tv Politics and Public Policy Today CSPAN April 8, 2016 9:00am-10:01am EDT
captioning performed by vitac yes. i think that, you know, we are talking about microagressions but stereotyping has not only to do with black students and hispanic students, latino students but also has to do with religious minorities, especially those who you might be able to tell from either their dress or where they might be from and people might make stereotypes out of those -- out of those assumptions. >> yeah, i'd only say yes and only add what we're actually seeing now on college campuses is this stuff is showing up digitally as well. think like yik yak, people are making anonymous statements that are prejudiced and racist in a whole host of ways. it's a geographic app, they know it's happening at the college campus. twitter, things like that. you're seeing that spill over into people's lived reality in ways i don't think colleges have actually responded to well yet. students feel it, right, they see all the comments on yik yak, they're very specific, they know it happened.
and we're seeing that hate come up thought way. >> but i want to come to his point about religion, about -- i think you're specifically referencing people who are muslim? >> that's correct. >> i'm saying the hate is not only happening -- nailah said, visibly on campus but definitely, too. people are saying islamophobic things on yik yak about people on campus. it's harder to manage when you can't figure out who said it, what dorm room it came from because the volume is increasing. you see it come in waves on college campuses that causes this unrest visibly on the campus itself. >> anonymity causes further unrest. >> right. >> we are fortunate early this fall to have a student organization of muslim young men and women to come forward and say, we are muslim and we are not your enemy and they invited the rest of the campus to come
and talk with an imam and several other members of the community who are muslim and for 2 1/2 hours, students, about 300 in the room, were free to say what they wanted and to get a response. i think the really important part of it is that they had experts and they had supportive folks there who were able to help them frame some of the discussion, but also they had verification of a religious perspective present as well. so it was a very open place. one of the students said it's wonderful to be in an institution where you feel able to trust your fellow zs citizens and students and have this kind of event, so it went on as long as people wanted to talk and it was about 2 1/2 hours. >> we've come to the end but i just wanted to say in terms of state of the race and the aspen institute, comcast, what we've done for six years, this, i think, could stand as the model
of smart, intense discussion that avoids nothing and ask all of us as americans to deal with race in a substantial and a way that could lead to further change. we're not here for the status quo. we're here for the change. and it's as a result of conversations that move us forward. conversations like this one that progress is possible. so i just want to ask you to join me in thanking eduardo padron from miami-dade, joining me in thanking nailah harper-malveaux from yale. join me in thanking deray mckesson. and join me in thanking phoebe haddon from rutgers camden. thank you all for coming. >> hey. thank you so much.
we -- as we transition to the next panel, which will be on the changing demographics in large cities, we're pleased to welcome to moderate this the man who is -- while it is -- while al jazeera is still on the air, the anchor of "america's inside story" there. he has a distinguished journalistic career as the chief national correspondent for the pbs "newshour" and before that, the host of national public radio's "talk of the nation." the author of three books, many articles, and chapters. he's a household name and really a household voice. familiar voice to all of us. please welcome ray suarez who will introduce his panel. >> thanks a lot, charlie. i was really pleased to be asked to moderate this panel, particularly, because i've had a front seat for this story for my entire life.
growing up in brooklyn, working as a reporter in new york, los angeles, chicago, and washington, d.c., places that have seen decades of transformation. i've covered it as a reporter. i've written about it. the book is still in print and it makes a lovely gift. [ laughter ] and, you know, i think that this is the story that we tell each other about the way we live filtered through other forms. neighborhoods change all the time and they change for a wide variety of reasons. and in a wide variety of ways. lately we've been talking about it nationally in the context of gentrification, but neighborhoods have changed in a lot of ways. i was in a neighborhood in cleveland a couple years ago where right in a middle of a neighborhood that was still well populated was a closed elementary school because the
surrounding area had aged in place and there simply were not enough children to keep an elementary school open in that neighborhood. that's a form of demographic change that we don't talk about very much. sometimes we automatically assume that economic change also means racial change. both for a neighborhood on the way up or on the way down. but you can go to a lot of neighborhoods around the country especially now where there's economic change under way with no visible racial change. yet, the expectations, the aspirations of the people arriving are very different from those ideas about what the place is and how life is defined there from the people who are already in place. and it provides a big challenge for ngos and for government. do you allow this to go on organically?
do you allow it simply to proceed and see what prevails? or is government a necessary actor in the drama to assure a certain insistence on equity and insistence on social justice? the needs and desires of the long-term residents have to be understood and heard as well as the needs and desires of the people who are forcing the demographic change, who are changing the numbers and making us look at this place. and i have a great panel to do this with. and i'll go from right to left. thaesz that's a spacial rather than a political designation, i assure you. stephanie rawlings-blake is the mayor of baltimore, maryland. and the last time we spoke was at the democratic convention in charlotte and she's a champion for her city.
don phillips is the executive director of write to the city, a formation of over 50 community organizations in 33 cities around the country, around human rights and housing. mayor michael nutter, the recent past mayor of philadelphia, currently a senior fellow at bloomberg philanthropies. and sue chan, a member of the city council of fremont, california. and mayor nutter, i'll start with you. i was recently in philadelphia eating at a swell restaurant that my high school daughter who was with me assured me was way too hip for me. in a neighborhood called fishtown. >> sure. >> and it was a place to watch it happening moment by moment what we're talking about in this panel. so we look at fishtown and do we walk along the streets there and say, this is great, or are there
other things you have to think about before you assess what's going on in the urban landscape in a place like that? >> well, ray, thank you. you always have to think about it, and, you know, it's not just fishtown, it's northern liberties which, you know, maybe 20 years ago i think northern liberties did not have a name and became northern liberties. folks were moving to, you know, bridesburg, they were moving to kensington. you know, when i was in office in city council, it was manayunk on main street. so, you know, philadelphia kind of the quintessential city of neighborhoods. there's a lot of change in our city. i think the diversity of philadelphia is one of our strengths, but, you know, i was talking earlier in an interview, this is really about what people want to do. and how they want to live together. philadelphia one of the most historic cities in the united states of america but has also seen the largest percentage
increase of millennial population of any major city in the united states of america. so there's a lot of activity going on between and among neighborhoods and people find those places, move to them, and this is really, i think ultimately it's about respect. it's about respect of culture. it's about respect of our seniors. whether by age or by how long folks have been in a neighborhood. as well as that, you know, being open and welcoming to new people. quote/unquote, new people, who are just coming to the neighborhood or who are new to philadelphia. so it's really about managed growth. it's about zoning which, you know, please do not let your eyes glaze over. these are actually important concepts. it's about managed growth, smart growth. every lot doesn't have to have a building on it and every old building is not the most precious thing in the universe. it's about working with community folks, neighborhood people, respecting those who have been through the rise, the fall and now the resurgence of the community and the new folks
don't automatically project a feeling that wow, we're here to save your neighborhood, you should be grateful we showed up, making your property values go up, development and construction is taking place. my grandmother used to say you can be house rich and cash poor. because the value of my house went up doesn't mean i can pay the tax. people shouldn't be forced out of their neighborhood, pushed out of their home because they can't pay their taxes. [ applause ] there are steps the government can and must take to preserve the great history. the folks who made the neighborhood what it is, while at the same time responding to the fact that it's moving possibly in a new direction and that everybody has to figure out how to live together. >> what neighborhoods -- especially in a place like philadelphia have been changing for centuries. >> absolutely. >> how do we get to this place and we say but now we have to preserve what used to be? >> when my parents moved from south philadelphia in the mid '50s, the big move for some
african-american families was, the big move up was to move to west philly. we were the third black family on the block. by the time i was 10 years old, there were 3 white families left. it's a pretty significant change in a relatively short period of time. now it is, like, probably, you know, 99.8% african-american, latino, maybe some other folks. change will happen. that's the one constant in life. you look at philly, you can go to some neighborhoods, you'll have three blocks, it's african-american, another three blocks, maybe it's italian and irish. another three blocks, latino, asian, whatever it may be. all in the same space, basically the same neighborhood. they figure it out. it also takes leadership and takes support from community leaders, community-based organizations. you referred to ngos, and others who are actively engaged in the lifeblood of communities. in philly, we have a philadelphia human relations commission because at times there are conflicts.
someone has to be that valid third party to step in and say, hey, everybody's here, nobody's moving, what's the conflict here, what are you not understanding? this group has their traditions, another group has their traditions. you have to live together and figure it out. >> what does that imposition into the marketplace look like? who needs defending and from what? >> well, so i want to start by addressing your question about the kind of process for change of neighborhoods. i think it's true, neighborhoods change, cities change, communities change. i think for the work that we do, what we focus on is that this type of change is not by accident. it's actually systemic and structural in nature. so what do i mean by that? so two things in particular. this process of change we're looking at comes from a multi-decade history of public policy that has driven
disinvestment in many urban communities. so i live and work in san francisco and oakland, for example, aside from my national purview, and what have we seen? we've seen a history of redlining, we've seen urban renewal, we've seen the fact that federal transportation policies, the creation of suburbs, white flight from urban centers, these went into create five or six decades of really, really systemic structurally-driven disinvestment. our analysis is that type of disinvestment creates the conditions for a place like west oakland or the mission district or east oakland to now become very, very highly profitable in terms of the kind of potential to profit from what is relatively cheap land and housing values to a surrounding that is, you know, that's being very demand-driven. so, one, i think that it's
important as we talk about this process of change to actually name the structural and the way in which public policy and public revenues have actually driven the process. the second thing i would say is, while change happens all the time, the real question i think is how do we ensure that change is equitable, right? there have been previous cycles and previous rounds of neighborhoods and communities changing over, but when white communities left the mission, when the old kind of irish community left the mission neighborhood and when irish and portuguese folks left west oakland and ethnic white folks left east oakland, they went somewhere better. they moved to the suburbs. and at that time, the suburbs were a great place to be for white folks. it was better schools. you know, better homes. better quality of life. however, i think the equity question is when working class
communities of colors are displaced from their neighborhoods, they're not going somewhere else better. a suburbanization of poverty. not a better place to be. if you're moving from west oakland to east oakland now, you're moving to a place like antioch, fremont, pittsburg and the cities are well known, well documented to have no health information, no transportation infrastructure. it's basically very, very poorly resourced bedroom communities where the only thing that they have going for them is the fact that rent is relatively cheap. now, you've exchanged the fact that you now can afford your housing for a three-hour commute one way back to oakland where you shop, go to your hairdresser, go to church, your children still go to school there, your job is there. so it's a question, right, as to
whether this -- this current phase of what is a natural progression of change is actually benefiting. so i think it's the -- it's the systemic nature and the nature of whether or not change creates greater equity and greater opportunities, or if, in fact, it causes further racial and class inequity. >> there are winners and losers in this process constantly and it would be disingenuous to say otherwise, but at the same time, one of the things fortunately/unfortunately, it's the way it is, that makes you a shareholder able to demand to be left alone in place is ownership. it's the unfortunate truth of the way we assign and value space in this country that owners can put an anchor in the ground, renters cannot. they get moved. they get shifted. they get downgraded.
they get shunted. things happen, but as we watch gentrification in a place like the bay area certainly, its owners actually quite often do quite well on the back end, but renters take what they can get and what you just described is a process of that happening. >> well, i think actually a lot of the black displacement, if you look at oakland, has actually been black ownership, the displacement of black homeowners. just to say a few things about the question about home ownership and rent and tenancy and how these things play out, so one thing i'd start by saying is in 2013, the 12 top banks in this country provided four, a total of four loans to black homeowners to purchase new houses in oakland. documented. four. right? most of the displacement from east and west oakland, black homeowners have been placed. we often talk about this concept of false choice, right? so is it a choice for you to
take a buyout when you bought your house in 1972 for $18,000 and can now sell it from someone -- the last phase of gentrification we saw in the bay, these stories are probably resonant to some of you, but there were people coming with bags of cash to make $600,000 or $700,000 offers to homeowners saying i'll buy your house in the current state today for the money that's in this bag. but what do you exchange, right? does it work out when you essentially lose your community, lose your social bearings. it's well documented. political power is being broken up. the fact that actually these neighborhoods, and i saw you holding steve phillips' book, ray, but the fact that voting blocs, latino voting blocs,
black voting blocs based on neighborhood organization are being broken up. a lot is being sacrificed for a one-time payment, and it's not clear, and we don't know today yet whether it's going to work out over time that we determine that there is a long-term benefit, right, to actually taking a buyout. >> right. >> the last thing i would say is, this country is becoming majority renter, right? what i mean by that is it's already established, 25 of the largest metropolitan centers in this country are majority renter cities. i think it's true of all the mayors and the council members who are sitting up here. maybe not in fremont. >> i don't think so in philly in. >> oakland and san francisco, for example, it's over 60%. true in new york and many, many places. now, we have to make a decision as a country whether we say or not that, in fact, regardless of your -- whether you're a homeowner or not, we value all
the stakeholders in our community, we recognize people have made legitimate contributions and, therefore, have a legitimate right to determine their ability to stay or thrive in a community and not base it entirely on this question of home ownership. >> mayor, your city has face depopulation. the challenge of controlling and consolidating geography and what to do about abandoned homes and underpopulated neighborhoods, how have you coped with that and gotten baltimore ready for what's next? >> a great question. i've been -- i was talking to mayor nutter earlier in public service for more than 20 years
and have seen the changes in many of baltimore's neighborhoods and many not in a good way. so i knew when i became mayor i had an opportunity to do things differently and i wanted to create a plan that really worked for our city, so i challenged my housing commissioner and his team to come up with a market-driven strategy, one that works for baltimore that will help us to undo the decades of disinvestment, blithe, and abandonment so we created a little over five years ago vacants to value. i've been very, very pleased with the multipronged approach where we're working with communities where we know that the market will take years to catch up with that community, but it doesn't mean that they have to live with, you know, blithed, vacant, trash-strewn
lots. what we've done is created almost 900 community green spaces working with volunteers and the community members to design the space so they can use it to be a place of peace and beauty instead of, you know, just trash and things like that. we created incentives for people to move into the city, incentives that people can layer with -- we've asked employers to work with us on live near your work incentive and they can layer our incentives. for example, people who work for john hopkins that want to live around the hospital have gotten up to $40,000 at the closing table for homes. so we've created those opportunities. we cut the red tape in the process of buying a city-owned vacant property. and what we're seeing is that
the investments that we're making, i quadrupled the investment. we are blessed in baltimore to be stabilizing and taking advantage of some of the great neighborhoods, and honestly, taking advantage of the fact that people are being priced out of places around us. people are being priced out of d.c. we work hard to make sure everyone understands baltimore is an affordable alternative and that's leveraging additional investments. so the things that we're doing, the governor has made a significant investment in our demolition because we have as a track record an internationally recognized blithe elimination program that people see that slowly, you know, pushing back on those years of disinvestment. >> can i jump in there for a second? when you have people who are over time dispersed over a wide
area, there are some blocks with very few inhabited units left. for those of you who are not familiar with baltimore, there's a lot of row housing so sometimes you'll have 20 or 30 homes and only 2 of them or 3 of them are still inhabited. when you say, look, let's create a community, let's create defensible space, let's take some people from 2nd street, some people from 5th street, people from 7th street, and make a real block again. are they ready to do it? do they want to do it? and do they feel like they're being forced to do it? >> nobody wants to live in a block where the only occupied home in the block. nobody -- that's not a choice. that's not -- nobody says i want that house in the middle of a vacant block. but it is the condition that too many families find themselves. when we encounter a block like that, where there's one occupied, just, you know, like, we call it snaggletooth, right?
the row houses, snaggletooth. our goal is to relocate that family where they want to be and put them in no worse condition than they are now. so a lot of times what happens is if there's going to be development in that area, we can just move them from one house to the next, but a house that is an occupied block and, you know, something that worked for them. and we work -- i'll just say, it slows down the progress, but it makes for better development when you take the time to try to put people -- make sure that you're not hurting people as we're making these -- tearing down these blocks. we don't want to put people in a worse condition, but we also have to recognize that the longer that block stays like that -- i mean, we have row houses where there will be one occupied home and two houses down there's a tree coming up through the row house because it's been abandoned for so long. like i said, nobody wants to live like that and the only way to change it is to change it and
we have to do in many cases tear them down and make way for new development but that doesn't mean we tear down those lives of the people who live there. >> we've been talking an awful lot about economics up until now. let's turn the corner and start talking about politics which is sometimes economics played with different rules. when fremont changed as a city, did the politics there change? did who's on the city council change? did people's feeling of ownership about the place change? both the people who were there before and the people who are
new to the place. >> first of all, i think it's important to have a little bit about the history. our city's only 60 years old. we just celebrated our 60th anniversary in january. 1956 were 5 townships, primarily agricultural. it was puerto rican -- i'm sorry, portuguese as well as japanese-american and filipinos that had the orchards and grew the crops and then things shifted dramatically. silicon valley occurred. all of a sudden there's an attraction of people from all over the world, in particular from china and from india. and so there was an influx of these individuals to the area. now, granted the people that lived there, you either liked it or you didn't. we had experienced white flight. but the people that came to fremont were telling their people in their native countries, this is a great place to live. and they came and that's how ethnic communities have always started throughout our history. whether it's a chinatown, a koreatown, barreos, what have you. so things have changed. we are now a minority/majority. and it's asian-american. okay? but within that group, there are many different types of asians.
it's not just chinese and indo-american. there's vietnamese, cambodian, hmong, pakistani, afghans. there are just so many. what is the beauty of our city, i think, is that diversity that we celebrate. now, we've been a city for 60 years. we've had five council members of color. so i'm the first chinese-american female, and we've had two indo-americans and three other chinese-americans. so is it a reflection of our community? i would hope so. can it get better? absolutely. >> but is it a function in the case that you just laid out of still large numbers of people who are not naturalized and,
thus, don't get counted in the eventual political outcomes? or are these people who haven't yet found their footing politically and said i want to be on that council, i want to see that council look like my neighborhood? >> i would say that asian-americans in general are the fastest growing in the united states. their influence is there. it's significant. they have the highest income. and they're the first to be naturalized. and so when you have someone who looks like you on your city council, i think that shows that there's an interest there, but we have to be able to do the outreach. and many people have not been contacted. when you have an election, i think that the asian population looks to ethnic media for their news source or the papers. and so is that accurate? i would hope so, but to engage those people is something that we are trying to do actively. there is an api victory group that has formed to increase the voter population in this coming election cycle so that we can
have an influence. and so it is -- it's happening now only in california but in cities that are swing states like colorado and virginia and florida where we are trying to galvanize and get people to vote and be a part of the process and we can really make a difference. >> it's kind of a lovely thing to be named fremont since he came to california and stole land from the mexicans that they stole from the indians. sort of even in 60 years you're able to sort of encapsulate that great -- that great story of american ethnic succession. >> okay. [ laughter ] >> the -- but the idea of empowerment of new communities happens in, as we've heard, various kinds of contexts.
you've got a lot of new people in baltimore who have no baltimore roots, who have no association with baltimore neighborhoods. the folkways, the expectations of what a year in the life of baltimore is like. do those people jump right in or do they sort of still seem oriented to the places they come from? >> what i found is that people who move to baltimore want an authentic city experience. they want a place where they can make a difference. i run into people all the time and say that's why they moved. not only is baltimore affordable, but it's one of the top destinations for millennials because it's affordable, it's hip and people can engage. now, i just want to be very clear, we understand the quirkiness of baltimore, when people ask what school you went to in baltimore, they mean what high school. they want to know if you have roots.
if you don't, you can still play with us but it's at arm's length. that being said, i run into people all the time that they come here not -- they come to baltimore not to recreate brooklyn and new york but to engage in the unique communities that we have, and i'm very grateful for that because i love the uniqueness of our neighborhoods and i don't want to lose that and it is a delicate balancing act to be a city that is -- you know, i was very clear, i want baltimore to be a welcoming city for people from around this country and for people from outside of our country. i know that we will be a more sustainably vital city by having -- by welcoming diversity, but i don't want us to lose our character. >> may i jump in? so i think a couple of things to build off what's been said, so i think it's important for us to just admit, i mean, and there's so much about this conversation
and the way it's been framed today that our work resonates so much with, but the fact of the matter is that racial demographic shifts at the national and in many cases at the local level has not produced more racial justice, right? so more of us has not meant more justice for us, right? so what do i mean by that? in oakland, for example, we have had since the '70s a black mayor. for a black city, we've had black mayors. that coincided exactly and specifically with the most intense periods of white flight, with the pulling out from under the city of our manufacturing and our economic base. the city became a shell of itself and who was partly to blame was our black mayors. though it was not their fault. it was not them who was moving industry, it wasn't them who were driving the federal redevelopment policies, it wasn't them that created the
freeway through our black neighborhoods. it was not any of -- those decisions were not theirs to make in actuality, right? but we've had a majority city council of folks of color. we have asian-american representation, we have latino representation, lgbtq representation and very strong black leadership in oakland. but the reality is that, and this was to reference what was talked about in the first panel, you know, this is the exact opposite of this kind of post-racial society that people talk about. we are in a highly racialized society and that continues to remain true for many of our communities. so i think that the fact is is
that we have to continue to talk about these demographic shifts within a systemic context and not within the context of individual experiences, right? i think the reality is, our cities and our neighborhoods have always represented and had multiple truths and provided multiple opportunities for experiences for different communities. it is very different to live in the mission and understand san francisco within the context of being a latino central american refugee living in the mission for 50 years, or to be a black homeowner in north oakland, you know, and experiencing your neighborhood and your city from that perspective than other people who live in other parts of the city, right? so i think our cities and our neighborhoods, it is fine and it is good and it is right that people will have multiple experiences as the mayor has said of these faces. but the fact is we have to focus on our policy is being structured to ensure that everybody has access to opportunities, access to quality housing, access to political decision-making for your community. how are these things equalized
and protected structurally and focus less in some ways on the experiences of individual people because people will make their individual experiences what they are and that's -- >> how do you protect it structurally? what does that actually look like? would you have to write things into statute that set aside certain powers and prerequisites for certain people? i don't understand how you protect them. >> i think that's a fair question. we would say three things. one, every city has to have a clear plan and clear approach for community stabilization. so what that means for us is there has to be policies put in place in particular around housing that ensures that for low-income, moderate-income
people who want to stay in the people, emphasis, want, to stay in the community, that they are able to. that looks like rent control protection, that looks like maintaining and upkeeping quality of housing stock. that looks like eviction protections. it has to be centerpiece. second, community-led, community-driven planning. what do i mean? we have to ask longtime residents, vulnerable residents to actually be a part of the process of deciding and driving the types of development that are coming into their communities and into their cities. meaning we have to -- >> let me stop you right there. dawn just made this presentation at a hearing. mayor, you're sitting there and you say to yourself in your thought bubble, because you don't see it into your microphone until you've thought about it a little bit more, does that sound like something that can work? >> and mayor, if i may adjust the third element then you can respond. >> quickly. >> absolutely. [ laughter ] community control and ownership. >> yeah. >> okay.
>> so in the thought bubble, i would say those sound like very nice ideas. i'd like to try to better understand some of the things you're talking about. and in the meantime -- >> you sound like a mayor. i love it. >> once a mayor, always a mayor. and in the meantime, i need to figure out how to balance all of those interests with the fact that this neighborhood looks like hell, these folks have been complaining about the way their neighborhood looks, need to put people to work, and continue the revitalization of this particular section of, i'll say, the city of philadelphia. and so what mayors spend a lot of their time doing is trying to balance a variety of interests. you want growth and development. you want to put people to work. you want that economic investment. and as i mentioned earlier on
the first question, but that has to be balanced with what is going on in the community? and so many of the things that you talked about, and i appreciate you recognizing that for some of the things you specifically referenced it was not necessarily the mayor or the city council making those decisions which really then leads to, you know, mayors don't usually build highways through communities. so now we're really talking about what's going on with the state and the federal government and their roles in all of this? it is almost impossible for any mayor, and certainly in the current economic climate, to have anywhere near all the resources they would ever want to do many of the things that you're talking about. and so, you know, i'm going to shift a little bit here on you, ray. i mean, we're in one of the most intense political seasons that any of us have experienced in recent times. it really does matter. folks haven't been paying attention, it really does matter
who's in the white house. it really does. and those kinds of decisions, and who's the secretary of transportation and who's running epa and who's running the department of education and who, you know, do folks understand what hud is really about? i mean, we have members of congress who vote to slash budgets over at hud and then go to the ribbon cutting for projects that were funded by a program that they just cut last week. i mean, the level of hypocrisy in this environment is astounding and so what happens at the city level is, you know, we pick up trash, we fill potholes, we do what we do, but the relationship with the state and federal government in cities and states all across the united states of america, i think, is critically important in how we engage with the federal government. the federal government has a role and responsibility for many of the things you're talking about and often are really off the hook or m.i.a. on a bunch of the issues. >> the fact you cited the epa, it makes it seem like you're
assuming a democrat is going to be winning in november. >> i'm working on it every day. >> councilwoman, dawn just testified at your hearing. how do you build in guarantees of equity that people who don't want to be pushed out are not pushed out? are these workable in the marketplace that your residents operate in? >> well, one of the things that we've done is that that we have a human relations commission as well and we just recently had a two-day symposium on racial equity where we had members of all of the diverse, wonderful population come together to have an opportunity to exchange ideas and to share their issues and sometimes we don't hear about that. one of the things that came out of that was the muslim population felt that the chinese population was not sensitive to their issues.
now, as a council member who has -- >> what form would that take? >> well, they were saying it had to do with the way the muslim news was being portrayed in the ethnic newspapers. now, i don't have -- we don't have control over what -- that's freedom of press, of course. but a lot of times there's this misunderstanding. i'm going to give you an example of -- in our community we have a very large sikh population. they have a place in the hills of fremont. beautiful place. however, because of the cultural, the religious customs of the sikh religion, you have a lot of chanting, you have free food that is -- meals that are given every day. you have ceremonies that could be too noisy for the neighborhood.
and so the residents are very upset about that. so what do they do? they complain and they complain about the traffic and the noise and the inconvenience and the litter and a whole host of issues. but really underneath it, is there, because of the racial, religious tension, is it really the traffic or is it because they don't want the sikhs in their neighborhood? so these are things that we grapple with and so we try to address that with, you know, talking to them, these are the things you have to do. these are the hours. let's see, the traffic, can't be double parking -- >> you can always suggest because you can't -- >> we can enforce. >> you can't restrain when ceremonies are. that's a first-amendment violation, too. >> sure, but if it's a large group, there are permits that have to be applied for. notices given to the residents so that they know that. there are things that are within
our ability to control. >> it's amazing, the front edge of these kinds of -- i've never heard that particular problem described in an urban challenges forum before. q&a time. please line up at the mikes. tell us who you are. ask a question. you all are familiar with questions. your voice goes up at the end. you actually want to know something that the other person knows, and you are not telling us something you know instead, which is called a speech. yes, sir? >> okay. good afternoon. my name is richard ezeki with the congressional black caucus foundation. thank you, all, for your time. i want to specifically pose this question to mayor nutter, mayor rawlings-blake. i want to ask you ,what are the influences of metropolitan organizations? a lot of them have impact on transportation plans and also some of them have impact on housing development in your
major cities and a lot of the times many npos, because you don't think about equity issues, you find out a lot of the development they have is very much skewed away from allowing communities of color to develop. so can you talk a little bit about your experience with the baltimore npo and also the philadelphia npo? thank you. >> you can look around the country and find these planning organizations having different effectiveness and inclusiveness and what i can say is you can also find that power of the planning organization being enhanced or curtailed by the people that are controlling the money. so in baltimore we put together over a republican administration and a democratic administration, put together very comprehensive
transportation plan called the redline with the goal of connecting people to where people needed to be. education, opportunity, and jobs. and i was very clear that this redline plan not only would connect people to jobs but it would create jobs in the process because we worked very hard with organized labor to ensure that the opportunities that were created along the way would be of benefit to the people of those communities. when the republican governor came in, he cast that plan out without even a conversation. so while the npo and all of the work that had been done to create that plan i think was inclusive and had the potential to be very empowering, the person in power made sure that that didn't happen. you can have all of the plans in the world. if you don't have the money
behind it or the political will behind it, it's not going to happen. >> i had a positive experience with our npo, delaware valley regional planning commission, dvrpc. we have heard horror stories across the united states of america in dealing with some of these organizations and the department of transportation, the federal is quite well aware of some of those challenges. so it it's not a one size fits all. it really is more of a localized circumstance. we've benefited tremendously from their partnership with us, and our active engagement with them. infrastructure improvements, bridges, roads, septa, our regional transportation authority has burn fitted from dvrpc and surrounding counties. we really took a regional approach to much of what i was
trying to do as mayor of philly. the five counties represent 40% of the economy of the commonwealth of pennsylvania. we're kind of tucked down in th right-hand corner of the state, working together, we were able to get much more done and share in that big pie, then, you know, constantly fighting for every nickel and dime. as long as we can see up on the big board, that everyone was really getting something, and true planning is, you know, 10, 15, 20 years out, in many instances, so i need some money now, and i need to see i'm going to get some over time and everybody else is getting a little piece of the action, and they be, you know, you can make things work. in other places, like i said, horror stories about what's going on. and i think we saw some of that play out in the economic recovery, after president obama almost, you know, with obviously cvbc members and others, single handedly brought the country back from the brink. when none of the house republicans voted for the economic recovery plan and only
three in the senate. giving that money to states and in many instances, those larger regional planning organizations, i think many would admit, was probably the wrong way to go. >> thank you. >> thanks. >> yes, next? >> hello, my name is shane bernard. i'm from philadelphia, pennsylvania. i work at a multi-media start-up company. i guess my question could be posed to you, former mayor nutter and mayor rawlins blake, but something i've always been grappling with is the role of colleges and universities in major cities and how that plays a role in the changing dynamics of our cities. as someone who's grown up close to temple university, i've seen the massive changes in north philadelphia football stadiums, but at the same time, as public university -- >> we haven't built it yet. haven't built it yet. >> in the works, in the works. but i've always felt included in
that community with temple. and i think that they made it a core part of their mission to make sure that they have a healthier relationship with the neighborhood that they exist in. but then you look at other schools, private schools, but at lasalle university or st. jules university, that kind of have a school on top of an ivory tower, on top of an ivory tower feel to it, where they're not really connected. i'm just wondering what responsibility do these schools have in continuing to maintain community partnerships or relationships? >> i don't think it's a matter of whether it's a public school or a private school, whether or not they feel as if they're a part of the community, or act as if. i think it's a matter of the leadership of those schools. what i did as mayor was to bring all of those colleges and our hospitals together, and say, listen, we are -- the colleges
and universities in our -- the hospitals, colleges, and universities in our city represent billions of dollars in spending power, billions in economic development. how can we, as a community, as a group of anchors, decide that those billions will be of benefit to the people of our city. so we came up with the anchor, the anchor plan. and i think we're the first one in the country that has all of the hospitals and universities make an agreement, sign on to an agreement that they will coordinate economic development, coordinate public safety, coordinate buying, coordinating hiring, hopkins just announced a plan where they're focused on giving, creating pathways for people, and they do a very good job already, but they're going to enhance that.
people that have obstacles to employment, creating those pathways to good job. that didn't happen by accident. it happened because i pulled people to the table and said, how can we work better, together? and when we did that, i think that colleges and universities and hospitals started thinking differently ability their role in the community. >> and i'll pick up from there. philadelphia, to paint a little bit of a picture, 35, 36, 37% of the jobs in the city of philadelphia are tried to education and medicine. with five medical schools in the city of philadelphia. one out of every five doctors in the united states of america will do some part of his or her training in philadelphia, in their career. so, colleges and universities and the medical centers or medical schools or hospitals are economic engines, in and of themselves. they must grow, they must reach out, they bring dollars in, the university of pennsylvania is
the number two nih grant recipient in the united states of america. chop, children's hospital of philadelphia, number one, virtually, in the world. and is the number one nih grant recipient of pediatric hospitals in america as well. many, many of north philadelphia residents, west philadelphia residents, west oak lane, work at colleges and universities. so they bring employment. and we've got 400,000 young people getting an education at 101 colleges and universities in the tristate area. which is one of the reasons we've had such great millennial population growth. come get an education and stay. eight years ago, 28% of our non-native pennsylvania students were staying in the city. today, 49%. so, you're going to have conflicts. and so whether it's somebody wants to build a stadium, this one wants to build a new housing development, we're tearing this one down, building more housing, many more of the students want to stay on campus, great thing, but is there a displacement?
all those kinds of issues? in philly, i think many of our colleges and universities, soy went to penn, graduated in '79, and i saw much of what was taking place in west philadelphia. and i think it was pertinent to many of the other schools. in the '70s, explosive growth, and an active, aggressive posture to get african-americans in colleges and universities. significant increase in financial aid during the carter years, which then dissipated tremendously in the change of election in 1980, with ronald reagan coming into office. but community relations were probably at their worst, in many of those same neighborhoods. so they learned from that experience. and so, are they perfect? no. have they gotten better? absolutely. and much like mayor rawlins blake said, many of them have their own economic opportunity plans. they are increasing and improving with regard to hiring. black firms, latino firms, asian firms, female firms, and disabled business owners.
so i think that it's ultimately all about community engagement and relations. and whether you want to build -- say to them you want to build more buildings, build a park, whatever it is you need. talk to the community, and more oftentimes than not, you can work it out. and when you build that new building, make sure you hire some folks from the neighborhood. >> if you want to go back to school, there is a fabulous doctoral dissertation in this. it's a national phenomenon. the mayor has just talked about the particular cases of baltimore and philadelphia. but whether it's yale and new haven, university of chicago on the south side of chicago, columbia and morningside heights, there's a long history to this, where in places where real estate was tight, where land was built out, where neighborhoods were perceived as being in nonstop decline, that this was a timeline that was going to play out and only go in
one direction. universities leverage their institutional clout and threatening to leave in many cases, or threatened to do all their future expansion in satellite campuses away from their historic cores, and use that as a form of brute force, to change the way streets ran, to change the density of adjoining neighborhoods, to change where multiple dwellings were built, and where single-family housing was built. they are big, heavy, iron-fisted players, colleges and universities. and, you know, ask any mayor. and they'll tell you. but, there are -- there's also kind of a tool kit, because some places have tremendous positive relations with their adjoining neighborhoods. trinity university in connecticut, one of the real pioneers in this regard. and i think penn, in more recent
decades, opened itself to the city, and became a place where people who could only dream of some day going there actually felt like it was a part of the fabric, of the operating tissue of their city, a place that they could go. and them there are places that build great big wallace that look like medieval fortresses around themselves to keep those other people out. and, i tell you, it's one of the great stories. as industries have left cities, and universities, as the mayor noted, have become bigger municipal players, there's a lot of ways that that story can go. many of them good, and many of them bad. i am getting the cut sign. and any good program host knows that one of his most important jobs, along with keeping it interesting and keeping it moving is ending on time. thank you all very much and thank you my guests. [ applause ]