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Next City Wants Your Op-Ed about Middle Neighborhoods

August 21st, 2018 | Next City

Next City and The American Assembly are soliciting op-eds about middle neighborhoods—Where are they? Why are they important? And what are the biggest obstacles to addressing their needs?

If you are a resident, community organizer, practitioner, researcher or policymaker working to effect change in middle neighborhoods—and perhaps rewriting the playbook in order to do so—your input is needed.

Neither hot market areas nor overly distressed with falling prices, middle neighborhoods are reasonably affordable, stable, and safe. They are among the most racially and socioeconomically diverse neighborhoods in the nation and play an important role in building opportunity and prosperity. And while they get little national attention, there is a growing movement to document and share strategic interventions and policies that stabilize them.

Which is why we want to hear from you.

On the edge between growth and decline, middle neighborhoods are a subject of growing importance and we’d love to hear your insights. A sample list of Op-Ed topics to address include:

  • How do you define middle neighborhoods? What are their characteristics and why do they matter?
  • What steps have policymakers, planners, developers, activists or residents taken—working alone or together—to protect or stabilize middle neighborhoods?
  • What is the opportunity for coordinated action at a larger scale (regional, state, or federal) to support middle neighborhoods?

Please address all submissions (or pitches) to editor Oscar Perry Abello at oscar@nextcity.org, and include “Middle Neighborhoods Op-Ed Idea” in the subject line. Feel free to submit anything from a few bullet points to a full draft. The deadline for submissions is September 10th, 2018.

If published, Op-Ed submissions will be included in presentation materials at the next national meeting on middle neighborhoods in Cleveland, OH on Nov 13th-14th, 2018. The meeting is presented in partnership by The American Assembly, local community groups and the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland. Practitioners, policymakers, and researchers will share insights and learn about recent efforts to build the knowledge base around middle neighborhoods. The meeting will also provide practical information about how to mobilize support to better serve these communities. To learn more, visit www.middleneighborhoods.org or contact Stephanie Sung at The American Assembly, ss4336@columbia.edu.

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The hidden costs of foreclosure: Stabilizing low-income Philadelphia neighborhoods helps us all

July 9th, 2018 | The Philadelphia Inquirer

By Elyse Cherry

The foreclosure crisis may have eased across much of America, but it’s still a problem in lower-income communities, nationwide and particularly in Philadelphia.

In 2017, Philadelphia had the third-highest foreclosure rate of metro areas in the United States at 1.26 percent, more than double the national average of 0.51 percent. RealtyTrac currently reports that there are nearly 7,000 properties in Philadelphia in some stage of foreclosure.

Foreclosure continues to destabilize lower-income and minority communities and affect home values throughout Philadelphia. Historically, Philadelphia’s black population built wealth through homeownership in predominantly African American “middle” neighborhoods, where home values ranged from roughly 50 percent below to 50 percent above the city’s median home sale price ($96,500).

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Has urban renewal come at the cost of suburban decline?

June 8th, 2018 | The Times-Picayune

By Kevin Litten

The magazine Governing published a report Friday (June 8) that examines the decline and neglect of urban “middle neighborhoods” — the highly diverse pockets of affordable housing where middle-class families have lived for decades.

They are places where people often moved after other urban neighborhoods became too dangerous, and in recent years, more expensive. Forty years ago, these were neighborhoods attractive for having newer housing stock and infrastructure, and they were places where families would know their neighbors — simply because no one had any real cause to move away, according to the report.

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Dwight Evans seeks second term in Congress

April 27th, 2018 | The Philadelphia Tribune

By Michael D’Onofrio

Incumbent Dwight Evans said he will rely on a his political record and experience as a longtime politician against a political newcomer in the upcoming Democratic primary.

“Who is most effective and who will get things done?” Evans asked during a recent Philadelphia Tribune editorial board meeting. “I provide the kind of leadership that is necessary to address the issues.”

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McClinton wants gun violence declared a public health crisis

April 25th, 2018 | The Philadelphia Tribune

By Stacy Brown

During a series of hearings on gun violence before the House Judiciary Committee, state Rep. Joanna McClinton (D-191), highlighted what she called the disparity in coverage of gun violence between low-income communities of color and more affluent majority-white communities.

“While it took tragedies like the Parkland [Fla. high school] and Las Vegas shootings to gather us here, I would like to remind everyone that communities of color in Philadelphia, Delaware, Berks, Dauphin, Cambria and Allegheny counties have been victims of gun violence for decades,” McClinton said during her testimony.

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Saying Housing Drives Income Inequality Misses Some Big Points

By

Studies over time have examined connections between income inequality and housing. As Richard Florida, a senior editor at The Atlantic and University Professor and Director of Cities at the University of Toronto’s Martin Prosperity Institute argued, “a mounting body of research suggests that housing inequality may well be the biggest contributor to our economic divides.”

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Press Release: “Congressman Evans Raises Dialogue on Middle Neighborhoods in Congress”

May 19, 2017 | Media Center, Congressman Dwight Evans

By Becca Brukman

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, Congressman Dwight Evans (PA-02) hosted a congressional briefing in D.C. to bring together a group of stakeholders who are working on the city, state and federal level to put policies in place that help strengthen our Middle Neighborhoods.

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