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Burning Spear News

Stop gentrification of the black community! Unity through reparations!

Jul 22, 2019
Anne Hirsch, Uhuru Solidarity Movement

St. Petersburg is a city divided!
 
There is a systematic plan by politicians and the developers, who fill their campaign accounts with big bucks, to push poor and working class black families out of their homes and businesses on the southside of St. Pete.
 
As a white woman who has lived here for over 50 years, I have witnessed this attack on the black community and I am disgusted by it.  
 
I know I speak for many white people in this city, who do not want city officials displacing elderly black Jordan Park residents in order for big developers to make profits.
 
We understand that when new luxury apartments downtown push up the cost of housing for everyone in St. Petersburg, black families suffer most!
 
It takes a minimum wage worker 108 hours per week of work or the equivalent of three jobs to afford a two bedroom rental apartment in St. Petersburg. That means there is no affordable housing for many regular working people and black workers are often paid less per hour than white workers.
 
We are horrified to hear about police, on every corner in the black community, stalking young black people, arresting and charging them with crimes that young white people are never charged with. Knowing they will be brutalized and could be killed in the process of those arrests makes this even more distressing.
 
We are appalled at the media depiction of black youth as thugs. The entire young black community is characterized as criminals when a few teens race cars in a parking lot, something I remember white boys doing at Dixie Hollins High when I was a teen. All white youth were not criminalized because of that.
 
Police and media attacks on the black community open the door for gentrification.

These attacks work in tandem with the plans of powerful politicians and predatory developers to steal more land from the southside black community.
 
We will not take their side! There is a growing movement in this city, of people who stand with the demand of the black community to stop this all out assault on black people, black families and black children.
 
This movement to elect Eritha Akilé Cainion for District 7 and Anne Hirsch for District 5 city council is creating a hostile environment for the capitalist elite developers. We can make it impossible for them to carry on in this city.
 
Reparations are due to the black community to restore the economic life of the community destroyed by the city government and these greedy developers over the last few decades. 
 
The black community’s demand that the city return the land under the dome, which once housed 100 businesses, 800 homes and a black graveyard, before it was demolished by city officials, is the first step! 
 
The reparations demand requires an infusion of capital for the black community to redevelop that area and rebuild the housing and businesses in that black neighborhood.
 
Our city is flush with cash now! City officials have spent it frivolously and unnecessarily over the last few years.
 
I am offended by the building of a new police station for one hundred million dollars, a piece of artwork on the waterfront for another one million dollars and thirty-five million dollars for downtown parking and transportation for tourists and rich white condo owners, while black residents and regular working people struggle to survive in this city. 
 
When we invest our tax dollars in reparations, there will be commerce within the black community once again! This will lift the southside black community out of poverty creating a prosperous healthy community for everyone who lives there.  
 
This development will raise the tax base of St. Pete instead of enriching greedy out of town developers and the current city council and mayor!   The building of affordable housing will take pressure off the housing market and rents will go down. Regular working people will once again be able to afford housing in St. Petersburg.
 
It is this kind of development that will uplift the entire city! 
 
Reparations to the black community just makes sense. It halts gentrification, and creates a city where everyone can thrive, no one at the expense of any other! 
 
This is a bold new vision! It is the only truly progressive, sustainable way to develop St. Petersburg!
 
Join this social movement to make it happen. It is you, who will put Akilé and I in office! It is you, who will take back the power for yourselves in this city and kick out the corrupt greedy politicians and developers. 
 
St. Pete ran the first ever reparations candidates in 2017! In 2019 we will be the first city to elect reparations representatives to city council! 
 
Donate and come out to volunteer with our Akilé and Anne brigade!  The excitement is palpable! People are thrilled to have an alternative to the same old negative ideas that tell us it just takes time. That is a lie! 
 
We can halt the building of luxury condos today! We can create a city based on the needs of the people, not the greed of a few. Join the campaign and together we will unify our city through reparations to the black community!
 
Vote August 27th for Anne Hirsch for District 5 and Eritha Akilé Cainion for District 7 city council!

Unity through reparations!

 

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