Final Paper: Cabrini Green Demolition
In the Chicago area, there is a "ghetto" known to everyone as Cabrini Green. Cabrini Green is an area where drug dealers inhabit every street corner, gunshots ring through the night, and crimes are a daily occurrence. It is an area so dangerous that local police have attempted to make new laws for the area alone such as needing to live there to be there. The people of Cabrini Green have grown accustomed to this dangerous life, but still hope for better way of living for their children (Mabrey). To better their lives, the local government of Chicago put a policy of gentrification into effect; to raze the old buildings, and build new upper middle class condos with a reduced rent for the prior residents seems to benefit many, but this is not always the case. In the article in the Chicago Tribune, Walter Burnett is faced with inner turmoil and conflicts on the issue of gentrification. He has a unique view on the issue, because he grew up in Cabrini yet not as a politician working for the local government. He talks to many of the residents of Cabrini Green who all have different views. Gentrification is suitable for a specific demographic mainly for parents. Parents would like their children to be able to live in a habitable area that is not faced with drugs and violence every hour. The parents are the ones that want to move in order to have a better life not for themselves but for their children. The parents have grown up in the society of Cabrini-Green and feel that the type of life is not a positive one where a child could succeed and become successful. The parents know of the cycle that they are stuck in and want their children to have better, more opportunities than they had. They want a better life for their children to grow up in, without the risk of dying or falling into the same cycle that they are stuck in. To them, the change would impact not only their lives but their children's futures. The change would be practically a new beginning for many of the families and children from the old Cabrini-Green community. The gentrification of Cabrini-Green brings these parents hope that they will be able to provide all these things for their children. Mary Schmich of the Chicago Tribune writes that mostly single men are the ones who are against the plan. To them, life will never change, and they have already grown accustomed to the life style of drugs and violence. They choose to ignore it and live with it daily. If they were moved, it would only be a hassle. Also, growing creates memories of becoming an adult. These memories are all centralized around that one single neighborhood. This mentality of "not being able to get out of the ghetto" has deeply affected the ways of those who grew up in the Cabrini-Green location. Knowing the fact that there are grown single men, who revoke the gentrification of Cabrini-Green, is quite disturbing. Children of all communities are influenced by a male figure whether or not they are related to them. With this said, these "single men" of the old Cabrini-Green community are single-handedly showing the future generations that it is accepted to steal, gangbang, and use drugs in order to survive because those are the only methods that they know how. They are destroying the dreams of the young minds that want to move forward from living in the projects. Without these role models within the community, these children can learn that there are many possibilities to better their lives and their family's lives as well. Also, in the article "Tearing Down Cabrini-Green," Vicki Mabrey writes that the largest demolition of public housing in the nation's history will be completed by the end of 2009. All 53 of Chicago's public housing high rises will be gone, and some 40,000 people will be uprooted and displaced. The displaced residents pose a huge problem as the original towers continue to come down. An estimated 14,000 residents are left without a place to...
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CNN U.S. News. 15 Aug. 2000. 25 January 2007
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