OUR ANTI-GENTRIFICATION, BUY-BACK THE BLOCK CAMPAIGN
The Pittsburgh community of Atlanta, headquarters of COMMUNITY MOVEMENT BUILDERS, is pushing back against gentrification with policy initiatives, public anti-gentrification campaigns, and land acquisition campaigns. We seek to leverage resources in the community to create housing for activists, low and moderate income housing to support African Americans, and land trusts for long-term sustainability. Our goal is to use this model to stop gentrification and create a healthy Black community.
COMMUNITY MOVEMENT BUILDERS owns two properties in the community. Please help us grow our property buy-back campaign to advance a strong and sustainable Black community. If you make a donation, click the "Write Us a Comment" box and write buy-back in the comment line. CMB will gladly direct your investment/donation towards the purchasing of additional property in the community.
GENTRIFICATION is an economic process of demand in which profit-hungry real estate enthusiasts and private developers from outside of the community buy up homes of community members and drive up the cost of living--transforming a neighborhood's racial and economic makeup and forcing poorer, often Black residents out of their homes and communities. The new arrivals of these transitions are more often moderate- to upper-income Whites, and are invariably persons who do not preserve, support, or value the community culture or residents that they have uprooted. At CMB, we believe the effects of gentrification are far-reaching on Black communities in a harmful way, a violent way, and that our government has a responsibility to uphold a level of human rights that does not promote this kind of violence.
Gentrification is usually sold under the guise of “urban planning” meant to improve neighborhood with new parks, dog parks, walking and biking trails, upscale coffee shops, eateries and new bars specializing in craft beers and wines. Housing prices begin to increase as luxury and so-called “mixed-income” housing is developed.
Residents are told that safety is a top priority as new policing techniques, cameras and arrest patterns are implemented against poor and or jobless residents. The older residents are promised safer neighborhoods but are not part of the planning process of what the new neighborhood will look like. This dynamic currently underway in the city of Atlanta and more specifically in the community of Pittsburgh.
Pittsburgh Community, Atlanta Ga
Founded in 1883 by formally enslaved Africans who became Black industrial workers, Pittsburgh is one of Atlanta’s oldest neighborhoods. It became a destination for families looking to move away from counties to the south of Atlanta where the Ku Klux Klan was active. The railyards that skirted the community were a major source of pollution, and lookers-on likened it to the smog created by the steel mills in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The association stuck, and the community would become permanently known as Pittsburgh. African-American businesses lined McDaniel Street in its early days as segregation prevented blacks from shopping in white business districts.
Pittsburgh boasts a number of assets that are now making it attractive to developers and investors. It is connected via an ample grid of city streets, and located very close to Interstates 75-85. It is an Atlanta Belt-Line neighborhood – a distinction limited to 40 or so communities along a 22-mile loop of parks, trails and transit currently under construction. A new study has shown that the “Belt-line” project is devastating Atlanta’s affordable housing, “Sustainable for whom? Green urban development, environmental gentrification, and the Atlanta Beltline,” The report outlines sharp increases in home values in low-income and largely African-American communities in the southwest segment, the next planned area for the BeltLine to break ground. Neighborhoods such as Adair Park, Pittsburgh, Mechanicsville, and Westview have seen median sale prices jump 68 percent from 2011 to 2015.
The COMMUNITY MOVEMENT BUILDERS community house hosts our Siafu Youth Corps, the home-schooling program of a partner organization- AJCLLC; Renegade Clothing coop, and we are developing a food sovereignty program that will feature a Black farmers market this spring. We are working with others in the neighborhood to develop and launch an organizing campaign, and we have also purchased a second property in the community.