Outlier: The Case of Austin’s Declining African American Population (2014) is the first of three studies that concern our central East Austin neighborhood by Dr. Eric Tang and colleagues at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Tang is Director of the Center for Asian American Studies and Associate Professor and Chair of African and African Diaspora Studies Department at the University of Texas at Austin.
Eric Tang’s Outlier study complemented increased civic engagement in Austin readdressing historic segregation and grappling to disrupt and counter the ongoing displacement of African Americans living in Austin, Texas.
…among the ten fastest growing major cities in the United States, Austin stood out in one crucial respect: it was the only such city that suffered a net loss in its African American population. Indeed, between 2000 and 2010, Austin was a statistical outlier—it was the only major city in the United States to experience a double-digit rate of general population growth coincident with African-American population decline.
Dr. Tang and his fellow researchers followed the startling findings of the Outlier study by interviewing residents in the Blackshear-Prospect Hill neighborhood in a study called Those Who Stayed: The Impact of Gentrification on Longstanding Residents of East Austin. Among other responses, residents talked about feeling alienated in the fast-changing culture and not feeling like the new restaurants, for example, are for the longtime neighbors. Many respondents mentioned the presence of more dogs in the neighborhood than children. Tang et al followed up with Those Who Stayed: Are there more dogs than children in East Austin? Addendum to the March 2018 Report. This addendum study found that there are more dogs than children – not because there are more dogs, but that there are fewer children.
Uprooted: Residential Displacement in Austin’s Gentrifying Neighborhoods and What Can Be Done About It Two Community and Regional Planning professors in The University of Texas at Austin (UT) School of Architecture, Elizabeth Mueller and Jake Wegmann and a UT Law professor Heather Way presented this helpful study to Austin City Council on September 18, 2018. The appearance of the study follows the successful rejection by two movements – the Eastern Crescent Right to Stay and west Austin neighborhoods – of the developer-dominant process of Code Next and the ultimate dismissal of the process by Mayor Steve Adler and Austin City Council. Uprooted affirms the People’s Plan insistence on community-driven, affordable development that allows Austin’s long-time generational communities of color to determine their own neighborhood plans.
Full Report including Maps and Executive Summary
The Uprooted study considers Central East Austin to be advanced or late in the gentrification process but mentions “pockets of vulnerable people of interest.”
We are indeed deeply interested.
We note that, according to the African American Resource Advisory Commission affordable housing funds recently earmarked specifically for this community must be allocated to effectively increase the Right to Say, the Right to Stay, and the Right to Return for our African American elders, people with generational ties to the neighborhood and low- to moderate income families, students and staff of the historic black institutions Blackshear Elementary School, Huston-Tillotson University, and the historic black churches.
FOOD PEACE & JUSTICE
Author, Activist, & Chef Bryant Terry’s website
Peace through Pie spreading peace one piece at a time
Toni Tipton Martin’s website and blog The Jemima Code
The Landscape and Human Health Laboratory (LHHL) is a multidisciplinary research laboratory dedicated to studying the connection between greenery and human health.
City of Austin Rain Gardens Site — http://www.austintexas.gov/creeksidestory
Austin Permaculture Guild — http://www.austinperm.com/
Definition of Permaculture. Wikipedia explanation of the sustainable design philosophy and practice with links to other great sources.
Green is the New Black student group at Huston-Tillotson University
Sustainable Food Center
National Wildlife Federation Eco Schools USA
City of Austin Wildlife Austin Habitat Stewards
City of Austin Office of Sustainability & Sustainable Food Policy Board
Austin Independent School District Environmental Stewardship Advisory Committee