Gentrification Threatening U.S. Chinatowns

Roundup: Analysis of decline in New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia shows need for more low-income and senior housing, and small-business subsidies.

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 21: Signs hang on a Chinatown street as seen from the Manhattan Bridge on August 21, 2013 in New York City. The island of Manhattan is connected to the mainland by a series of historic bridges which thousands of New Yorkers use on a daily bases. Life under the bridges offers a glimpse of both a changing landscape and a city where the rhythms of life have changed little over the years. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
National Journal
Nov. 1, 2013, 6:56 a.m.

The Next Amer­ica col­lects stor­ies about eco­nom­ic growth and chal­lenges to di­verse com­munit­ies. These are from Oct. 15 to 31.

Gentri­fic­a­tion Threatens Chin­atowns. An ana­lys­is of the Chin­atowns in Bo­ston, New York City, and Phil­adelphia show the Asi­an pop­u­la­tions there are in de­cline, partly be­cause of rising rent­al costs and me­di­an hous­ing value. A joint re­port by the Asi­an Amer­ic­an Leg­al De­fense and Edu­ca­tion Fund also found pres­sures be­cause of in­sti­tu­tion­al ex­pan­sion, rezon­ing, and com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ment. The re­port re­com­men­ded great­er sup­port for low-in­come and seni­or hous­ing and sub­sidies to small busi­nesses to help pre­serve the neigh­bor­hood com­munit­ies. China Daily

His­pan­ic-Owned Busi­nesses Worth $1 Bil­lion to Golden State’s Eco­nomy. Cali­for­nia, rep­res­ent­at­ive of the fu­ture demo­graph­ics of the U.S., now gets an eco­nom­ic boost each year to the tune of $100 bil­lion from its ap­prox­im­ately 700,000 His­pan­ic-owned busi­nesses, which chip in more than 650,000 jobs. Thirty-nine per­cent of Cali­for­nia’s 38 mil­lion res­id­ents are of His­pan­ic her­it­age. “His­pan­ics buy from His­pan­ic busi­nesses like stores and res­taur­ants be­cause what they con­sume is not provided by oth­er com­pan­ies,” said Hugo Me­rida, pres­id­ent of the Los Angeles Met­ro­pol­it­an His­pan­ic Cham­bers of Com­merce. His­pan­ic­ally Speak­ing News

Re­port: Entry to Middle Class a Steep­er Climb for Minor­it­ies. Good-pay­ing jobs of the 20th cen­tury served to lift people of col­or in­to the middle class, but today the route is harder. A re­port by the Al­tar­um In­sti­tute (pdf) notes that, ad­just­ing for age and gender, mid-ca­reer white males earn about 30 per­cent more than people of col­or. “The full set of causes for these earn­ings dif­fer­en­tials is un­known, but it clearly in­cludes in­equit­ies in health, edu­ca­tion, in­car­cer­a­tion rates, and em­ploy­ment op­por­tun­it­ies — all areas that can be in­flu­enced by tar­geted policies and pro­grams,” the study re­por­ted. “Minor­it­ies make up 37 per­cent of the work­ing-age pop­u­la­tion now, but they are pro­jec­ted to grow to 46 per­cent by 2030, and 55 per­cent by 2050.” If ra­cial equity al­lows a broad­er middle class, the na­tion would be­ne­fit, thanks to a high­er gross do­mest­ic product, more taxes gen­er­ated through wage taxes, and bolstered cor­por­ate profits, the study con­tends. Bridge

Third-World Modeled Mi­cro­cre­d­it Work­ing in New York Bur­rough. An ap­proach to loans by the Grameen Bank that has worked in Bangladesh has come to Queens, where needy im­mig­rants offered mi­cro­loans of $1,500 to $8,00 loans and avoid­ing pay­day lenders. In ac­cept­ing a loan, bor­row­ers with an en­tre­pren­eur­i­al bent agree to “ex­er­cise re­spons­ible fin­an­cial be­ha­vi­or” with the in­tent to “use money to make money.” In the pro­gram’s U.S. ad­apt­a­tion, Grameen Amer­ica dis­penses funds to groups of five that self-mon­it­or and make weekly pay­ments of 15 per­cent an­nu­al in­terest. The New York Times

Tech Field Key to Em­power­ing More Black Busi­ness­wo­men. Three Afric­an-Amer­ic­an wo­men ap­pear on For­tune’s an­nu­al “50 Most Power­ful Wo­men in Busi­ness” list, which is in­creas­ingly in­fused with tech­no­logy lead­ers. Ten wo­men on the 2013 list are ex­ec­ut­ives at tech­no­logy firms, but only one is a black wo­man. “Girls from Afric­an-Amer­ic­an and Latino com­munit­ies do not have a lot of role mod­els,” said Kim­berly Bry­ant, founder of Black­GirlsCode. “The cross sec­tion of gender and race is the biggest is­sue in tech today. The whole tech eco­sys­tem must be dis­rup­ted.” The Grio

Strug­gling NYC Latino Non­profits Blame May­or’s Policies. Of New York’s 40,000 non­profits, which em­ploy about 15 per­cent of the city’s non­gov­ern­ment­al work­force, only 2,500 do busi­ness with the city. Ac­cord­ing to re­quire­ments, an or­gan­iz­a­tion must have cap­it­al avail­able to se­cure city funds, and that’s a large obstacle for Latino groups be­cause of their com­mon de­pend­ence on pub­lic funds. “For our com­munity, phil­an­thropy is for­eign to us,” says José Calder­ón, ex­ec­ut­ive dir­ect­or of the His­pan­ic Fed­er­a­tion, who main­tains that the eco­nom­ic down­turn and May­or Mi­chael Bloomberg’s policies have hurt the 60 com­munity or­gan­iz­a­tions in his al­li­ance. Latino in­sti­tu­tions garner less than 2 per­cent from char­it­able found­a­tions, cre­at­ing obstacles for rais­ing private cap­it­al and lead­ing Calder­ón to claim that the cur­rent rules res­ult in Latino or­gan­iz­a­tions get­ting few city con­tracts. City Lim­its (Eng­lish) | El Di­ario (Span­ish)

‘Flama’ to Launch on You­Tube. Uni­vi­sion Com­mu­nic­a­tions plans to fea­ture short videos and series from com­edy and sports to life­style and doc­u­ment­ar­ies on its forth­com­ing Flama on­line net­work. In part­ner­ship with Bed­rock­et Me­dia, a di­git­al-me­dia pro­du­cer, Uni­vi­sion will tar­get people ages 15 to 34 who are in­ter­ested in Lat­in cul­ture. The Huff­ing­ton Post

Pa. Non­profit Amish Coun­try Aid­ing Lati­nos. Change has been sig­ni­fic­ant in Lan­caster, Pa., long known for its set­tle­ments of Pennsylvania Dutch and Amish res­id­ents. An in­flux of ag­ri­cul­tur­al im­mig­rants who ar­rived 30 years ago has changed demo­graph­ics, so that now 40 per­cent of Lan­caster’s 60,000 res­id­ents are His­pan­ic, and about 60 per­cent of Latino fam­il­ies are at or be­low the poverty level, said Car­los Graupera, founder and CEO of the Span­ish Amer­ic­an Civic As­so­ci­ation. For its on­go­ing ef­forts, the SACA has re­ceived the Justice Grant from the Op­por­tun­ity Fin­ance Net­work. NBC Latino

Equal Ac­cess at Core of Sil­ic­on Val­ley Trail­er Park Fight. Buena Vista Mo­bile Home Park, one of the re­main­ing af­ford­able hous­ing op­tions in Pa­lo Alto, Cal­if., may close as the own­ers con­sider selling the land to a de­veloper. The mostly-Latino res­id­ents are fight­ing to re­main so their chil­dren can re­main en­rolled in one of Cali­for­nia’s premi­er school dis­tricts. NPR

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