially charter schools - and even homeschooling. Kids of the rich and poor, black, white and brown alike will go to their local zoned school, so the rich folks had best get involved and make sure that every school is a good school.


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.