The Surreal Estate

Perspectives on Tenant Organizing from the Urban Homesteading Assistance Board

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Friday News Round Up!

Well, it’s Friday and you know what that means…it’s the Friday News Round Up!

1. In a hilarious turn of events, Justin Beiber and girlfriend Selena Gomez have entered into the nation’s debates on immigration.  Representative Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) , the chair of the Immigration Task Force of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, spoke to congress on Wednesday about the flaws of the Supreme Court ruling on anti-immigrant law SB1070.  Here’s what Representitive Gutierrez said, as told by the NYDaily News:

“These young people have overcome their very different national origins and become apparently a happy couple,” Gutierrez said as stood beside the photos of Bieber and Gomez. “I’m sure Justin helped Gomez learn all about American customs and feel more at home in her adopted country.”

“Oh, wait a minute. I’m sorry,” Gutierrez added. “Because I’m not a trained Arizona official, I somehow got that backwards. Actually, Ms. Gomez of Texas has helped Mr. Bieber of Canada learn about his adopted country. Justin, when you perform in Phoenix, remember to bring your papers.”

Treated!  

2. Fresh Direct, the grocery delivery service,  announced plans to move forward with its expansion into Hunts Point despite large-scale community protest.  While the company defends itself by declaring it will help with job growth in the community, it’s only recently (as a result of massive criticism) that the company agreed to deliver to Bronx neighborhoods  besides Woodlawn and Riverdale and accept Food Stamps.  More importantly for the community, however, is the amount of pollution and traffic that the expansion will bring to the already environmentally unhealthy community.  Monxo Lopez, a leader of South Bronx Unite, told the New York Times that:

“Any project that brings pollution — visual, noise or air pollution — we are against,” Mr. Lopez said. “We know the need for jobs and economic development in the area, but we know there are other ways those goals can be achieved.”

3.  What does an an actually integrated city look like?  A fascinating article by Emily Badger in the Atlantic Cities takes a look at the recent claim that American Cities are less segregated than ever before.  In a research study, Richard Wright, Steven R. Holloway, and Mark Ellis produced a series of maps showing the shifts in diversity and segregation in dozens of U.S. cities.  In analyzing the research, Badger writes that:

Many cities are seeing an increase in integrated neighborhoods and an increase in segregated ones at the same time…The time sequence above shows that much of the all-white Washington suburban region has now become moderately diverse. But the dark green area (black neighborhoods with scant diversity) has expanded, too, to the east of the city.

Check out the map sequences which demonstrate shifts in diversity and segregation based on state or metro area here.

4. In case you’ve been in a coma for the past day and a half, the US Supreme Court deemed the Affordable Health Act (or ObamaCare) constitutional!  Hooray! If you’re curious about how this impacts you directly, check out this little game from Obama’s website. In a nutshell, the act changes the way that the corrupt health care system functions and deems it illegal to deny specific types of patients affordable care.  It makes it a requirement, when possible, for everyone to buy into health care, and penalizes you through taxes if you don’t do it.  We’d just like to just leave you with this quote (as written in the NYTimes):

“Although an individual might buy a car or a crown of broccoli one day, there is no certainty she will ever do so,” Justice Ginsburg wrote. “And if she eventually wants a car or has a craving for broccoli, she will be obliged to pay at the counter before receiving the vehicle or nourishment. She will get no free ride or food, at the expense of another consumer forced to pay an inflated price.”

Have a great weekend!

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