Friday, December 20, 2013

Senior Residents speak about life in Potomac Gardens

Today in the Anacostia Community Museum Archives, I found photos of a museum exhibition put together by senior citizens living in Potomac Gardens public housing in 1994. Potomac Gardens is bordered by G and I Streets between 12th and 13th Streets, SE.

The exhibit was based on the fascinating video, "In Search of Common Ground," produced with funds from the DC Humanities Council. (You can see the entire video here. It is just 14 minutes long.) These residents went on to testify before Congress in support of National Endowment for the Humanities funding. Here is part of the text from one of the placards in the exhibit. The quotations from the residents are particularly interesting.

The Potomac Gardens Community

Life in Washington has presented a variety of opportunities and challenges. Changes in marital status, shifts in earning power, and dispersion of family members has led many people to public housing developments. Communities such as Potomac Gardens were conceived as environments that would encourage social networks. In the 1950s these developments were seen as points of transition to improved rental housing and homeownership. In the late 1960s, however, the perception of public housing  and those who lived in developments began to change. Some members of the Senior Resident Council began their relationship with public housing just as it was beginning to face enormous challenges.

Members of the Senior Resident Council are all vibrant, active people who care deeply for the community in which they live. While aware of their own advancing age and the limitations of a fixed income, they are rediscovering the joys of life and community-supported independence. They are concerned about their children and grandchildren. They volunteer. They travel. They speak up about crime and the physical condition of their residence. They are fulfilling lifelong dreams and creating new roles for themselves. They do not live in the past. They allow the objects and photographs from the past to inform and inspire their current activities. Their life's journeys have been filled with faith.

"My whole life has changed since I've been here at Potomac Gardens. I wasn't able to win nothing, but since I've been here everything has opened up for me.

Everything that ever happened to me would always make me stronger...The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want. I am one that knows that I don't need, don't want for nothing. He makes a way for me all the time."
--Barbara Davis

"When we first came to live here in 1986, it really wasn't a good place to live. It was crime ridden. Now, since they put up the fence [in 1992], it cut down on the running back and forth. The manager that we had, Mr. Taylor, calmed down a lot of the crime by talking to the kids. Then it got so we felt good to go outside and sit.

If it's a bus, a train, or wheel barrel with a top on it -- I'm gone. I've been to St. Louis, Atlanta, Atlantic City, Canada, Florida. I just enjoy life because I don't have all that worry, and the thing of keeping busy all day long is like adrenaline, flowing through your body.

I was baptized a an early age, but I never stayed in church like I was supposed to. But I knew the rights and wrongs of things...but as far as having a spiritual thing, I didn't. I've grown more spiritual in the past four years that Johnny's been gone...It was like something had been taken from me because I never been taken care of the way he took he took care of me...I had to realized, 'Girl, you're on your own,'...and it was like a breath of fresh air...

After that I've been in more things since he died...Now that he's gone I have my nose in everything just like I did at eight."
--Thelma Russell

"Before I moved to Potomac Gardens I was living in Minnesota for eight or nine months with my son. I lost my youngest brother, and it took a total loss on me...I went out there to get peace of mind for a while, and then my sister got sick, I came back because she had cancer. She died in 1991, so I came  back here.

I always wanted to be involved in community work...Being a worker for Friendship House, I like talking to people...I like counseling and mingling with people. Lots of times you learn a lot from people older than you...I never knew my parents, so I love to listen to what seniors have to say. I just does something for me."
--Wilma Gregory

"I had a dog that would eat you up; her name was Whitey. That was Larry's dog -- Larry got killed. My son Willie got hit by a car. All this horrible stuff that's going on in the city...that's all you hear...nothin' I can do about it but pray about it...I don't watch the news that much because I don't want to hear. I've got children that were killed--can't deal with it. Too much pressure.

I ain't got time."
--Emma Johnson

1. Anacostia Community Museum Archives, ACM Records, Photographic Film Series, C11D3F25.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

This Weekend: the DC Historical Studies Conference!

All of you interested in DC Studies are welcome to attend the 40th DC Historical Studies Conference starting this Thursday evening. In today's Post, John Kelly had a great piece about the conference and specifically about the keynote speaker Professor Kate Masur from Northwestern University, speaking on “Black Politics in Civil War Washington: What Spielberg’s ‘Lincoln’ Didn’t Tell You.” I'll be speaking about cooperatives on a DC Home Rule panel. There will also be a panel on gentrification in DC, as well as lots of panels about events much further back in DC's past. Here is the program for the entire conference.

Registration costs just $20 online ($25 at the door). You can register for the conference here:
On Thursday, Professor Masur's talk will take place at GWU’s Jack Morton Auditorium in the Media and Public Affairs Building, 805 21st Street, NW, with a reception starting at 6pm. On Friday and Saturday, the conference will be held all day at the Historical Society of DC (Carnegie Library, 801 K Street, NW).

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Blue-Collar and No-Collar Community News

On a recent road trip to St. Louis, I stopped off at a gas station in Tennessee and noticed Just Busted News. Just Busted is a Tennessee-based weekly, which publishes the names of recently arrested locals, their mug shots, and a description of their arrest charges. Just Busted is just one of several such weeklies. In the issue I purchased for $1, there were *22* pages of mugshots for 10 counties of Eastern Tennessee. There are 95 counties in Tennessee. Yes, 22 pages of rows and rows of mugshots in *one week* in only 10% of Tennessee's counties. Here is just one page on Sevier County, the home of Dollywood. I am writing here about rural Tennessee, but the trends there have many similarities to those in DC and Ward 6.

As many have argued, such weeklies make a profit exploiting people who have just been arrested, presenting them as criminals when in fact they have not been to trial and many are likely innocent. Here I want to talk about a different aspect. Such weeklies sold in gas stations are some of the only sources for community news, especially for those without regular internet access, reporting from an expanding and precarious social world in which increasing numbers of people live.

I had never seen such a paper before, so I asked the gas station cashiers about it:
JB: Why do people buy Just Busted? 
Cashier 1: They buy it just to see if they know anybody.
Cashier 2: Yeah, they want to know if people they know have been arrested. 
The cashiers and their customers regularly read Just Busted. Members of this social world know enough people moving through the courts, jails, and prisons that they would expect to recognize someone in an issue of Just Busted. It reminded me of a kind of Facebook page or alumni magazine, where you could find some significant, though not happy, updates on former classmates, neighbors, acquaintances, and customers. One of the cashiers said that, at another gas station she worked in, she saw at least one customer each week in Just Busted. Just Busted provides news about their social world, even if they possibly live in multiple social worlds.

This social world likely works either in low-wage jobs, such as as cashiers at gas stations, or in the informal economy. While Sevier County has many positives, like a relatively good median household income and educational attainment as compared to the rest of Tennessee, Sevier Country also has some of the worst adult unemployment in Tennessee (12.8% vs. 8.8% in the state as a whole), which is on an upward trend. Many of the arrests reported in Just Busted are related to the rural drug economy: promoting meth manufacture, initiation of meth manufacturing process, "poss soma poss hydrocodone," and "manu poss dist cont con subst." In a county with high unemployment, the informal drug economy can be understood as a means for making a living.  

However, the overwhelming majority of the arrests reported in Just Busted are not for drug crimes, violent crimes, or crimes in a conventional sense. The overwhelming number arrests are for probation violations, failure to obey court orders, and failure to appear. One way to violate probation or parole is to be unemployed and thus unable to pay one's prison fees and fines. It is very difficult for the formerly incarcerated and for those currently on probation or parole to find jobs, which can mean a return to prison. In "The Impossible Debts of Inmates," I wrote about the extreme difficulties that people have paying these fees and fines because they make such low wages inside prison (according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, inmates make between 12 cents and 40 cents per hour) and outside prison.

The economy inside the prison and outside the prison are related. My Mason colleague Professor and Director of Women and Gender Studies Angela Hattery has written a fascinating article, arguing that prisons remove people from the labor pool of the overcrowded low-skill, low-wage service sector and make them unemployable in this formal economy outside the prison. These people are then employable in prison at very low wages. As Hattery and her co-author demonstrate:
Taking the lead from practices such as the convict lease system that have been around for a century or more, dozens of Fortune 500 companies -- including McDonald's, Microsoft, Dell, and Victoria's Secret -- have moved at least part of their operations into prisons. This transition to prison labor allows corporations to significantly cut their labor costs and thus presumably increase their profits.
The social world of the gas station cashiers, rural drug economy workers, and prisoners cross the prison walls. Those working inside prisons and those working outside prisons either in low-wage formal jobs or in the informal economy thus share an expanding social world, which is reflected in the pages of weeklies like Just Busted, a kind of community news for the blue-collar and the no-collar.

In what ways is this also happening in Ward 6?

Monday, October 14, 2013

"The Wire" is part of the problem (Part II)

In her brilliant response to my post on "The Wire," DePaul University English professor Marcy Dinius states:
I don't think "The Wire" wants to represent either The Post-Industrial American City or Baltimore as "recovered and vibrant." (Sometimes Baltimore is the representative post-industrial American city in the show; sometimes it's specifically unique, it's own fucked up place--a specific kind of late-capitalism mid-Atlantic pride that I find both appalling and charming.)...To put it another way, I think the show leaves The City (or maybe just Baltimore) as the one institution that isn't beyond saving, but that may only persist on its own mysterious terms--much like the ecosystem of Walden that Thoreau observes working without human interference. Both get awfully close to implying a reversion to laissez-faire naturalism as the solution to all of these complex man-made problems (Thoreau outright declares this; "The Wire" I think is much more cagey, again, in irresponsible ways).
Yes, I had incorrectly generalized from the rapid, broad sweeping gentrification experienced in Washington, DC, and many other cities, such as New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and, internationally, Berlin, Budapest, Rio de Janeiro, etc. Gentrifying cities have long existed simultaneously with declining cities, most iconically Detroit, and gentrification has existed within declining cities. In "The Wire," Baltimore functions much more as a Detroit-like city, presented as stuck in cynical corrupt world of interrelated declining institutions -- city government, the media, unions, schools, and the police.

Yet, these iconic cities of American decline play an important ideological role. To set the stage, the show begins with the absolute icon of American decline: the public housing project. Why start with a public housing project? The public housing project sets into motion a narrative that somehow everyone seems to know, even if they have never seen a public housing project:  public housing has been and will always be a failure. As someone who commented on a previous post: "Public Housing in the US has largely failed because it failed to maintain housing for the middle class. Any housing (public or private) that only concentrates poverty in a single location is bound to fail. Extreme concentrations of poverty are bound to be problematic." In a just published article "Putting the 'public' back in affordable housing," my colleague Mason sociology professor Tony Samara along with his co-authors have criticized this myth of concentrated poverty, which bizarrely ascribes to the poor and the physical buildings they live in "an impressive ability to degrade entire cities." On the flip side, according to the ridiculous politics of respectability, teens can save entire cities just by pulling up their pants:

The myth of concentrated poverty and the supposed failure of public housing fit within today's conventional narrative about cities and their supposed failed pasts. "The Wire" does not present real public housing residents and their actual lives, which then reinforces these myths. As someone just wrote in the comment section:
The most legitimate criticism I have heard regard The Wire comes from [Yale University sociology professor] Elijah Anderson, who notes the lack of "regular folk" in the show. Nearly everyone in the show is a cop, drug dealer, or corrupt in some way; you very rarely see the "average" person living in the neighborhood, working, and trying to make it through. There are a few exceptions - a witness who gets murdered, the neighborhood improving when Bunny tries a drug legalization program. I suspect Simon [the show's producer] would say that's because it is, at the end of the day, a TV show, and average people aren't all that interesting. 
So, while "The Wire" is an improvement over previous tv shows and shows how problems are deeply interconnected, its focus on corruption and stereotypes reinforces today's conventional myths about cities like DC, about public housing, and about what cities went through in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Response to ""The Wire" is part of the problem"

From my great literature colleague, Professor Marcy Dinius, who has written a fabulous book on the relationship between daguerreotypes and American literature, the unity of visual and print culture:

Hey, Johanna--

It's a really insightful, thought-provoking, compelling post! It was fun to think through some of this with you in between classes yesterday, and I'm glad to have been able to contribute a bit.

I find the following right on: "However, the show never defines socialism (though it would be neither the stagnant welfare state nor the crime economy) or neoliberalism and never suggests any pathway to either, rather we are stuck in the cynical world of both the stagnant welfare state and the innovative crime economy." For me, the show's insistence on stuckness (which excuses, in its commitment to realism, its failure to define socialism) is highly problematic.

I'm somewhat less compelled by this claim, though: "The show performs an ideological function because it reflects the perspective, in an very intelligent and highly entertaining way, of the gentrifiers, the primary viewers of the show. It repeats the narrative that the city was destroyed, but now it is finally recovered and vibrant." I think the show has a much more pedagogical tone, or at least proceeds from a much more pedagogical position: it has a hard lesson to teach its viewers, and it assumes that they've had the chance to learn it before and chosen not to, but through this engagement, they won't be able to deny it anymore. I think it thinks its viewers still believe in the institutions Keynesian welfare state, and that if we just gave more money to schools, or to cops, then test scores would go up and crime would go down and our social problems would be better. Which is to say I think it thinks its assumedly-liberal viewers think of the institutions of the "welfare state" (it's hard for me to call them that, even if it's a technical term) are something like charities--if we all just dropped a few more dimes in the bucket (like during an NPR pledge drive), then we've done our job. And it wants to insist, against that way of thinking, that all of these institutions are interrelated (so that the idea of improving one and that improving social problems as a result will finally die) and have been neglected for so long (nostalgically implying that at some point in the past they may have been salvageable, but that ship has long since sailed) that they're beyond salvation. But again, I think the show works from the idea that its viewers haven't figured these two main points (interrelation and it's too late) out yet, or that they have and are in a state of denial that daily punishes those most affected by this collapse. [I also think it's interested in hammering home, repeatedly, Walter Benn Michaels's mantra: that it's not just race, but also class; (see also Michaels's The Trouble With Diversity.)]

All of the above paragraph said, I don't think "The Wire" wants to represent either The Post-Industrial American City or Baltimore as "recovered and vibrant." (Sometimes Baltimore is the representative post-industrial American city in the show; sometimes it's specifically unique, it's own fucked up place--a specific kind of late-capitalism mid-Atlantic pride that I find both appalling and charming.) I think the way that the whole series ends, with a montage of scenes showing McNulty returning to the city from DC (with a homeless man he's kidnapped--many problems/liberal liberties in that storyline!) and showing parts of the city (many of the characters in the show that we've met over the course of the seasons) living out yet another day, suggest more specifically that the city is just alive, continuing to get by. To put it another way, I think the show leaves The City (or maybe just Baltimore) as the one institution that isn't beyond saving, but that may only persist on its own mysterious terms--much like the ecosystem of Walden that Thoreau observes working without human interference. Both get awfully close to implying a reversion to laissez-faire naturalism as the solution to all of these complex man-made problems (Thoreau outright declares this; The Wire, I think is much more cagey, again, in irresponsible ways).

At the very least, then, I appreciate the show--even with all of its problems--for how much it makes me think. This is a fair bit of intellectual work that we're doing even to figure out that it's wrong and potentially dangerous, and that's more than I'm asked to do by most aspect of late-capitalist American culture (my job included).

Thanks so much again for the exchange!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

"The Wire" is part of the problem

A few years ago, I watched several seasons of "The Wire." At first it was very entertaining, but I soon realized that it presented an insidious, conventional perspective. However, those around me love the show so much that they have neglected their usual critical views and refuse to recognize how the show might be rather problematic and conventional.

Why does my social world love "The Wire"? The show is smart and intelligent, exploring the way that problems today -- poverty, deindustrialization, crime, corruption, substandard schools, and so on -- are not only systemic but also interrelated. This incisive critical analysis works well with the gritty realism of a cop show drama. At the same time, the show moves beyond the cop show genre to play with other genres and play with various stereotypes. It also has authenticity through the incorporation of local actors and local Baltimore scenes.

Sounds good so far. So, what is the problem?

"The Wire" presents a conventional narrative about the decline of the city, not necessarily conventional in television but conventional in cities today. Who is to blame for this decline? The show smartly posits that institutions like government, the media, unionized shipyards, schools, and the police play by their own corrupt rules, which in interaction have brought the decline of the American working class and of American cities. Who is not to blame for this decline? The supposed viewer of the show. Those who watch high-quality cable television are generally upmarket, well-educated, urban professionals, maybe also predominantly white and "unmarked" by any obvious ethnicity (unlike the Polish shipyard worker, for example). This viewer can observe the true excitement of the show, knowing that they are not to blame for the situation but, possibly, they might be the solution. 

"The Wire" has an underlying structure of meaning. On the one hand, it examines the institutions of the New Deal welfare state (also called the Keynesian welfare state in the sociological literature) -- government, police, public education, and unions -- and finds them corrupt, stagnating, and decaying. In opposition, it explores the criminal world of Stringer Bell and Omar, finding it innovative, creative, and flexible. Now, of course, the show does not advocate either one of these options, but this opposition structures the meaning of the show:

The show, however, has another structure of meaning that is less overt. Looking at the show, what might the show suggest as a positive alternative to the Stagnant New Deal Welfare State? In sociology, we often see this alternative as the Neoliberal State, a form of government that presents itself as transparent, non-corrupt, good at technocratic tasks, and committed to serving the public, if the public is responsible and entrepreneurial (thus it is exclusionary):

Now, given that the show presents the media and corporations as close to crime, we can understand the show as criticizing the entire capitalist economy as a kind of free-market crime economy. So, the show could be presenting Socialism as a potential alternative:

This opposition -- socialism versus neoliberalism -- structures the show in a much deeper and more meaningful way. However, the show never defines socialism (though it would be neither the stagnant welfare state nor the crime economy) or neoliberalism and never suggests any pathway to either, rather we are stuck in the cynical world of both the stagnant welfare state and the innovative crime economy. In contrast to the show, sociologists and many other scholars have demonstrated that we have, in fact, moved to a Neoliberal State.

"The Wire" tellingly appeared at a time (2002-2008) when American cities were being, and continue to be, substantially redeveloped with escalating housing prices, worldwide investors pouring money into restaurants and housing developments; the city was and is not declining. The show performs an ideological function because it reflects the perspective, in an very intelligent and highly entertaining way, of the gentrifiers, the primary viewers of the show. It repeats the narrative that the city was destroyed, but now it is finally recovered and vibrant. So, why tell a story of past decline today? Maybe because the conventional narrative about the city posits that decline threatens to return. Or maybe it posits that corrupt institutions and individuals live amongst us now and we, the supposed viewers, should remain vigilant and vote for those with the gentrifiers' perspective.

The problem is the perspective of "The Wire" then provides a way to see the city. When I talked with a Capitol Hill neighbor about the show, she declared that she lived in the ghetto just like the one portrayed in "The Wire." People might think that they can use what they saw in "The Wire" to understand any city (and probably not suburbs or rural areas). The show can be used to (mis)understand what DC was really like in the past, what it is like to live in or nearby public housing today, and what threatens DC today. Yet, this is a television show with writers of fictional crime novels like George Pelicanos working within (and sometimes against) the conventions of crime drama that make "The Wire" appear real. As my literature colleague wrote me: "Not to excuse it, of course; genre structures how we think about real life." I hope that Sociology in My Neighborhood can provide other ways to think about the city. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

40th Annual Conference on DC Historical Studies

Here's the schedule for the upcoming 40th Annual Conference on DC Historical Studies. It is going to be great. I highly recommend Professor Masur's lecture on Thursday night and, of course, the reception, but all the sessions are fabulous. The conference space is beautiful too. Drop by even for one or two sessions. All the newest research on DC topics!

Thursday, November 14, 2013 – Location: George Washington University
6:00-7:00  All-Conference Reception
7:00-9:00 Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Lecture
Featuring Kate Masur, Professor of History at Northwestern University,author of An Example for All the Land: Emancipation and the Struggle over Equality in Washington, D.C. (University of North Carolina Press, 2010). 
Friday, November 15, 2013 – Location: Carnegie Library/Historical Society of Washington DC
9:00-9:30 Opening
9:30-11:00 Session 1: Alley Life in Washington DC, 1865-1935
11:00-11:15 break
11:00-12:30 Concurrent Sessions
• 2:  Freedom-seeking During the Civil War: United States Colored Troops,Contrabands, and Fugitive Slaves in the District of Columbia,
• 3:  Memorials
• 4:  The Transition to Home Rule in Washington, D.C.
12:15-2:00 History Network
2:15-3:30 Concurrent Sessions
• 5: Marching on Washington: African American Architects in Washington
• 6: Civil War Washington
• 7: African American Women and Washington
3:30-3:45 break
3:45-5:30 Concurrent Sessions
•  8: Gentrification and its Discontents: Displacement and policy efforts to mitigate its effects, 1970- 2013
•  9: 1814 and 1864
• 10: Collections in DC repositories
5:30-6:30: Chinatown – a new film looking at today’s Chinatown and its future in the context of historical studies 
Saturday, November 16, 2013 – Location: Carnegie Library/Historical
Society of Washington DC
9:00-9:30 Opening
• 11:  A Century of Federal Workers in Washington DC
• 12: Campus and Complex in the Nation’s Capital
• 13: Public Facilities and Racial Equity in Washington
10:45-11:00 break
11:15-12:30 Concurrent Sessions
• 14: Prince Hall Freemasonry in the District of Columbia
• 15: Washington's Culinary History
• 16: The District of Columbia in the Antebellum Years
12:30-2:00 Concurrent Sessions / Lunch
• 17: HGIS: Digitally Mapping History in DC and Beyond
• 18: Public Service Commission at 100
2:15-3:30 Concurrent Sessions
• 19: African American Washington
• 20:  Protests
• 21: DC Community History Project: Discovering Hidden Communities
3:30-3:45 break
3:45-5:30 Concurrent Sessions
• 22: The Archaeology of DC Parks and the Play DC Playground Initiative
• 23: Neighborhood Change and Placemaking
• 24: War of 1812 
Sunday, November 17, 2013 –Locations – various tours
• Bladensburg bus tour
• Downtown/Lafayette Square/Mall tours 
Films will also run on a loop in one of the rooms throughout the conference Friday and Saturday.
The conference is co-sponsored by Association of the Oldest Inhabitants of D.C., Charles Sumner School Museum & Archives, Cultural Tourism DC, GeorgeWashington University, H-DC, Washington, D.C. History (, the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., Humanities Council of Washington, DC, Rainbow History Project, Special Collections/DC Public Library (Washingtoniana Division).For most up-to-date information visit:

Monday, September 2, 2013

Deconcentrating poverty or deconcentrating affluence?

Many people do not realize how wealthy they are relative to the rest of the District, the country, or worldwide. DC, in fact, has the most households in the nation making over $200,000 (8.4% of households or 21,194 households) and has the highest Gini coefficient (.534) in the US, that is, the highest level of inequality nationwide, according to the Census. To make it into the top 5% of American household incomes, your household has to make at least $188,000. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in DC, those in the following jobs would quite easily make it into the top 5%:
  • Surgeon, $241,330
  • General internist, $217,330
  • Chief Executive, $198,120
 or as a two-earner household:
  • Family and general practitioner, $173,050
  • Lawyer, $159,790
  • Sales manager, $136,920
  • PR and fundraising managers $129,940
  • Database administrator, $95,690
Where is your household in the income hierarchy? (See here). Where does Ward 6 fit into the income hierarchy? 

Using the Census' American Community Survey, I looked at census tracts 71 (the long-standing lowest-income census tract in Ward 6) and 67 (the long-standing wealthiest census tract in Ward 6)(1).

You can see that these two census tracts are very close to each other. From the data, I found that census tract 67 has a very large percentage of households making over $200,000: about 30% of census tract 67 makes $200,000 or more, while only 5% do in census tract 71. In addition, no families live in poverty in census tract 67, while it is estimated that 47% of those in census tract 71 do. It is further estimated that about 70% of those living in poverty in census tract 71 are under 18 years of age; they are children. Interestingly, census tract 71 looks much more like the rest of the country than census tract 67. The wealth of census tract 67 and the poverty of census tract 71 are, in fact, related.

Many people think that poverty can be reduced by "deconcentrating" poverty, by moving the poor away from areas with concentrated poverty. At the American Sociological Association annual conference this August, sociologists working on poverty and race -- such as Professors William Julius Wilson, Mary Patillo, and Douglas Massey, whom I heard speak -- demonstrated that displacing the poor in almost all cases will not help them because they are usually displaced to areas with even more concentrated poverty. Rather, poverty and inequality have to be dealt with where the poor live, recognizing that areas of poverty and areas of wealth are interrelated.

Alternatively, given the lack of households living in poverty in census tract 67, it might make sense if several of the families living in poverty in census tract 71 moved to census tract 67. In his article about public housing, British geography professor Tom Slater has argued that the problem is not the concentration of poverty but rather the "concentration of affluence" in which people are "utterly insulated from the dignified daily struggles endured" by their neighbors and do not realize that their own actions and decisions impact the lives of those living in poverty. How might Ward 6 deconcentrate affluence?

(1) In this case, the American Community Survey surveyed large samples of households over 2007-2011. Since the survey does not include everyone in the country, it produces only estimates.