Infrastructure investment and planning impacts the build environment all around us - our parks, housing, tree canopy, and roads, streets, and bridges, affect how people thrive. Anti-displacement infrastructure investments are rooted in justice bases values recognizing that investment without intention results in gentrification and loss of community. By focusing on community centered and driven solutions, we can improve our neighborhoods without fear of being pushed out of them.
Gentrification is class based displacement. In the United States, gentrification is tied deeply to racism with Black and Brown communities experiencing gentrification and thus displacement disproportionately. One example of local gentrification is the historically Black neighborhoods of Albina in NE Portland. Many neighbors who have roots in Albina now live in outer east Portland due to gentrification and displacement
Redlining was a practice by banks and urban planners in which neighborhoods were financially segregated. This means that communities with a high percentage of BIPOC and immigrants and refugees were denied the same loans and insurance that middle, upper, and even low income white communities were given.
When neighborhoods don’t receive the resources they need, they become divested in. In 1968, the Fair Housing Act was passed which made redlining illegal but other discriminatory housing and planning practices continued into the 1990’s, and their legacy of racism persists today.
Eminent domain is the government’s power to seize privately owned property for the public use - with payment. This power has been used to displace communities of color under the guise of urban renewal.
In Albina, the government used the power of eminent domain to destroy homes and businesses to build the I-5, forcing community members out of their neighborhoods. Eminent domain is still used today, most commonly for freeway expansion. Black and Brown communities continue to be the first displaced.
Multi-Modal simply means that there is more than one mode. In transportation planning, this means that we look at the variety of ways people get from here to there. Advocates of this type of planning want to invest in infrastructure for pedestrians, bicyclists, and public transit users.
Affordable housing is based on median family income (MFI). Under current zoning laws affordable housing is usually listed at 60% - 80% of MFI. We believe truly affordable housing is 30% MFI to meet the needs of our low income and vulnerable community members.
As our state receives critical federal investments in infrastructure, we have an opportunity to reimagine what our transportation system looks like. We must prioritize innovation and the development of multi-modal transportation projects that incorporate mass transit, walking, and biking infrastructure – and link those projects at the local level.
Ensuring that all residents have access to safe, reliable, and efficient transit options is an essential part of building vibrant communities. With seven high crash corridors in our district, we must improve the safety of our transportation infrastructure – including roads and bridges, buses, bike paths, and sidewalks.
Lack of affordable housing continues to disproportionately impact Black and Brown communities. To address this, we must center anti-displacement and displacement mitigation strategies into all our projects and policies.
While we increase the supply of safe, affordable housing, protect renters, and increase opportunities for homeownership, we must link housing with public infrastructure health and wellness, and equitable education, so that families are able to experience the full scope of economic justice that comes with stable housing.
East Portland has far fewer parks than the rest of the city. We had roughly 40% of Portland's youth population but only 13% of the City's park acreage. Greenspaces like parks, urban orchards, community gardens, and even pedestrian centered streets with tree canopy and planters provide a vital component to healthy neighborhoods. Not only do these spaces mitigate climate change, they are also good for our mental health and wellness.