New Harvard study shows Washtenaw County among worst places to grow up when it comes to social mobility

I don’t know that we need yet one more data point, as we all know things are not only bad, but getting worse for poor people in Washtenaw County, but there’s a new study on “equality of opportunity” out of Harvard that seems to indicate that Washtenaw County is one of the worst counties in the country when it comes to social mobility… In other words, kids who grow up in poverty here are, more likely than not, destined for a life of poverty, whereas, in other communities, they may actually still have a shot at reaching the middle class.

“Consider Washtenaw County, Michigan,” says the New York Times, which covered the report’s findings today. “It’s among the worst counties in the U.S. in helping poor children up the income ladder. It ranks 201st out of 2,478 counties, better than only about 8 percent of counties…”

So, now we don’t just know that our area is the 8th most economically segregated in the country, and that our poor aren’t benefiting for Ann Arbor’s booming knowledge economy, but we also know that we’re doing very little to help young people here escape the grasp of poverty.

We can do better, Washtenaw County. This should not be happening in a community as wealthy, and resource-rich as ours.

WashtenawKidsPoor

This entry was posted in Ann Arbor, Civil Liberties, Uncategorized, Ypsilanti and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

41 Comments

  1. Posted November 8, 2015 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

    #YpsiReal

  2. John Galt
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    But yet the poor don’t move, which leads me to believe that they must enjoy poverty.

  3. Meta
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Speaking of bad data points, did you see this headline in today’s Detroit Free Press?

    “Michigan ranks last in laws on ethics, transparency”

    Michigan ranks last in a national study of state ethics and transparency laws and safeguards, set for release today, partly due to its weak public records law and an absence of laws requiring personal financial disclosures by lawmakers and top state officials.

    In all, 11 states received failing grades of F in the study, but Michigan’s rating was last in the study by the Center for Public Integrity and Global Integrity, two nonprofit organizations that promote government transparency and ethics.

    Michigan scored 50.5 points out of a possible 100. The other 10 states that received an F were: Wyoming, with 50.9; Delaware, with 55.5; South Dakota, with 55.9; Nevada, with 57.1; Pennsylvania, with 57.9; Oregon with 57.9; Maine, with 58.6; Kansas, with 58.6; Louisiana, with 58.8; and Oklahoma, with 59.

    “What you see across the board is just a lack of some of those accountability and transparency laws and practices that some states have enacted,” Nicholas Kusnetz, the project director, told the Free Press on Friday.

    Michigan’s worst–in-the-nation ranking doesn’t mean Michigan is the most corrupt state. The score doesn’t speak to the level of corruption in Michigan, since that’s not what’s being measured, Kusnetz said. Instead, the study looks at what laws are in place and how those laws are implemented, in order to assess the systems intended to prevent corruption and expose it when it does occur.

    Read more:
    http://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2015/11/09/michigan-ranks-last-laws-ethics-transparency/75288210/

  4. Anonymous
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I’d like to hear what our County Commissioners have to say about this. It’s absolutely shameful.

  5. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    I looked at the link connected to c:isy’s username. I read the bit that talks about ways to prevent negative consequences of gentrification in Ypsi. My question: Do people out there consider gentrification an immediate threat to Ypsi? Do people think gentrification is in the proccess in Ypsi? If so, have you ever lived in another community in the process of gentrification? I am inclined to think the idea that Ypsi is gentrifying as another example of a horrible trend where everyone mis-appropriates causes, applying the cause to themselves, taking the victim role….the reason it is horrible is you are selfishly taking attention away from the many injustices of, in this case , real gentrification happening elsewhere. Is my take off base? I am wondering what others think.

  6. Yes
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    It pains me to agree with you, Frosted Flakes, but I think you’re right about this.

  7. Manray
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    John, they can’t move because they probably do not have the means or money to do so. They just might think that they are “stuck” in their situation. Please do not be so judgemental.

  8. anonymous
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    John Galt is a practitioner of sarcasm, Manray. Don’t worry about him.

  9. anonymous
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    FWIW, I’m sure our County Commissioners would love to deal with this. They’ve got their hands full, though, transferring money from Ypsilanti to Ann Arbor.

  10. Dan
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    “They’ve got their hands full, though, transferring money from Ypsilanti to Ann Arbor.”

    They money is actually being transferred from Ann Arbor to Ypsi, as has been the deal with the hotel tax since it started.

  11. Jean Henry
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I looked through the results by county looking for a liberal enclave with good results. There are very few. It actually may be better for the poor to live in conservative cities. This is something worth a deeper dive. On the other hand, the Bay Area does surprisingly well. Lots of pieces to factor in. The poor remaining there through gentrification may own homes– if they’ve been there a long time. And pretty much all you need to do is sit on property in CA to become rich in the last 50 years– in some cases very rich. There may just be fewer poor now. Many of the public housing developments in the area are gone and so are the people who live there. It may also be that a burgeoning economy of very wealthy people going out to eat and drink, needing tradesmen and basic services etc helps. Cosnervative counties in MI fare much better in service to the poor apparently. Maybe it’s the churches. My home county in PA has a plus $3400 rating. couldn’t be more conservative. Schools arent great. Many poor mobing in every year from bigger metros. Lot’s of churches though. We may have more stubborn cases here– more disability etc, but there is not enough excuse. All I know is that the results here do not align with standard liberal modes of thought (or my own) about what helps the poor. It certainly does not reflect well on Washtenaw County. It looks to me like Pete Larson’s invisibility of the poor argument is true. We talk a good game. We say we care. We send money to Africa. We deny the neglect at our back door step. Where I grew up the emphasis was on action and service to those in need. You just did what was asked. No one patted themselves on the back about it. Those receiving aid were definitely proselytized too. Doesn’t seem like too much to bear if you get a damn chance. I’m completely at sea on my thinking here. And I hope others are too. We need to be looking more closely at what works and doesn’t work to help the poor. And we need to take action and quit belly-aching.

  12. Kat
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Did the Ann Arbor News cover this story?

  13. Jean Henry
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    ugh so many typos. sorry. long night. So I looked at school rankings by test score and college matriculation and my hometown is a solid 3 out of 10. Ann Arbor is all 10’s across the board. Ypsi runs the gamut but there are good schools, most far better than in my hometown. So the NYTimes assertion that good schools matter seems to not tell the whole story. My hometown is agricultural and industrial, so maybe college doesn’t matter so much. People there aren’t dumb, just less educated on the whole. I’ve never been impressed that educated people are smarter anyway, just more ambitious– but that’s a separate issue.
    Given the factors the NYT suggests lead to income mobility, it does seem that poor kids in Ann Arbor and all of Washtenaw County should be doing a lot better than they are. The achievement gap between races at AAPS is huge. As is the suspension gap, unsurprisingly. I have been carping about this for years. The citizenry and in many cases, school officials. just don’t seem to care. Maybe the STEM schools will help. It seems a more comprehensive and determined approach is necessary. From what I can gather, it’s not enough to just build more affordable housing in affluent places. We also need to provide equal opportunity in our schools. I think our elected representatives, school staff and a citizenry have a lot of work ahead if we are going to be the kind of community we imagine ourselves to be. I’m starting to believe that maybe our self-identification as progressive is more of a barrier to real progress than a help.

  14. Lynne
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    I get so tired of these arguments. Solving poverty is simple. Give poor people money.

    We aren’t going to do it of course. Instead we will hand wring and try endlessly to come up with “solutions” that make us feel better rather than a solution that might actually work.

    FWIW, there is starting to be some real research on this topic and so far, it looks like giving people money really works and overall, even though some few individuals will spend it unwisely, most will spend it in ways that improve their lives financially. There are some European countries toying with this idea of a universal basic income and it will be interesting to see how that plays out too.

  15. Jean Henry
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    I’m all for reparations and think it will be an accepted idea in 10 or 20 years in America, but meanwhile, there are children who are being ill-served by our community for no good reason at all. It doesn’t even help the economy to limit their potential. So discussing what to do now in our own community within the current economic and political reality seems relevant. I would certainly like to see the circle of this conversation widened to include more people, especially those directly impacted. My experience has been that those people aren’t too interested in revolution; usually they just want to make the current system work better. Sorry you’re tired Lynn. If you are exhausted thinking about the problems of the poor, imagine how the poor feel?

  16. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    It is easy! Calculate the average income worldwide. Probably less than 10k per year. Only accept the worldwide average for yourself and give the rest under the worldwide average. done! No handwringing.

    We are almost all complicit and almost all of us are very clever at finding ways of wiggling out of responsibility or delaying obvious things we could do. Waiting for a just candidate to force us to give away our surplus to those in need?

  17. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Oops. I meant to say: “give the rest away to those under the worldwide average income”.

  18. Dan
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Lynne

    Are you under the impression that poor people are not given money (or the equivalent?)

    The issue isn’t resources, it is where they are spent. I know dozens of single moms that use what little money they have to go out to dinner every weekend. Like places like Ichiban or Outback where many families with nice incomes can’t realistically afford.

    Aside from that, public schools are a lost cause in ypsi so parents should do everything they can to get their kids in to different districts or private schools. Many have income based tuition. That may not be the most convenient thing in the world but neither is going to work everyday.

  19. Lynne
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Dan, yes, I am of the opinion that the reason people are poor is that they don’t have enough money (or the equivalent) . We are going to have to get over being all judgmental about poor people if we are going to solve poverty. That means giving them money with no strings attached. Some of them probably will use that money on frivolous things like going out to dinner every weekend but the research suggests that mostly they will not. However, the fear that they might is keeping us from adopting realistic anti-poverty measures.

    Frosted Flakes’s idea of voluntary charity is flawed because private charity alone won’t work. But global basic income would do wonders even if it meant Americans had to live with less however I think the focus should be on our nation first. Still, when you consider how much our country spends on the military and how far that money could go towards global poverty reduction, it is really quite sickening.

  20. Jean Henry
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Frosted Flakes has obviously not spent time in an Eastern European country under Soviet control. Obviously, we are living at the other end of the spectrum now, but still… Easy solutions rarely work. A bunch of carefully plotted, engaged work in one small area on the other hand can have a positive ripple effect outward. People want to aspire to more. It’s not a terrible thing… really. Actually it’s a powerful thing when harnessed for the greater good.

  21. EP
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    This is a huge problem in Michigan in general due to the loop holes in Proposal A. Ann Arbor Public Schools like other rich suburban public school districts is allowed to levy property taxes to fund per pupil education because of their “hold harmless” status. While state-level funding is constant individual school districts like Ann Arbor, Birghmingham, West Bloomfield, etc. are allowed to levy their local populations for additional local funds. This is a double hit for income inequality because poor people are priced out of high achieving districts because of high property tax rates, while poor income school districts can’t raise local funds to improve themselves. The amount of money a student receives for her education shouldn’t depend on her zip code or how much money his parents pay in taxes. (http://bridgemi.com/2014/04/a-brief-history-of-proposal-a-or-how-we-got-here/)

    Unfortunately the solutions to this problem seem very politically unlikely as they would either involve busing or redistribution of local tax dollars. If you look at the data over the past 50 years we have resegregated our school systems, especially in regions like Southeast Michigan.

  22. Jean Henry
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    But the data shows better income mobility in neighboring counties with lower per pupil ecpenditure.

  23. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    I wasn’t very clear and I am off topic (kind of). Just trying to say I always find it interesting that there are so many progressive people out there waiting and waiting for state policies to change in a way that results in a more equal distribution of income. Conveniently trapped in the current political climate self-defined-progressives say: “If we just had more votes we could be more progressive. If other people weren’t so selfish we could be more progressive….”

    Maybe next year?

    Of course,we all know, the only thing one needs to do is to voluntarily give away one’s surplus to others in more need than oneself. Efficient. Effective. Ethical. Maybe 1:100000 would ever do it.

  24. Dan
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Lynne

    If you had to guess what would you say the average single parent in Washtenaw county was “given” in assistance?

    And what do you think that number should be?

  25. Lynne
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Frosted Flakes, yes, maybe next year but probably not. Change can be gradual. Progressives ARE changing things although not in terms of poverty. Still, I feel hopeful that we can make meaningful changes in my lifetime.

    I dont disagree with you that if everyone were to voluntarily give up their surplus to others with less, it would be a really efficient, effective, and ethical way to deal with poverty. However if Jesus Christ himself failed to get everyone or even enough people to do it, what hope do I have? Better to focus my energies on the political.

    Dan, I dont know. Are you counting public schools as assistance? Mortgage interest deductions? What do you mean by assistance?

  26. Dan
    Posted November 9, 2015 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Let’s call it monthly expenses. Say housing food and utilities.

    Just put a % on what you think “poor” people pay of this and what you think they should pay.

  27. Elviscostello
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    On the topic of education funding and resources, I happedened to stop in at Tappan Middle School in Ann Arbor the other day, and found that they have a LATIN class, a freaking Middle School LATIN class in Ann Arbor. I don’t ever want to hear about failing districts, or class sizes, or equity in the system and how all children get an opportunity to learn. When our local districts have 35 in grade school classes, and Ann Arbor can have LATIN, LATIN at the middle school level, there’s something reaaly really wrong here.

  28. Peter Larson
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 2:54 am | Permalink

    The reason that social mobility in Wash. is low is not because we aren’t throwing enough public money at schools or social problems, but because there isn’t a large industrial sector in Washtenaw County. Even people with degrees have a hard time finding work here. I’m not sure how someone without a degree is going to find work that pays over $10 an hour.

    Increasing millages, public borrowing and public policies which determine where poor people can and cannot live probably won’t solve anything at all.

  29. Peter Larson
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 3:12 am | Permalink

    I suspect that income mobility will have little to do with public spending or high-rent high rises (as Mark believes) and a lot to do with a combination of factors, such as high living expenses and the type and level of economy within a county.

    Washtenaw County worked out well for me, despite all the problems, but I had to leave to get it. If I ever go back there, I can expect to make $15K a year at best. There just simply aren’t that many opportunities there. None of the suggestions here in this comment thread will change that.

  30. Jean Henry
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    I suspect Pete is right. What he isn’t factoring in is the huge tech boom (relative to population) in Ann Arbor right now. We’ll never be San Francisco but there’s more wealth than there ever has been in A2 and it’s not all students. Lots of young professionals with and without kids. They have changed the complexion of my neighborhood from one of nurses and librarians to doctors and tech workers. This halloween they were handing out full sized candy bars at some houses. Kids used to go to Ann Arbor Hills to get that kind of booty. My friend ran into one of his clients from Ann Arbor Hills trick or treating in our neighborhood. Guess they dont hand out candy there anymore. Everyone’s busy. Nobody’s home. It’s not a ‘kid friendly neighborhood.’ All this to say that it seems we are at the point of no return in terms of gentrification and if we want to be serve the poor, the best we can do is stop bitching about Lansing and grow and utilize that increasing wealth to provide some opportunity here. I hate saying this.I ran a small business. My old staff all still struggle financially though they have good lives here, and kids and their own businesses. They barely get by. If they didn’t have roots here, why would they stay? We talk about money too much. They worry for their staff. We need more to offer people who stick around than another food job.
    But we also need to fix the education and suspension gap. That’s just such an embarrassment and I’m sure it affects the employability and prospects of many minority students. It’s a problem that has been successfully addressed elsewhere. Ann Arbor (and maybe Ypsi) has an annoying tendency not to look to outside models of success. I’ve been in too many meetings where people were spending a lot of energy re-inventing the wheel. And they came up with a crappy wheel. The barrier to progress on the education gap is simply denial. We don’t like the way it makes us look. There are people in AAPS who say they are working hard on it, but I dont’ see much progress in either vision or implementation much less results. If you look very hard on the AAPS website (which is a promotional tool) you can find the data on the education gap. It’s buried in annual reports.

  31. Jean Henry
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    My daughter has some friends who are smart and creative and energetic and are not going to a 4 year college. Not anytime soon anyway. It’s financially unfeasible. They help out their families… a lot. I have been trying to convince them to stay and grind away at a job and take WCC classes in a trickle. I’m now inclined to tell them to get the hell out of here. There are places that reward bright rebellious talented kids. This place is not one of them– Just not enough money moving around. In the past, the parents would have helped these kids maybe; now they help their parents.

  32. Jim
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    On the Times interactive feature, social mobility for the 25th percentile of income in Washtenaw doesn’t stand out from neighboring counties–we do a little better than Wayne, a little worse than Jackson and Livingston. But look at the 50th, 75th, and 99th percentiles–for these groups Washtenaw does much worse than all neighboring counties, and this effect is seen almost entirely in boys rather than in girls. But note that this study is based on income at age 26, when many people are still in school and earning little money. I suspect that the percentage of 26 year olds in school is especially high among the children of the highly educated, who are well-represented among Washtenaw residents. Orange and Durham counties in North Carolina, home of UNC Chapel Hill and Duke, show a similar pattern.

  33. anonymous
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Good point, Jim. The children of privilege are likely still in grad school at 26, or working at internships for companies owned by family friends, while still being supported by their parents.

  34. Lynne
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Re: “Just put a % on what you think “poor” people pay of this and what you think they should pay.”

    I actually don’t know because I don’t know anyone on welfare these days. But back in the day, if one was poor enough, 100% of housing and food was covered and I think some got checks which were barely able to cover their utilities. I remember when I was working with the mentally ill, between SSD/I, Section 8, Food Stamps, and Medicaid, it was common for 100% of their food, housing, medical care, and utilities to be covered although barely. For me, that is a level I am comfortable with in terms of a basic income. Give everyone enough to fund 100% of the bare minimum with little left over for luxuries.

    Pete, that loss of industrial low skill jobs is one reason why a basic income would be a good thing. One possible effect is that it would get a lot of people to drop out of the labor market which in turn would raise wages. We aren’t likely to solve our current problems with more jobs unless we get *really* creative about what we are willing to pay others to do. I don’t see it. We really need to rethink our economy in meaningful ways.

    Jim, that is an excellent point actually. It would be interesting to compare how people are doing at 40.

  35. Frosted Flakes
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I grew up in a different place. I have lived in different places. I will just say, taken on the whole, my instincts say Washtenaw county is a lot better than those places I grew up, and those places I have lived, in terms of being a good place to raise children with the resources toward preparing them for future successes. It could of course be better, but, yeah, my guess is that this study is flawed or at least glitchy in its application to different communities. I invite people that are smarter than I am to find those flaws.

  36. jcp2
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    I think the study doesn’t really say anything that parents didn’t already intuitively know, namely that moving from a bad neighborhood to a good neighborhood is better for their kids in the long run. What it does is to show a level of evidence that can be used to influence policy on a broad level, but does not necessarily mean that the formula can be worked backwards to the county level to define how bad or good any particular area is if that area is not sufficiently large, or if that area suffered from some unique economic disruption different from the rest of the country. The sensationalism comes in when the study’s general conclusion is applied back to the county level.

    The study’s results were based on analysis of moves of families between counties or commuting zones with more that 250,000 in population. Washtenaw County as a whole counts. The study group were households with children from 1996-2012 as defined by tax returns. The parents’ income were defined as averaged household annual income on tax returns from 1996-2000 and then compared to the child’s household income at ages 24-30, as defined by tax returns.

    1. For SE Michigan, the study design compares parent household incomes before the automotive industrial implosion to child household income after this event. It should be no surprise that incomes dropped over this time period, and that opportunities for low income children of families that stayed or moved to this area decreased significantly. This speaks to Peter Larson’s point.

    2. By design, the study cannot show the benefit of moving between neighborhoods within a county or commuting zone. This does not mean that this effect does not exist. While it may be true that Washtenaw County as a whole ranks poorly in terms of social mobility for low income families as defined by the study, it is also probably true that a family with children that moves from Ypsilanti to Ann Arbor will do much better in terms of future income for their children as compared to staying in Ypsilanti, with the converse being true for a reverse move from Ann Arbor to Ypsilanti. The low ranking for Washtenaw County for low income families probably reflects internal sorting within the county itself, with low income families from other counties or commuting zones being unable to locate to Ann Arbor if they were to move to the area.

    3. There are low income families that do manage to move to Washtenaw County and produce children with significantly higher incomes (social mobility) that are not counted in the final formula in determining social mobility scores of various areas. These are families who are first generation immigrants. The authors exclude these families because they acknowledge that the success of these immigrant families is largely due to the nature of the being immigrants. One of the exclusionary criteria for the study group is permanent resident/non-U.S. citizen status.

    4. The study only accounts for the income of children at ages 24-30, and does not record the location of the children, while it does record the location of the parents. This was by design, and the authors explicitly point this out in their comments, as this is not primarily a study about affordability, although it make speak to it indirectly. A county or commuting zone that has families that produce children with higher incomes than their parents would rank highly on the social mobility scale, even if the children moved out of the county or commuting zone where they grew up, whether by choice or economics. This could account for San Francisco and other expensive metro areas that do well by the study measures.

  37. Jean Henry
    Posted November 10, 2015 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    The study also makes the point, strongly, that integration of all income levels in communities is good for kids of all income levels, in terms of economic mobility. Given the economic segregation in our county, I thinks this does speak to the need for a big boost in affordable and workforce housing in Ann Arbor. It also defies the common assumption that rich kids do better when gated off from kids of less well off families. The business of building affordable housing is the work of governments and businesses and people in power. I think Pete is way off here in questioning the validity of our discussion of these matters. Without accessible housing stock, the mobility question is moot. The market will not integrate that kind of housing into our community on its own. The work of government is to provide for the greater good. (not being sarcastic…) When it doesn’t work, the work of the citizenry is to monitor, bitch and pitch in. I don’t know anyone in the booming IT sector who argues against greater housing affordability, population diversity and better public schools. They moved away from California and Texas for a reason. It’s just something we need to figure out.

  38. Peter Larson
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    The “Keep Ypsi Black” page is interesting.

  39. Peter Larson
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    I remember when Jamaica Plain in Mass was being gentrified. We saw a rapid decline in the number of African American people who lived in the area.

    As Ypsi becomes gentrified, and the black population decreases, I have to ask like I did then, where are they going?

    When Ann Arbor’s west side got whitewashed in 1991, I suspected that they all went to Ypsi. From Ypsi, I’m not sure where people would go, or are people making more money and moving back into Ann Arbor? I have no idea. I hope that someone else does.

  40. Jean Hwnry
    Posted November 23, 2015 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Answering Pete’s question, I know a few families that moved into the township East of Ypsi to Willow Run, also the Belleville and Romulus. One of my old neighbors on Ann Arbor’s now tony Old West Side lost the family home to fire (under insured) in the mid 90’s,. They were then scammed by their insurance rep who bought the house for almost nothing. They entered a period of homelessness, then moved from Ypsi, to the township, to Belleville, to Lansing and they are now finally settled back in Ypsi township. They talked about moving to Florida to live with relatives but that never happened. Their recent stability has been provided by the two sons who are wage earners with families, but who support their mother and aunts too. They were always good kids– must be in their early 30’s now. This is very very anecdotal but this family moved where they knew people or had family. For years they didn’t live alone. My guess is some version of that is standard. Even owning their home did not allow them to benefit from gentrification. Almost any city other than Ann Arbor was cheaper. Soon enough that will be true of Ypsi. I really dont like my neighborhood anymore. Nice people but its just not as rich– now that it’s wealthy. People aren’t home much. The old people are almost all gone. There are very few weirdos. The playgrounds are empty of all but very small children. I’m sure by many people’s measure it’s better. I don’t think there’s anyway to change the gentrification train, but I know Ann Arbor would be a better town if it’s historically Black aka mixed neighborhoods had been protected. Mobility happens. I have a hard time believing its really better for community integrity to have so much population transition. Had Gerald and Timothy been able to retain the family home in A2, they’d be much richer than they are now, but on this study they count as a success.

  41. Posted November 23, 2015 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    ‘Tis the Season for White Silence (and Advanced White Supremacy)

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] equity, would both help to stabilize Ypsilanti’s economy and go a long way toward reversing the negative trend we’re seeing with regard to social mobility among our poorest citizens. While I don’t recall whether or not Ann Arbor City Council’s Chuck Warpehoski, who was […]

  2. By Say It Loud, “Keep Ypsi Black!” | keepypsiblack on November 23, 2015 at 9:06 am

    […] Conversations about the changing demographics in Ypsilanti and Washtenaw County (twelve percent of Washtenaw County residents are black) are never ending. ³ […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect

Sidetrack ad Aubree’s ad BUY LOCAL... or shop at Amazon through this link Banner Initiative Bloody Eye Maynard on the Snake