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A Voice in Politics

A Voice in Politics

(p.95) Chapter Three A Voice in Politics
Bargaining for Brooklyn
Nicole P. Marwell
University of Chicago Press

Urban politics largely focus on a competition for critical resources: along with affordable, quality housing, residents of poor urban neighborhoods need parks, clean streets, safety, quality education, and so on. Poor neighborhoods usually lose out in this competition, finding themselves with substandard housing, few if any green spaces, irregular trash collection, high crime rates, and failing schools. The story of Los Sures and the United Jewish Organizations captures the response of Williamsburg's Latinos and Hasidim to the devastated housing conditions of their neighborhood. The two community-based organizations' (CBOs) unique solutions to that problem involved significant political engagement with the city's housing bureaucracy and other actors in the housing field. This chapter examines the distinctive uses of politics by two CBOs—the Ridgewood–Bushwick Senior Citizens Council and Saint Barbara's Catholic Church—in a second poor Brooklyn neighborhood, Bushwick, which lies just east of Williamsburg.

Keywords:   urban politics, community-based organizations, resource competition, poor neighborhoods, housing, Senior Citizens Council, Saint Barbara, Bushwick

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