In what could prove to be a landmark case for public housing, the 2005 ruling in the class action lawsuit Thompson v. U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) found the department guilty of violating the Fair Housing Act by concentrating African-American public housing residents in poor, segregated areas of Baltimore City.
Bill Domhoff, author of the best-selling sociological monograph, Who Rules America?, tells this story to illustrate what ruling class power is all about. Speaking of an enormously wealthy and powerful woman, he said, “She knew that if she walked across a room and slipped and fell, there would be somebody there with a pillow to catch her.” Of course, not all people of power are treated like royalty,or act like royalty. In fact, most power brokers in cities such as Baltimore are invisible to the community.
abandonment/blight: While abandoned or blighted properties may appear to be the antithesis of urban revitalization, they are in fact necessary preconditions: creating a situation in which investments by real estate and finance capital can produce profitable returns.1
In the U.S., eminent domain refers to the government’s power to appropriate private property for public use without the owner’s consent. Eminent domain is most commonly used when the acquisition of private property is necessary for the completion of a public project such as a road, and the owner of the required property is unwilling to negotiate a price for its sale. The Fifth Amendment of the U.S.
The general results of SMEAC’s organizing efforts have been to reach residents who have been historically disenfranchised and marginalized from decision-making concerning the changes in their community. Organizing residents to step out of this voiceless role to engage in a community-driven process has assured