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tv   American Political History Conference - Urban Political History  CSPAN  June 20, 2022 3:15am-4:47am EDT

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there's only coming here. margaret partner perfect, all right. we'll go as in. all right. good afternoon, everyone. it's great to see you. i'm margaret o'meara. i'm professor of history at the university of washington, and i'm really excited to be here to
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moderate and introduce these fantastic authors of these fantastic new books in urban politics and urban history. and so this is gonna be a roundtable discussion in which our four authors are going to give each of you a brief preview of their books. each of their books the the major questions they engage and then we're going to move to a roundtable discussion that i'm going to moderate of questions for them about their individual work and collectively and then we're going to open it up for discussion from with everyone in the room. this is being broadcast live on c-span. so because of that we have the bright lights and we have microphones so that everyone out there can hear us and in if you do when we when i do open it up for discussion and what you do have a question and i you had asked that you go to the microphone in the middle of the room and and ask your question there and also introduce yourself and identify yourself and end your affiliation if you would like so that we know who's
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speaking so with without that with without further ado. i'm going to introduce our our panelists. and i will introduce them in alphabetical order, but we will go down the line in the order. let's see, actually, why don't i work? yes, let's let's go in the order that you are sitting at the table. does that does that make sense? i think that's the order in which you appear in the program. should we do that so, but i'm going to introduce everyone at the top and then we will go from there. all right first mike masqua is assistant professor of history at georgetown university. he teaches researchers latinx history urban history in the built environment racial inequality politics and immigration. he is the author of making mexican chicago from post-war settlement to the gentrification which was published by the university of chicago, press this year. he has written opinion pieces and commentaries for the washington post chicago sun-times and teen vogue. in 2020. he was the co-winner of the
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arnold hirsch prize for best article in urban history by the urban history association and in 2021. he was named a melon emerging faculty leader by the for citizens and scholars. next in our alphabetical order benjamin holtzman who's sitting next to me here? benjamin holtzman is an assistant professor of history at lehman college and the author of the long crisis new york city in the path to neoliberalism published by oxford university, press in 2021. his research and teaching focus on the political and social history of the united states with particular emphasis on capitalism cities race and class and social movements. he is currently working on his second project. smash the clan fighting the white power movement in the late 20th century. next rebecca well, next event is an associate professor of history at the university of mississippi. where's her work blends urban history political history and the history of american capitalism. her first book after redlining
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the urban reinvestment movement in the era of financial deregulation was published by the university of chicago, press in 2020. and an examines how the us financial system shaped and was shaped by the political organizing of ordinary people during the last third of the 20th century. it charged the story of a multib racial coalition of low and moderate income urbanites who saw control over investment capital. marcel received her phd from northwestern university and was awarded a fellowship from harvard university's charles warren center in 2015-2016. and then last hardly least akira drake rodriguez is an assistant professor at the university of pennsylvania's weitzman school of design. her research examines the ways that disenfranchised groups re-appropriate their marginalized spaces in the city to gain access to and sustain urban political power. the author of diverging space for deviance politics of atlanta's public housing explorers how the politics of
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public housing planning and race in atlanta created the politics of resistance within its public housing developments, dr. rodriguez was recently awarded a spencer foundation grant to study how educational advocates mobilize around school facility planning processes. it is my great honor and pleasure to introduce these four authors and their books to you and i will start with mike thank you so much for that introduction. and thank you to all of you for being part of this great panel and to all of you being here here present today. my book is really it's it's origins lion in a kind of frustration that has to do with also the riches of urban history, which is like we've learned so much about urban history in the past 40 plus years the way the federal government and its role in reinforcing housing segregation
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the the capital restructuring of the mid-century period the industrialization the the rise of neil liberalism and and private industries influence in local governing that i wanted to write a that included the of mass era of immigration in the post-war period and particular mexican immigration in chicago as it became the third largest mexican metropolis in the united states. so taking all of that wonderful scholarship and historiography on urban history and connecting it to immigration history and kind of immigration control apparatus in urban spaces. i charted a book project and making mexican chicago which would look at the intersections of urban governing and immigration control and the ways that that kind of manifested
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locally at the neighborhood level for instance. um in chicago you really can't think of urban renewal in the mid-center years when you look at a mexican-americans and mexican immigrants without also understanding deportation enforcement. operation wet back the mass deportation program that also happened in the mid-century years these two programs intersected in unique distinct ways in the city of chicago that really left an indelible mark in future community building in the city for the remainder of the 20th century. and so i look at moments like that and i think that some of the takeaways if i'd be fortunate enough to have you read the book, but just some of the takeaways are really the development of a kind of third
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housing market in chicago not just african-american or of course white but but the actual on the ground shaping of the ways that latinx communities in particular mexicans try to intervene in the shaping in the selling in the buying of on the southwest side of the city. i also look at the origins of black and brown adjacent community formation and the legacies of kind of white populist community organizations that help to shape those racial boundaries that are still around in chicago alive today in the 2020s, and i think that the takeaway at the very end is really about building a kind of metropolitan sanctuary on the part of atlantic's communities. that is not just a kind of fight to resist some of these top down
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systems, but just in building from from my great peers here a discussion of the ways that these communities marginalized communities engage with kind of market-driven solutions and debated those solutions. fought over those market-driven and you'll liberal policies that that are arguably still with mexican chicago today mexican chicago is very different mexican chicago in the 2020s, and it was in the 1950s, but i i hope that in the book itself. i show that dynamics of the arguments. i just laid out and would very much. love to hear from you if you do happen to crack open the book and let me know your thoughts. so i'll just keep it brief there. thank you so much akira. and thank you to everyone for
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being here and for ben and claire. he's not here for organizing this panel. so i wrote the book they were using space for deviance. the politics of atlanta's public housing largely because i was interested in gentrification. and so one of the sort of mean i am in a my phd is in urban planning, so i counted this from a planning perspective of thinking about gentrication and the role of hope six and other sort of federal interventions into the built environment happened upon an article that talked about atlanta's demolishing of boeing homes and how you know within that same article. they talked about atlantis or being the first city to have public housing and the first city to demolish such a large proportion of it more although not morgan. it's been chicago the percentage of public housing units loss. greatest person new orleans, and then i'm in atlanta, of course.
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and so that kind of historical period of 75-year history beginning in 1936 with the opening of techwood homes to the sort of demolitions that began with the olympics and then carry out for about two decades is really sort of an interesting case particularly when thinking about black politics and black citizenship, which was the core focus of my work. so i look at techwood homes and then university homes, which was the first african-american development that opened in the state of georgia liberty homes down in miami is actually the first for african-americans in the country in georgia at the time. you have the white democratic primary. so black people are effectively different franchise at the at the state and local level at the time and so the arrival of public answer the arrival of political opportunity for a
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large percentage of atlantis population. and so they're able to sort of exercise political opportunity working with the federal administration working to get a better labor rights to get back black laborers building black housing managers really sort of produce this managerial class of black housing managers that are trained in the atlantic school social work because of this sort of cottage industry at discrimination through the new deal i trace it through three different periods of public housing history one in the urban renewal area where you start to see the sort of getaway station of public housing in the northwest the increase of you know the sort of end of the white democratic primary in the state of georgia in 1946 produces a real problem for atlanta politicians you fear a black takeover, which eventually happens in 74? election of mayor jackson and moved to do what they call a
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plan of improvement which expands the spatial area of atlanta from about 74 square miles and extra hundred thousand people largely in the northern suburbs that are ironically trying to secede currently in buckhead so full circle there looking at how that sort of annexation of land made the sort of ghettoization of atlanta possible with the concentration of public housing in the northwest. i then sort of look at the sort of re-rise of public housing. it's a political opportunity at the federal level with economic opportunity act the connections with president carter and this new wave of black women leadership and public housing that actually become bright prevalent and quite dominant in urban politics. of course at the same time that reagan's queen is coming into play. you watch the actually see kind of like tenants kind of mimic
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this welfare queen rhetoric even making speeches at the heritage foundation in favor of school vouchers and other sorts of housing vouchers that predate the kind of neoliberal turn and public housing politics in the 90s accelerating this sort of fea complete of public housing demolition our training. hope six, which is also kind of led by gingrich and other sort of georgia elected leaders all the way to the kind of end of public housing in the mid 2000s. currently atlanta a city of great and equity and inequality a city of multiple housing crisis and sort of the post public housing moment at one point in the 1980s about 10% of atlanta's population was living in public housing the city of about half a million. there are about 50,000 people living in public housing at the time so they did have substantial power and political
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power that was fractured and had severe ripple effects and thinking about like the sort of public-private that structuring this conversation don person sort of talks about this in los angeles public housing about an early public housing how critical it was to separate labor politics from home politics and really kind of have that public-private divide and leaving the kind of home politics to tenant association to we're doing a lot of americanization politics how to be a good solution how to felt taxes. this is also replicated and black public housing as well, but also used to mobilize again a nascent sort of blackfoot that was emerging through tenant associations. so while there were some sort of facial approaches to citizenship as only demonstrated by voting in public political participation, there's all so this opportunity to do some more robust organizing particularly around black citizenship and civil rights. so i will in there and thank
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you. hi everyone. thanks to ben and claire who's not here bringing us together and thank you margaret for the green um, so my book after redlining the urban reinvestment movement in era of financial deregulation. i actually found the project not because i had a sort of histographical question. but because i had a what happened question, right and 2008. i was looking for a dissertation topic financial crisis, and i heard a financial trade lobbyist talk about how the community reinvestment act of 1977 was responsible for the prime crisis and like tanking the global economy and before going to graduate school. i had worked in nonprofits doing some fundraising and so as familiar with that legislation because it was how we could get banks to give us some money and i was like, i know that's not
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what that law does so i wanted to find origins of the community reinvestment act and so i thought i was going to be researching how banks became involved in encouraging poor people to open savings accounts and pull themselves up by their bootstraps, but instead i found a social movement was really sort of the origin story of this legislation. so that's how i sort of stumbled upon the urban reinvestment movement. so the book really follows this this social movement, right a social movement of low and moderate income urbanites. and there are folks around the country living in neighborhoods that they described as transitional right residential neighborhoods that were usually changing racially either from white to black or white to a majority minority and there's a sort of realization right as they're sort of experiencing blockbusting right these processes that we've read about and excellent urban histories that have come before that when their neighborhoods were changing demographically that they were often losing access to
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their local financial institutions. and this is what we think of now as redlining right the idea that financial institutions would not make fair loans and neighborhoods that were understood to be declining or understood to be home of people of color and so the book really follows these activists as they sort of discover redlining on the ground and then try to combat it. right and so they these activists with the urban reinvestment activists ended up sort of trying to pursue a vision for urban reinvestment that they ended up describing or defining a lot more capaciously than just tell banks to make more loans right instead they sort of envisioned the return of financial institutions and their credit but also right a commitment by the federal government to spend resources in neighborhoods that had been disinvested in so this was a lot more right capacious of a vision than just bring the banks back and i also describe in the book their politics, which i sort of
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think of things in large parts of conversations. difficult conversations with matt lassiter as social democratic populism right that these were folks who were really interested in a populist politics that was with the little guys versus the big guys defined as policymakers, but also bankers anyone who's sort of rigging the game in favor of the suburbs that at the expense of the cities but social democratic in that they really thought the state had an obligation to put a check on market mechanisms right when didn't deliver fair results. um and the book really follows this this organizing through a particular group called national people's action and pa and now it's called people's action, but they're still going strong and producing podcasts. so i encourage you to check them out if you haven't already. this is a really amazing group. so i started, you know researching the social movement, but the book really ended up being a lot about the way that banks were changing in the late 20th century as much as it was about checking this social
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movement, right these activists were pressuring banks to reinvest in their codes right at a moment that the financial system itself was kind of shifting under their feet, right? i always say that the banks really expected right not to say that banks actually behave this way but activists expected thanks to behave like george bailey's bank and it's a wonderful life with you know, it's a community institution you put your money in there and then it turns into a mortgage and someone else's house and so on but they thought of their local thrifts, especially savings and loans as these community institutions that were part of the fabric of their communities. they're supposed to be stewards of of local wealth and one thing i had thought a lot about in the book too is just how access to that kind of banking for white americans in the mid 20th century was another sort of new deal goodie from the state that that these folks expected as much as they expected, you know the right to organize or the right to social security right the right to put your money in a bank that had some federal deposit insurance and wasn't
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going to lose it came to be an expectation and the right to mortgage from that institution if you're a white person in the mid 20th century same right, but this was a period when those savings and loans, right? we're really changing the banks that most seem like george bailey's and they're really struggling to survive in an era of inflation and increase competition from other financial institutions, especially commercial banks. so as activists we're trying to sort of re-enlist saving some loans as part of their vision of urban reinvestment. they're really trying to hit a moving target, right george bailey's bank was going out of style. so the lion's short of it, right the book really shows how these activists achieve some victories like community bank partnerships with that increase the supply of some affordable housing and their neighborhoods, but ultimately there were a lot of obstacles to achieving this kind of robust vision of urban reinvestment, especially from the state changes in the savings and loan industry the politics of austerity and power really mattered right that that when it came to contest for example with
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the federal reserve right that folks outside with with and chance right ultimately did not sway monetary policy. so i'll stop there by i really look forward to the conversation. hi everybody. so i'm ben holtzman. i just want to again sort of a thank you to my fellow panelists and our moderator really gives me such joy to be up here with these. i'm really awesome thinkers and writers. i also want to just give one more. shout out to claire dunning. who is the co-organizer of this panel and for her really fantastic new book nonprofit neighborhoods in urban history of inequality in the american state, which i would really encourage everyone to to check out. so i'm going to stick a little bit more to the page to stay within the time limit. but so to ensure that i have that self discipline to do so i suppose so the long crisis and new york. excuse me. you think i would have this right now? so the long crisis new york city and the path to neoliberalism. so the project is really
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exploring the increasing reliance and power of the market. in private sector across urban life in the late 20th century in new york the kind of popular imagination of this really kind of transformation is happening principally under rooted giuliani. and who's the mayor of new york in the between the mid 19 1990s into the early 2000 who is doing kind of various private partner public partnerships privatization initiatives corporatizations of business sectors, right? so i'm trying to kind of think through that. it's a longer history of transformation in new york and also kind of a different process of how that kind of move towards the market and private sector is happening simply being unleashed by one mayor in the 1990s as a properly commonly exists in the still commonly exists in the popular imagination of narratives about new york. so what i do in the wrong crisis is i examine this transformation toward the market and private sector through the experiences of new yorkers on the ground kind of bringing the story back
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to late 1960s by focusing how these residents both are affected by and ultimately came to reshape the political and economic conditions of the city. so i tries to growth the market policies is a process that really unfolded locally through the actions of residents and democratic officials in new york who often lacked any kind of particular proclivity for market solutions, right and seeing it as a process unfold that way rather than one that simply imposed by powerful figures who were driven by promarket ideologies. so in the book i examine how as a result of really constraining economic conditions beginning in the late 1960s new yorkers began to launch imaginative remedies for local crises that an economically battered municipal government seemed unable to solve so i look at how new yorkers began to embrace and ethos and volunteerism and eventually of partnerships with private business to say to save
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and sustain what they thought key aspects of urban life. i also traced how liberal and democratic policymakers over the 70s and eighties really come to see these kinds of alliances in greater reliance on the pirate sector and market not as kind of stop gap solutions but as permanent and new features to dominate urban life so that which really ultimately moved the city away from those kind of mid-century institutions of liberal government and toward a greater dependence on the private sector and market. so i really i'm trying to show as part of the story how democrats and liberals the local level are really navigating changing economic circumstances in the late 60s in the 70s and 80s by supporting a variety of initiatives that are kind of bubbling up from within new york that are turning toward the private sector and mark so throughout the long crisis i try to detail how new yorkers responded to local conditions by developing these new kind of solutions right to the crisis
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that they see affecting, you know, their neighborhoods their cities the livelihoods those so and again these are kind of coming with a tend to the ones. i'm really focusing on are ones were these residents really not motivated by a kind of market allegiance to market solutions, but who's actions nonetheless come to push the city in those directions, right? so examples of activists who sought to improve access to affordable housing by emphasizing self-help and individual ownership over government resources or our residents who are coming together to improve deteriorating parks through new groups that are emphasizing volunteerism and partnerships with private business, which is a subject of a different chapter. so through these kinds of examples of the long crisis attempts to offer a kind of new origin story for the market turn in the late 20th century rather than simply emerging from the right side of american politics the book aims to show how the
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growth of market and private the growth of the market and private sector. last urban life was more of a kind of home-grown and experimental process and it was one that was shepherded really more from the ground up by new yorkers who were driven to improve local conditions amidst the economic turmoil of the 1970s and 80s. thank you. thank you all so much. i just want to just a couple of quick reactions and then thinking about the through line through lines across these these different books that and what they have in common in addition to having been published or being published within the last two couple of years, and we really need an accompanying book exhibits. so everyone can go and purchase their books, but but you know, you know where to go on the internet. that's that's not my hometown company amazon to find them, but, you know a couple of i know
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that this this ben and claire who's not here organize this this panel my as a seeing as something that all of you always use authors have in common. is that you were coming to these projects in these are really post-great recession projects and one of the things that comes out and and all of these all of this work and also including claire's book, which is about nonprofit actors in reshaping urban neighborhoods in ways that are unexpected and i think one of you know one through line here, is that everyone not everyone is expecting as one might expect in these and and they're all so is a very sort of deep consciousness of the consequences of financialization and and trying to interrogate the turn to the market turn but really periodize it so i wanted to just open up with it with a question for all of you and thinking about you know in writing scholarly work like this one is especially with first
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books your responding to an existing historiography you're building on it, but also clearly responding to an extraordinary moment in the history of modern capitalism and 2008 2009 and the popular social movements that responded to it and that are still continuing to play themselves out. so i just like to know how that how sort of the the moment shapes what these books have become and and as in addition are there things in the process of creating these books that you it took you down we all are taken down paths. we don't expect and research, but did you arrive at a slightly different place than you expected when you were inspired to go to this, you know interrogate these questions of structural inequality and the evolution of cities in the modern era. mike and i start with you sure. no pressure. so on your great question of just thinking about kind of modern capitalism and having
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that loom over the work we do and in particular. work i was definitely not. setting out to engage i think. histories of capitalism in the ways that i have found very useful, but i just thought like maybe the people that i'm looking at never asked himself about capitalism. at least that was kind of like my my hunch initially because i was really starting with with the kind of 1950s and thinking about just local residents fearful that their homes would be bulldozed and ways that they could stop that and and mobilize communities on on a path that i thought would would lead to a kind of an arc of progressive kind of liberal activism. but what i found is that they very much worth thinking about capitalism and they were
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thinking about business power and and when i started to put the archive aside and just get into the neighborhoods and start knocking on doors and trying to train a little bit of like snowball method from other wonderful disciplines that that are out there that that do this kind of work and and get information from people and how they think about the past. i learned that at least in mexican-american communities and i and i should have known this but i didn't initially think this is that small merchant businesses and business owners. felt they had the most at stake and therefore felt like they should play the biggest role in shape being local and communities and and even though these neighborhoods and communities on southwest side of chicago have such a strong legacy of community control politics, and and i think
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organizations that participated in some of the work that becky michelle does with with the leading up to the community reinvestment act i i pivoted and was like, no, let me let me think about how these businesses think about power and shaping their communities and welcoming nonprofit actors corporations grant makers and grant a builder. so in those ways, i think that my book ended up really taking on questions about kind of small sea capitalism at the local level the way that even a city like chicago that is the intention democratic party politics becomes a vehicle for business power and and yeah, i mean i'll just stop there, but i think i'm molding over your other question about unexpected conclusions and turns and i'll come right. all right, i'm gonna come back to that. yeah, that's great.
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yeah, so i was thinking about like like kind of like where we entered on this on like like the history of it and the history of public housing have been pretty bleak fatalists built to fail. just kind of like everything and so i really didn't want to harp on that point anymore and was really trying to find like positive reasons because my goal i think was all not like a historical once it's not a historian but more like a policy one, right? like why should we keep public housing around? what is it good for and in atlanta it was like a lot and keeping the city diverse now, they're talking about workforce housing because they're like oh cities are so unaffordable and like people need to work there. yes, so it it's really, you know, that that was sort of like how i came in was like really trying to understand the perspective of the people living
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in it, but also sort of like planning for it like in the early new deal public housing those were local advisory committees that planned as development that set the rental rates that guided the early policies who got let in and who didn't get let in and understanding those sort of like back and forth over the nuclear family and the importance of hetonormativity and housing policy and who counts so those were sort of interesting things that i found along the way i think the thing i didn't expect to find talking like about social movements was. social movements and sort of seeing the sort of pivots and political strategy that movements. we're trying to deploy in the 70s 80s 90s and 2000s often the same people choosing very very different beings that you can
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tell are influenced by like kind of the path dependency that got there like, okay this didn't work in the 80s. so like i'm gonna keep it conservative going forward and so it was just really kind of thinking about like organizing in general and these kind of like long duras that organizers have to go through and the kind of burn and churning that kind of dismantles a lot of social movements. i found that kind of really something that i wanted to keep at the forefront of the writing was that like these are like very sporadic victories that feel like you've made any recognize that it's victory when it's happening and like that i think is kind of inherent in the social movement and getting people to fall out of it or think that they don't work or aren't effective. so that was something that that was kind of interesting for me personally. um, well i was i guess when i was starting the project there was a lot of talk about financialization and so one of the tasks for me was to figure
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out sort of whether or not i bought it right in sort of what it meant. and so i realized that like from my story i was i was seeing this sort of slow process by which the rules for right these savings and loan institutions were changing because of right inflation or competition or trying to figure out how to not hemorrhage money during a time of high interest rates and you know competition from mutual funds and all these kinds of things and so i guess the financialization quite i realized what i was really interested in tracking was the way that those rules changed over time and what that had to do with that sort of giant financial institutions by by the late 20th century, but one of the things that was really surprising to me. it was how much i had to learn about banks. yes. i did it right. i felt like i had sort of, you know, i had experience as a historian of social movements.
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i was trained by historian of social movements and so, you know getting into the sources. i was i was really using greta crippner's book as like a bible it was like, okay like this lot changes and this law changes, but then in the sources from the activist, i study especially the newsletter. it's like they kept talking about those laws too. so it was like, oh my goodness with there's a grassroots response to this or sort of like political theorizing going on about you know that like the dickma live right and in the in 1980 and then the garden state jermaine in 1982. so it was surprising to me was how much you had to learn about banks in order to write this story and i'm pretty sure i did maybe swear a little bit when i realized that like they took on paul volcker right in 1979. i was gonna have to figure out like what monitorism was and so but basically right it was know i felt like it made the book better, but it was definitely not what i was hoping to do when i set out to find the origins of the community reinvestment act.
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thanks. yes, i mean one just kind of in a personal level. i mean one of the entry points for me working on this project was i mean for better or worse? i'm old enough to remember some of the transformations that were taking place in new york in the 1990s and quite have seen that as a younger person and really wanted to think about what the longer history of some of the transformations that we're so clearly unfolding and you know in terms of the physical landscape or increasing carceral policies that were being unleashed in the city at that time kind of transformation of times square those kinds of things they really wanted to think about that as a longer historical process and kind of keep going back to what that transformation was that i saw or was beginning to see in part as a younger person and then really finding as into the literature for some of the literature some of the scholarship that was really trying to think about the transformation of new york in the late 20th century that at that point was principally being written by social scientists and
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geographers are really rich and wonderful literature, but that to me wasn't kind of fully i think addressing some of what i saw might be a longer history to this transformation or a more complicated process than what particularly sort of marxist geographers were having to say about this this transformation and as rich as that literature really is so and i actually think that that i mean, you know the entry point for scholarly projects. i think it takes a variety of form and of course, it's always motivated by personal interest, but i actually think that like kind of oh, this is something that i wondered about as a kid was one of the things that several decades later when i was really working on this project helped to sustain it that kind of long-term interest of just kind of thinking about this how this how this unfolded so um, yeah, so i would say that in terms of the things that we that we're surprising. i mean some of the things one of the things i could say about that was some of the so if i'm
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if i'm kind of thinking about this this move to the market and private sector and it's growing influence and shaping conditions in new york. i was really interested in finding various kinds of opposition to those processes in my kind of heart. i'm think of myself. it's not always friends center the way identify myself a kind of a social movement historian. that's really not what this book is, but i tried to kind of read the book i try to work that in as much as possible but simultaneous to that was the lack of opposition that i really found to a number of these processes and and lack of explicit opposition doesn't necessarily mean acceptance of them happening, but i still thought that that was kind of revealing to some of the processes that i was looking at some there were more active. we're listening took a later form, but at the point where i thought i would see critical resistance to you know, greater much greater private involvement in parks. there was really little that i could find that was really standing up against those kinds of processes and thinking about
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the longer-term ramifications of kind of private to having a kind of privatization to the park system and that then also kind of being a way to to think more deeply about that process. i think it's entering well i know we now have two of you or identifying yourself as historians of social movements and and maybe but more but i think that you know to one question i'd like to post to all of you and one of you anyone's freedom free to pick this up is how the categories of you know, what do we mean we say public and private? and how of those categories changed over the course of the 20th century? and as earlier where to pick up on what you were just saying ben where does social movements fit into that binary? not binary? i mean where you know it how does that how do they how are they reshaping those two definitions of what's what's public and what's private does anyone want to meditate on that?
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i mean, i'll just offer just for my own work just a brief entry point. yeah that i think maybe doesn't help answer that but just shows how it can be. it can get kind of it. can it can enter a gray area because in the community of pilsen and on south side of chicago in the 1960s and 70s mexican immigrants and mexican-american residents were dealing with a landscape that a kind of built environment that was actually owned by kind of individual. private absentee landlords and owners of properties that and didn't live in pilsen. so these are just folks that maybe live in the suburbs or on the on the outer regions of
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chicago and therefore local communities and residents had to investigate and kind of deal with what are the owed by by downtown and by city hall and by the public offices that are supposed to represent them or speak for them or enact policies on their behalf when when the built environment is not owned or controlled by by the city or by city hall and therefore what i found in and do my research is that people on the ground that were fighting the kind of absentee slumlords and landlordism is that it was a multi-prong fight. there was a fight against city hall and the daily machine and it was a fight that they literally had to take to the suburbs literally filling school buses to get out to schaumburg and oh park and protest in front
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of people's like, you know, very fancy homes. and so so i think the the framing of public private is so useful and helpful and i think it does help us. just really unpack some of these great stories and case studies, but sometimes would probably venture to guess that in all of our studies it gets tricky and people of themselves on the ground have to navigate those boundaries and those categories and sometimes realize that that they're at the losing end of both the public and the private. he i guess i just too too quick examples come to mind in. the first was like the way that the community reinvestment act actually worked. was that right local people, right? usually community organizations. we're supposed to blow the whistle to federal bank regulators if they noticed that
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someone in the neighborhood right a bank in the neighborhood was redlining and at the moment when that bank was going to merge with another bank or was going to be acquired right? there was a moment where you could file a challenge and it actually was meg jacob's work on the opa that helped me think through this idea of sort of state building from the bottom up right sort of relying on local people. they weren't, you know being sort of compensated anyway for all the labor that they were doing to do this research about what banks were doing and identifying lending patterns, but nonetheless, right the power of the state was sort of put into their hands to do that that sort of whistle-blowing. so there's some consonity there right? that was not a sort of thing and the late 1970s to rely on on people in a community to do that work of the state and then the other one that comes to mind was that another place where the public and private was really blurred was in the chartering process of the savings and loan institutions right that these activists would say that they had some claim on the local savings and loan in part because like that's our money right the
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idea sort of consumerized that like we our money is in there, so we should have some saying what happens to it but on the other hand they also talked about how those institutions needed a charter from the state to open and operate and they had to show that those institutions we're going to infringe on some other savings and loans turf already right? there was sort of limited franchise and so activists were also making claims sort of as citizens right making claims on a public good that was accessed to a savings and loan institution on this logic that it was quasi public, right? it required a state charter. so i think the one that's short of it just it's very messy, right? private or messy? yeah, absolutely. and i think that when i was oh, sorry. so when i was initially thinking about this project, i mean one of the things that was important for me to try to wrestle with was to think about say the kind of longer arc of the relationship between government and the private sector right? and i think that historians have really done a great job. of course that relationship is
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always there right of course, but in terms of thinking about it across the 20th century, you know the ways in which that relationship is changing between what we might broadly think of as the kind of new era of new deliberalism from the 1930s roughly to late 670s if we want to kind of define in those ways into an era of what comes next whether that, you know, liberalism or or something something else whatever we might want to kind of call that in a broad sense, right and i think historians are done a really great job of thinking through some other ways in which initial terms and examples that people were using to point to some of the kind of manifestations of something like neoliberalism within the united states like private public partn. it's where quintessential to neil the era of new deliberalism, right that that is not in and of its health anything that is fundamentally new to what we think of as the transformations taking place in the late 20th century. so i mean for me it was kind of trying to think through that in some ways and and i and i know other people are thinking about this question and doing really
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rich work around around this. i mean for me some of the distinctions that i saw at least on the municipal level at the local level in new york was really thinking about the kind of proliferation of new mechanisms that were allowing to that kind of influence of the private sector and market to spread into new areas things like parks, right which you know in the longer history of parks. there's some history about there was not the same kind of transformation in terms of you know, private sector groups or public private partnerships really taking a really management control over like public park systems was often seen as like the the quintessential public services being kind of one example and and that the relationship between if we you know, and i'm i know people are gonna people can kind of challenge this notion. but i mean i was thinking of many of the manifestations that i was seeing in the earlier period of what the relationship was between the private sector and and and governing policies is that there seemed to be kind
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of more of the government taking a kind of leading role of setting the standards for what public public private partnerships were going to be so that the government was kind of in the front seat and that that relationship kind of reverses in the latter 20th century and a lot of these new kind of public public partnerships. i'm probably going to get that wrong they take form and the lotto 20th century and really proliferate during that period are again really about kind of a unleashing the private sector market incentives all those kinds of things with far less government oversight then head existed under the air of kind of more big government policies, even if that kind of ways in which were trying to control government was trying to control all that relationship was always imperfect in earlier in the 20th century. i was having trouble with this question because you're clearly
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talking about public and private sector and i'm thinking about public sphere and privates here and so like the rise in in public housing rise of like privatization comes at a time when public goods were becoming accessible to non-whites and there was a desperate attempt by particularly these black women led households to make things that were private public so like the issues around childcare that if she's around poverty the issues like household poverty child care issues getting jobs getting healthcare and trying to make those like public. sector responsibilities even with like some activists like applebee matthews talking about the legislature is responsible for our children, hunger. and so i that i think is more what i was thinking about that they were while things were being privatized. they were actively trying to push things out into the public sector that was maybe getting met with like kind of a massive backlash to accelerate
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privatization. so i think yeah certainly the idea of like erasing the private seer and making all of these things public was kind of like the primary goal to a dissociations towards the 60s and 70s that scene became subsumed into like a leaning into the privatization as a way of like accelerating black capitalism and like the rise of nonprofits and other things that other people have written about so yes. see, this is why it's always so good to have a designer and a planner on the panel. and i have a follow-up design-related question for you, but just picking up on that. i think you know, what's so interesting here and again a thread that's connecting all of your comments is that you know the turn to the you know, your reperitizing the terms of the market, but also, you know, what there is there is this late 20th century turn from where there's always been public private. there's always been this mind. there's always been this interconnection. it's always been there but the
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state did have more in the middle part of the 20th century kind of a command over the terms of the agreement. and if you know kind of at the same moment that the state state power is something that is now accessible to people from social move is particularly poor people and and racial minorities that they are now getting entry into those instruments of state power. it is at the time when the state is becoming disempowered no longer having control over the terms of the public private agreement and it's you know, it's citibank's park now, right? so that's i mean this is this the this is happening with you know, overlapping and this relates to this sort of another very good question that that you all were putting forth as a group, which is this question of and the path to adjust city and how does one that you know, what is the vehicle for for justice and and what what's fear and what sector is going to facilitate that at what time but and i'm gonna i want to open it
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up to conversation, but i do first want to pose one of the question particularly to to our in-house designer, but particularly because you were talking about, you know, thinking from an applied public policy lens and i'm really curious. your book's been out for a year update 2021 kind of what what has been the reception who's been reading a book have been receiving it and have the policy implications. how are they landing? and and how do you see your book kind of contributing to that conversation thus far? thank you. yeah, not at all. they are not building public housing. right? no, i you know. thankfully, there's been some a lot of students a lot of dsa a lot of tenant people reading it which is good. i don't feel a lot but like, you know people who are willingly buying it without being assigned it in class good market and i think that's useful because
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they're having a lot of the same issues, you know, do we have a universal voucher system do we you know, how do we if public housing is decreasing? how do we organize across, you know these sort of private landlords and the surf very fractured housing financial life housing market. what does that look like to do it iterationally when we have all this like housing segregation and the the private landlord in particular is a critical like missing component like, you know living in public housing when the state is your landlord is deal because you think there's a clear chain of command who's encouraged and like where do i go? and i can't okay, then i know your boss and i know your boss and that doesn't exist in the private housing market. and so i certainly wish that the conversation was more about building hard units owned by the federal government or socializing housing or like in berlin. they like forced private landlords to make their assets public and like return housing
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to the public sector and feel like i wish that we had that sort of boldness in the us and i was happy to see the cdc get involved with the eviction moratorium, but the kind of like backlash against so much like what i thought was going to be really progressive social policy during the pandemic has been engraced within like two months and so that you know, like now we're just like barely holding on for the idea of like increasing vouchers or opening voucher waiting list, and so unfortunately this progressive moment that i thought was here is weakening and i'm just you know, but if i continue it's not a big deal. how are you today? although we did cure childhood poverty overnight for a bit. but yeah, so i'm just, you know, hoping to get it in the hands of people who can understand the long game. it's maybe not always sexy for a politician to advocate for these sorts of policies, but i
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definitely think like local organizing and broad base even organizing at the state level is an effective way as well, and i'm very heartened by the down state of state alliance in new york and sort of thinking about organizing people using the benefits of a strong liberal city to expand as especially in rural areas and other sort of areas of housing precarity. thank you for that. well, i have i have many many more questions, but i want to open it up for for those in the audience and if you do have a question, you can come to the microphone that is at the beginning the middle of the room. you're gonna have to you're gonna have to get up sir. yes. yes. okay. wait before matt gets there. can i have some mike to answer that question because i think mike's book seems to donor a remarkable job. actually being sorry matt really it seems to me from the kind of outside perspective a really reaching a lot of you know people, you know outside of the academy a lot of actually mexican folks in chicago have really taken a real interest in the book even though it really
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hasn't even been out that long. so i'm really been tremendously impressed with what you've been able to do. so, i'm sure all of us would be interested in how one does that? i appreciate that question ben. yeah, it has been an out not very long and you can't buy it anymore which saddens me and i'm not sure why i guess supply stuff. but but yeah, i have been really really fortunate to actually be in local community forums with face-to-face with activists that are fighting housing precarity in the community, and it's probably something that veteran historians have in the past, but i haven't where folks on the ground are like, how do we do this or how do we change this or how do we do it differently? and so it's still a role. i'm i'm not super comfortable with but just trying to figure
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out like okay, let me let me just tell you about the past and how things work, but i think like what what people are asking me is really how do we stop like wealth driven gentrification? like how do we keep working class communities in our community and and so some of the neighborhoods i write about obviously are are being erased a little bit every day either because people are being pushed out a renter of course climbing everywhere, but but in major cities like chicago for sure and and you know, i think that some of the well, i'm still figuring out what how best. talk about the future. i think i can only show how. previous generations have have done the research the work to figure out. who's pulling the levers behind all this and and i think not to say that like oh, there's like a
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big conspiracy against you, but it's more like the kind of partnerships that organizations and cities and nonprofit actors build these days ray are like our our really complex and and they're almost sometimes beyond legibility on the ground level and i think that that's kind of like what local grassroots community organizations are. are they know this and they're trying to fight against that and you know, my the the last chapter in my book is called flipping colonyas because it's you know, these are these are communities are being flipped one small block by one small block to where we have second communities in latinx communities are all throughout really the kind of suburban
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townships and and and a decrease in the population of working-class linux communities in the core in the in the central city a phenomenon. that is of course like not surprising to me, but definitely surprising to the chicago sometimes and the tribune and people who are like, hey, i'm escrow like what's going on here. there's a decrease in mexicans of puerto ricans, you know, and it's the part of the answer is in this right part of the answers and the kind of housing precarity. that is growing much more. it's great. it's worth it's worth seeing and it's it's hard to convince property owners and even apartment building owners that rents ought to be, you know affordable and you know, so so i you know, i don't really have a good answer for that. but yes, i have been fortunate to be in these spaces. or i'm it from you know face to face of these community organizations that are really on the ground on the front lines
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doing this work. so yeah. it's great. all right, and now introduce yourself as you. all right, i'm matt lassiter university of michigan. so i've had two questions but i'm gonna say them quickly first. congratulations on your books one is a comparative question and one is about metropolitan scale, which is also comparative and this is a 100% not a critique of any of the books. so i was wondering how generalizable are the stories you tell like how singular are these stories to the specific cities you dig in how portable are they? how much is atlanta like detroit? how much is mexican chicago like mexican la down the line like how many other places do you really think you would recommend similar models to yours? and the second question is unfair, but what if your advisor had told you like you have to write a chapter about the suburbs not the imagined upper middle class white suburb. that's the antithesis of some of your arteries but like elgin and
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waukegan, you know outside chicago mexican majority suburbs or dekalb county in atlanta or back here ben are there places, you know in the down scale or marginalized suburbs where some of the processes that you're talking about are similar. like what if you have brought in metropolitan scale more than you might have? would like to take that on. some of that and thank you for the question. this is not a uniquely atlantis story, but i think it's certainly a southern story. i think the the sizable proportion of the black population the inability for them to vote prior to public housing and then the eventual sort of rise of you know, what read calls the black urban regime the kind of like complete takeover of black political
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leadership and and all of the sort of patronage that comes out of that is like what it can be applied to other cities and i've looked at some article with emery scholar mike lee owens and a scholar from spelman looking at all of the public housing demolition in the us and black political leadership and finding cities with kind of long-term black municipal empowerment mayoral teas of longer than 20 years majority black councils black housing authority executives tend to demolish more public housing than white cities for example, and in thinking about and that is a issue of like hollow price, you know, there's you know, they need to generate revenue public housing is being kind of inhibitor of outside investment and development and trying to kind of two birds one stone with a little bit of like uplift politics respectability politics
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mixed in and then on the other side and thinking about the suburb, it's really interesting because these problems of elena's public housing were export it, you know, people say, oh they went to the suburbs whatever they didn't and they kind of turned through the city but suburbs are becoming more impoverished. there are some kind of legacy project-based section 8 in suburbs, and so you're seeing a lot of the same problems without the same scale of infrastructure and investments. i would love to write about this covers, but the archives aren't there. in the same way, but i think it's certainly a story that could could apply for sure. thank you. matt thanks for your questions terrific. is that are things i think about but yes, so maybe i'll start with the suburban question first, i think. it is true that you know waukegan algae and a lot of these suburbs and the greater chicago land area are really
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rich sites of study historical studying for the ways that they have become a predominantly african american or latino. i think if i had approached my editor tim minelle with like hey, i'm gonna write another chapter on commerce if you would have probably ex communicated me. yes. i was over a word count, but but i think what i try to do instead because they don't really look at those neat townships is i i stay within cook county's boundaries, but i try to show the just building out for kira's comment about kind an impoverished infrastructure. just the the ways that the outer the bungalow belt communities are are not the kinds of vehicles to middle class of you know wealth. lean communities that they were in 1950s. these are neighborhoods that have been whatever, you know
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robbed or or just what's ruthie wilson's phrase organized abandonment. there's there's a kind of organized abandoned abandonment in the bungalow communities that are predominantly mexican-american your other question about the portability of the study. i i see my work very much in as a complimentary. to other terrific works on you know, mexican los angeles and here i think of natalia molina and of course george sanchez but but also differently in that, you know, i think what makes chicago different in the latinx perspective and when we're thinking about politics, is that the the kind of rise of social movements within latinous communities in 1960s and 70s. manifests into kind of electoral victories in cities like la in el paso in denver, but in
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chicago you have what i show in the book is is the opposite of that you don't you don't see an elected atlantic's leader until the mid 1980s during the harold washington movement. and so what does that mean? i try to give an answer to that mean and really show the the kind of backstory between mexican american small business owners and the daily machine and then a kind of agreement and a pact to continue to support white older men and and and fundamentally support their exclusion from electoral politics. i think that's a takeaway there, but i think it's still complementary to kind of other great latin experiment history work being done. so yeah, so, you know two great questions. thank you. matt. one of the things i'd say that well for anybody who's writing about new york. it's really hard to make a case that it's a generalizable exam, right? i mean because new york is new york and all the wonderful and
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sometimes terrible ways that that it is i say that as a resident of the city so but what i would say, is that a lot of the the kind of endpoints of the processes that i am describing in the books if we think about kind of, you know, the various examples of the book the growth of business improvement districts the you know ways in which private groups are often controlling parks throughout various cities the growth of citizen patrols and private security and public spaces. those are being those that is a story of what is taking place in cities across the country whether that's the same process that i describe is how it's happening in new york. i think that remains for other scholars to kind of take a look at that and see what those how those processes are taking form, but the endpoints of the processes that are part of all of my case studies that i'm examining in the book are very much something that we see happening in other cities sometimes in the case and some
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of these cases where new york is explicitly pointed to as a model for for the ways to manage urban parks for instance right and kind of reproducing these kinds of new structures that new york has pioneered for how the private sector can play a greater role in supporting public parks others. take a slightly different a different way a different form in terms of the severe organization question. i think it's a great one. i think well, you're really asking is how does it kind of metropolitan frame kind of might change the project? i don't know if i have a great answer for that, but i think that what might have been interesting to do in part was to also show how some of those processes that i just describe some of those kind of new mechanisms for seen the ways in which we see a growing inference of the private sector business market and urban in cities is also taking place in the surrounding salivares many of those those kinds of things were
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also then ending up in the suburbs too, and it might have been useful to also kind of talk about that aspect of the story that this is also not just something that is it is principally urban mechanisms, but it's also something that we see a lot of the processes that i'm describing or the commitments that i'm describing are also spreading to the suburbs during this this time. i'm gonna take that i'm trying to think of how to answer this question. that doesn't feel relevant is what i'm thinking about. it's like the my book like starts and ends in chicago, but so much of it is focused on the network of activists. and so it's peak that there are like 320 something right members of national people's action around the country right in cities around the country. and for sure, they're involved and committed and active to differing degrees. but so they're it's kind of all over and so in the book i used right. i'm trying to sort of narrate a lot of this stuff at the national level and interested in
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this sort of like policy fights and then we'll dip down and say, you know in buffalo for example in cleveland, for example, so it's kind of scalable and and that way but it's really hard to think about an answer to the suburban question because these particular actors were so committed to like to cities right? there's some of the first conference some of them are walking around with these pins that say like, i'm a city survivor right or the white people walking around with buttons that say i'm staying right. so there's this real sort of commitment to you know to the city and how they imagine that to be especially transitional neighborhoods, right? it's kind of occupying this space. it's residential neighborhoods that are sort of coded like class-based kind of coded as kind of working class as opposed to you know, the downtown or the suburbs, right? so they're also sort of finishing themselves to be in this like very particular urban spaces, but even that being said, you know as the network grows, there are, you know inner rings suburbs that do start to see, you know do start to sort of join the network and they're
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like harvey comes to mind in illinois, and i've been racking my brain to try to remember the names of others. but so as those sort of processes of disinvestment over the course of the 1970s spread to some of these inner rings suburbs you do start to see folks from the suburbs kind of joining and again differing degrees of commitment to the to the network. thanks for the question. yes. hi, i'm abby. what occur temple i have a process-based question. i wonder if we could just pull the curtain back for a minute moment and it might be a selfish question as someone writing a dissertation but it seems like many of these projects move from dissertation to book and i wonder if you could talk a little bit about that process maybe to add structure to the question if you could talk about. a challenge for moving a project from a dissertation to book and maybe like an opportunity that presented itself and how to maybe sharpen or grow or move in a new direction.
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i'd like to go first. the great question here i look up first because my answer is horrible. but easy, i did not get a job offer for six years and so like i had all done work and no finger clock right? i had a very good postdoc. i got a three-year postdoc in my current institution that gave me a research budget that's bigger than my current institutions faculty research budget. and so i was very very lucky and i had a sibling who lived in atlanta that i was able to at the publishers request take my dissertation at ended in 75 and bring it up to the president and there was a 90s panel just before this and if you know about the 90s, but there was a lot of paperwork there is like equal storage space for like the 30s through the 80s and then like the 90s to 2000s.
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and so i you know, i had a lot of time to obsess over a lot of details to get a lot of permissions to get a lot of you know meet more people in the movement, but it also time when you know doing a history is also a bad thing people start to forget things start to disappear, etc. etc. the whole political, you know, suddenly had trump in office christ. i'm gonna end this i think so, you know like a lot of things so i would one find a post is like always like my best advice but like understand that this is your first book right like who cares right like if your story and you're probably going right like eight more so what get it done with i know it's like a big thing like 10 year like book prize to get it. yeah, but you know like you just like dissertations. you just have to finish it. so i had a lot of time but i think i could have still done like if i had a tenure clock, i think i could have taken two
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years off and and done it and been fine, but just understand that you're going to write another book and the longer. on this book is like the last time you have for the next book. i've only written one book. i mean i'll be really just say there was a similar kind of process for me. i mean, i wouldn't miss i wouldn't wish languishing on the terrible horrific awful job market on anybody, but it was a similar process for me. i got my degree and kind of you know, took four or five years to get a tanker track position and that i was fortunate to to land in positions that offered a certain amount of time to write at least to some extent during that time and if there was any good side to going through that horrific process and ultimately ending up in a place that i'm extremely happy for and in a wonderful to be at in a wonderful institution was the time of writing. i don't know if that i don't think that qualifies as advice per se but one of the things that i think that might fall under the banner of advice is that and it might be obvious but
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to say that, you know to really be willing to go to people outside of your committee to get feedback on your work. it that can be a difficult process to do but the generosity of scholars. i think i know i want to say particularly in history. although maybe that's not true. forgive me if that's also true and other fields to really actually help one another. i think we are in a really wonderful field and to the feedback that i got from other scholars who are willing to kind of serve as extra mentors to me and really thinking about this project was critical and i'm glad that they were there and i'm glad that i at times was willing to kind of reach out to people to get that additional feedback beyond my committee even though the three people on that committee robert itself sandy that can pull this fine. we're all extraordinary scholars who were wonderful mentors a good one i'm a terrible model
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for you. sorry, i i'm so old. i can't even remember when i wrote a dissertation, but i did but it was not a good one. so i you know don't. listen to me, but just keep. keep working on the stuff that you that matters to you, i think and you know, the only advice i would give is just try to push the to the extent you can the job stuff and all that other stuff aside and think about like what's the story in the book? you want to write? and let that be your guiding light i think and and just kind of go for i think that's what and again, my path was very long and but i think like having just these other books out there as models, you know and here i'm also pointing at matt lassiter whose book was on my shelf and all these other wonderful
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scholars, and i agree with ben that are field is really generous just like hey, i want to write a book. these people wrote great books. i'd like to try to have my book. sit on the shelf next to them. so yeah. i guess i mean, i will say something for all things just i i just i feel like i only had is difficult to answer too because not too much change structurally from the dissertation to the books. i feel hesitant to answer the question, but i new after it was finished that it needed one more chapter of things that were confusing to me. and so i sort of flag those as like i'll work on those for the when i do the book revisions, but i think one of the reasons it didn't feel as painful to me in hindsight is that i had an advisor who really pushed me to act like i was writing a book while i was writing a dissertation and by that, i mean she really pushed me to think about the human beings at the
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center of this pretty wonky story. i wanted to tell right it's always like where are the people the people should be driving the action and really helpful and thinking about changing sort of like the pace of storytelling. click foreshadowing right things that good narratives do but that, you know when you're just really focused on processing your primary sources, you might not think to do so i think as much of that sort of like good storytelling you can do in a dissertation part, then the transition to book is maybe a little less painful. eyes and editor. so yeah editor. yeah higher editor. it's not like an easy thing. i'm not saying it like lively but like it's important to have someone that's not in your field but understands what it takes to get at your book. yeah, okay just gonna have one more time. i think so when i was talking about mentors actually meant peers just as much right and i think that that's also critical for the people who are in similar positions to be able to exchanging work with one another that was just absolutely
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critical. so. mm-hmm. yeah, i think all of these tips are really really valuable having a postdoc is i was fortunate like people ask me how i got my first book out fast and that was because i had postdoc and that's and so yeah that that was very fortunate and i think yeah the sort of the art of treating a dissertation like a dissertation which it is what it you know, it's not a book i think one challenge when one is in grad school is you're reading everyone's books after they've been beautifully polished into little gems and you're like, i can't do that and but at the same time thinking about story thinking about the people not the acronyms as driving action and and think just having a narrative sensibility from the very beginning while also recognizing the dissertation is a very of beast. than it is. and yeah and talking to having as many giving it as much oxygen as possible and being brave and showing it to lots of people everything i've ever written has been made better by the more
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people peers students of mine senior colleagues to you know, having being it is terrifying to show one's work, especially when it's something that's held close that you've been working on for so long, but it does not have to be perfect and people are very generous. know they really are other other questions. i have i have other questions, but i want to make sure anyone anyone who has queries, yeah. hello, this is working. yes it okay. i'm lauren at rutgers camden. i have a question for the panel actually inspired by mike's book, which is the only one of the four i've read so far. and it's just i guess i'm curious to hear. what? kind of interesting class critiques like sort of broad-class critiques your subjects taught you or showed
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you mike's one thing that i really loved about your book. is this really nuance analysis of like a very pragmatic class politics of your subjects. did you come up with the phrase bungalow conservatism, or was that something you borrowed? okay, i don't know i probably did a search back then to see if it was out in the world and i didn't find it but that doesn't mean that no. i just i couldn't remember from my recollection. look, i love i just kind of coined it in there and just it's a great phrase it's so captured these people that are kind of. you know you sort of move us away from thinking that that social change at the neighborhood level only happens through, you know, lefty visionaries or people who are challenging the system in some fundamental way and i mean again, that's one of the great strengths of your book, so i'm curious about i know the sort of the subjects of the other books.
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it sounds like are pretty different and it's a different time and mike. i mean those people you were tracking from the 50s, so but i just like, i'm just curious what kind of possibly surprising or really? interesting class critiques you you got from your subjects. everyone, i guess one of the things that was surprising and interesting for me was seeing the way so since these folks that i studied right the book goes from 66 to basically like the late 1980s and as they were really sort of concerned with vulkers monitorist experiment and sort of the era of high interest rates. they had started to use this language that monetary policy was redlining by class, right? so there was this this sort of recognition that there was a group of americans and they sort
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of can see they started to reach out to farmers during this time too. right and so it started feature like farmers and their newsletters, but also even some of these like small bankers that sometimes were opponents, but there was a recognition that there was a large group of americans that needed affordable credit to sort of maintain their standard of living and that so they sort of this critique of monetary policy and interest rates as a kind of class discrimination and class violence. so that was a surprise one and they called it economic discrimination with the other one. i thought was really interesting to i actually have a follow-up question to your response the category because i used to look at series that too but the category of like low to moderate income was that produced through this organizing? so this was really interesting. i mean that's a hud category, but the thing that was really interesting to was that there was a they there was a moment
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early and like in the early 1970s. they often talked about themselves as neighborhood people in community people and there was a moment i saw in the newsletter when they had made this this sort of stink in this article about how hud head started to use the language of community and sort of like co-opted it so they couldn't call themselves community people anymore. and so instead they said they were low and modern income people like they were sort of repeating the hood categories back and that's actually language that sort of stays in the movement this sort of language of low and modern income people that comes from hood my interest. that's my understanding. thanks. just to note to the previous question about the generosity of our field lauren. thomas was a reader of my manuscript and a blurber of my manuscript and it was made so much better because of her expertise and it just speaks to i think what we were talking about you just you get these
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reader reports and you they're like, it's a it's a whole it's a lesson plan. it's like whoa, awesome, you know, and that part it is like i i don't know. it's just like really i think special it can be all tormenting to a traumatic but when it works it works and it's awesome, and so, thank you. all right other other questions or i'm going to then i'm going to take that. i'm gonna take the the last word. which is what are some questions that you all are still asking about this broader this broader issue of the public and the private whether sectors fears realms and the urban and the metropolitan that are still unresolved and that you either things you yeah things that you're still pursuing and would like to you think are that need
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answering? i'll just not for this and i think it's again not answering your great question, but really thinking about just coming out of you know on the other end of like the books out and people are gonna read it, but and you know, this is built up a conversation i have with dustin jenkins about like, you know, i wanted my people i wanted people to read my book in this field and that field and and so i also hope and i think we all do that. all kinds of people will read the books and and hopefully we learn about their assessment of those of the reading because i have all sorts of questions still that i don't think i was able to answer and and you know. there's a lot of community organizations working in on the southwest side of chicago now
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that are that are battling housing precarity and that are doing it in ways that i think we would probably as historian say like, oh that's kind of like a neoliberal model because you're you're like appealing to these like very wealthy philanthropic organizations and you're trying to get this grant or everything you're doing is geared toward this particular grant at the same. time though there is housing that's being manifested through these programs. and so and and you know the kind of neoliberalism that exists in the 2020s is different from the one that we probably were looking at in the 1990s. and so this is me just kind of thinking a lot about are these folks going to read it? and if so, what are they going to say where they and how would they see themselves in the narrative? are they are they the antagonists or protagonists?
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who are they you know, and so so this is me just thinking about like i would love for those folks to read my book or design people or urban planners or city officials working in cook county government. so yeah. neither then i just want to say really quickly that i mean, i'm left with an endless number of questions about new york city, but i'm really thankful for the younger generate younger. oh boy, and i officially in that category younger generation of color scholars who are really working around. yeah, i think beyond new york, of course, but to really think about like new york that are i think answering some of those questions. so whether that bench enfield anfield's work around what's happening with fire and arson and it's relationship to the insurance industry or salinity and thinking about the kind of crisis around aids in the late 20th century patriars around the growth of latino communities in new york city. so, i think i'm really inspired by the ongoing work that those scholars and many others are
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doing and take a lot of inspiration for continuing to think through the ways in which new york is changing and metropolitan areas are changing in the late 20th century into the 21st as well as how we can undo some of the problems that we are documenting through these kinds of studies that are with us in cities today. well, i think that we've come to the end of our time and i want to just congratulate all of you and and claire in absentia for for coming together and for producing these marvelous works of scholarship the wonderful thing about scholarly books is they have a long tail and a slow burn and yeah, and and you know, you publish your book and you're like, okay. and but then you are at a conference. 20 years later and you meet somebody who says i read your i read your book and it, you know, did it affected me shape my work in this way. so it will you were writing
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things that are built to last and so as they're all of you. so let's appreciate that and thank you. that's thank our panelists. you through 20 years of wavering and wandering through hot and cold wars through corruption and cynicism the american people of hunger for leadership founded on integrity in wisdom and courage we h


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