Melting Pot Dynamics

A look, from the perspective of the new 'Main Streets' program in Washington D.C., at the joys and pangs of bringing change to a neighborhood deeply embedded in its cultural roots.
November 3, 2003, 12pm PST | Connie Chung
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In the midst of a new 'Main Streets' program in Washington D.C., "African Americans with generations-deep roots in the city worried aloud that Latino and upper-income white newcomers were going to take over....It is the city's most vibrant melting pot, residents and community leaders agree -- one that sometimes simmers uncomfortably for newcomers and old-timers alike....In the years since, the community has slowly, tentatively started to knit itself back together -- at farmers markets and community festivals; through public planning processes and lively neighborhood e-mail groups; by sharing coffee at local markets or eateries; while enjoying a soccer match, fireworks or a concert on the recently restored green space....Many tensions remain, however, none bigger than that between the affluent newcomers who are pushing real estate prices sky-high and the low-earning longtime residents struggling to remain in housing they can afford."

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Friday, October 31, 2003 in The Washington Post
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