Urban Fold

Official's Embrace of Gentrification Causes Stir in Detroit

Speaking at an event this week, Detroit's economic development czar was unabashed in his support of gentrification for the troubled city. The subject is a sore one for a city that still recalls the rampant black displacement of the 1940s and ’50s.

"George Jackson Jr., the influential leader of economic development in Detroit, told an audience in Grosse Pointe Farms that he’s a staunch supporter of gentrification because the city needs a larger tax base to emerge from a decades-long funk," reports Steve Neavling. "Speaking at a forum about Detroit’s future Tuesday evening, the president and CEO of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation said gentrification is 'one of the costs of progress.'”

“When I look at this city’s tax base, I say bring on more gentrification,” Jackson told the audience. “I’m sorry, but, I mean, bring it on. We can’t just be a poor city and prosper.”

"But the comments couldn’t be timelier," adds Neavling. "In the past few weeks, hundreds of low-income residents and seniors have been told they are being evicted from at least four large apartment buildings."

Full Story: ‘Bring on more gentrification,’ declares Detroit’s economic development czar, George Jackson

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