One of the most important focuses of Asbury Park Complete Streets Coalition is equity. AP is in a renaissance period, and there’s a great and understandable fear that residents may be displaced. We want to help prevent that from happening. The city is keenly aware of the need to work within the community to come up with solutions, and the advocates of APCSC is happy to be a part of this work.
“ALWAYS ASK, “WHO BENEFITS?”
In graduate school, I had a professor who would refer critically to the “white proximity model” of neighborhood revitalization. Shelterforce describes this model as follows:
Somehow, policymakers and government officials have bought the myth that simply by living next door to each other, wealthy white professionals will lift poor Black people out of poverty — serving as role models and handing out job referrals.
Few people might consciously agree with that provocative statement, but common narratives about how to deal with concentrated poverty — disperse it, and facilitate moving poor people into “opportunity neighborhoods” and wealthy people into poor neighborhoods — are laden with unconscious and unexamined bias about what makes a neighborhood rich with opportunity in the first place.”
“Far too many of us listen to people looking for where they’re wrong. We immediately go into dissecting, “Fisking” mode. At our worst, we’re hoping to score points rather than engage with what we might learn from what they’re saying.
Instead, when you listen to someone you disagree with (especially someone you disagree with), listen for where they’re right. Everyone is right about something. Everyone believes what they believe because of something in their own experience, some basic truth that motivates his or her world view. Find that person’s ground truth.
You can learn something from everyone who cares about your city.”