Confronting ongoing gentrification of our community is a big part of the challenge to promote a better quality of life for all, without displacing long-term residents. This presentation is by Dr. Johanna Bockman, a faculty member of the Sociology and Anthropology Department, George Mason University. Dr. Bockman, who lives in Ward 6, is also a blogger at Sociology in My Neighborhood: DC Ward 6.
According to the Report on State of Human Rights in DC, February 2012: “According to a 2011 report by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, African-Americans continue to face rampant discrimination in housing and employment in D.C. The report, “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing in the District of Columbia,” notes that landlords still often refuse to rent to African-Americans and there are only a few subsidized housing units west of Rock Creek Park, a predominantly white area. Whether intentional or not, historic and ongoing gentrification has driven out Black residents, particularly middle/working class families, who as a result of housing policies and rising rents, could no longer afford to live in the District. Forty years ago, 71% of D.C. residents were Black, now (2010) only 50.7% are Black (Demographics of Washington, D.C.). Growing income inequality in the District is consistent with these changes in demographics.” This report is an assessment of the human rights record of our local and federal governments since DC self-declared itself as a Human Rights City, on December 10, 2008, the first U.S. city to do so. Our District government and elected officials received Fs for Poverty reduction and income equality and welfare of children.