Over the past several decades, it has grown increasingly clear that many of the United States’ policies and practices created for the purpose of improving the economic conditions and environments of the poor and marginalized are no longer working. In some instances, it appears that such policies have never worked. This begets the question: Who is best suited to determine the needs of the poor and who is obligated to support and sustain those needs?
Economic, political, religious, and social policies are complex. They can also be dangerous when abused or misunderstood. When this occurs, the abuse and misunderstandings can have people advocating and fighting for things they don’t really believe or truly desire. What do I mean? Community revitalization ideologies and policies are built around people and the environment. Such policies have historically been shaped around the perceived needs of poor people. What many people do not realize or have never stopped to consider is that these policies that impact the lives of many people have been constructed from a melting pot of individuals, of people with vastly differing agendas, beliefs, experiences, and opinions–ideologies.
Furthermore, when it comes to things such as displacement, eviction, and gentrification, there are typically three common factors, no matter where on the globe the community may be: poverty, politics, and policy. There is always more to the story than what the average observer may think. The backstory is what ultimately set the stage for this book.