All posts by subu7023

I'm a (mature) student of the social services with some background in publishing and a degree in history. I've seen suburban poverty through involvement with a drop-in centre.

(1147) Kushner Estates


Baltimore, MD. Out near I-695,  just a stone’s throw from Golden Ring Plaza, a bad landlord plies his trade.  Excellent work, Jared.
The beleaguered tenants of ‘Kushnerville’. Tenants in more than a dozen Baltimore-area rental complexes complain about a property owner who they say leaves their homes in disrepair, humiliates late-paying renters and often sues them when they try to move out. Few of them know that their landlord is the president’s son-in-law
propublica.org
image: DonkeyHotey via Flickr/CC

(1146) This might be kinda cool!

Strong Towns is such a wonderful blog, always interesting.  Like this piece about the possibilities for artists and makers in places where:
”…the next Mecca of the creative class is most likely to emerge. This is the kind of rapidly declining suburban landscape that is in evidence all across North America. It isn’t leafy and tranquil like the better suburbs. The schools are crap. But it isn’t vibrant like the best urban locations either. This spot is too far from the city to easily access good jobs, but it’s just close enough to receive the undesirable overflows from the greater metroplex. Tax revenues are evaporating just as legacy public obligations really start to roll in. Property values are dropping like a stone. The authorities are already quietly withdrawing in an attempt to maintain the better parts of town. Perfect!”
The future of unlikely places
On the other hand, this is also Kensington:

For these Philly librarians, drug tourists and overdose drills are part of the job
philly.com

image: Marc-Anthony Macon via Flickr/CC

(1144) Tragedy & comedy in the financial trenches


Breaks for earners over $100K per year.
Breakdowns for workers.
Tragedy:
Financial challenges mount for millions of Canadians because of income volatility, study finds
business.financialpost.com
Comedy:
CBC Investigates: number of highest-earning Canadians paying no income tax is growing. CBC analysis reveals about 6,000 earning more than $100,000 got legal break in 2014
cbc.ca/news
image: Images Money via Flickr/CC

(1143) Citizen psychology


If the poor are less likely to vote then they won’t do much to advocate for themselves in the form of activism, letter writing or calling elected representatives either, will they?
In Ontario there is an opportunity to lift up the status of the working poor.  This is a moment when a push from the electorate could make a difference.
Advocates: Ontario plan to overhaul labour laws, boost minimum wage step in the right direction. Labour advocates applaud sweeping labour reforms and Ontario’s plan to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, but say it needs to happen soon
metronews.ca
Ontario to consider boosting minimum wage to $15, increasing paid sick days.
cbc.ca/news
UK-based academic research confirms what many have suspected for years; that low-income people have little faith in the system.
How poverty makes people less likely to vote. It is not surprising that so many of the poorest people choose not to vote. Theirs is not an act of apathy – for they are often intensely political – but of disgust
theguardian.com
image: duncan c via Flickr/CC

(1142) Reimagining the dead malls

Figuring out what to do with overbuilt retail could become part of creating a better suburban economy, no?  One suited to present reality better than dreams of endless, mindless growth?
We recently went along on an organized walk to see a mall here in Mississauga, Ontario that has replaced much of its retail space with services.  One of its former anchor stores has been insurance company office space for years now.  Many U.S. malls are in places where the surrounding economy is not as strong as it is here.  That’s a problem.   But if the dead malls are up and built on land already hooked up to municipal services then they are candidates for some creative thinking.  We’d rather see a dead mall redeveloped than farmland destroyed.
Here’s what could happen to America’s hundreds of dead malls
businessinsider.com

Where a shopping mall used to be an opportunity arises
The decline of malls in America can mean lost jobs and lower tax revenues for states and municipalities — but not always
governing.com

image: Travis Estell via Flickr/CC