Seeking Solidarity Between Place-Based and Economic Justice Work

Last week, Brentin Mock over at CityLab had an incisive response to Peter Dreier’s Shelterforce article, The Revitalization Trap. Mock didn’t dispute Dreier’s argument that the goals of the community development movement won’t be won solely with place-based work, and requires large-scale policies to address wage stagnation, labor rights, and inequality. As Dreier says:

The solution is full employment with decent pay and benefits, and only the federal government has the capacity (and responsibility) to guarantee that everyone who wants to work has a job.

American workers today face declining job security and dwindling earnings as companies downsize, move overseas, and shift more jobs to part-time workers. Place-based policies cannot address these major trends.

But Mock pointed out that there are two reasons to nonetheless not dismiss place-based work. First, he said, is the issue of racism. All of the various economic challenges that Dreier describes do not fall evenly across different demographics—and therefore solutions that only raise average wages or decrease unemployment, for example—will also not do anything to rectify the racial inequities that hold us back:

Read the full article at Rooflines


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