Christopher Swope was GOVERNING's executive editor.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
This Old House it's not. But this video and others on YouTube, posted by preservation activists in Houston, does represent something of a breakthrough. The videos show residents of the Sixth Ward on their front porches talking about their old restored homes and how much they love living in the neighborhood.
The subtext: Go away developers. Build your stinking condos somewhere else.
It's a new chapter to a gentrification story that's heating up in a lot of cities as yuppies and empty-nesters rediscover downtown living. The fight has been particularly intense in Houston, as John Buntin wrote in Governing last March. These videos were produced by the Old Sixth Ward Neighborhood Association, whose president calls them an act of "creative desperation."
At nine minutes long (and with a distractingly silly soundtrack), I'm not sure if anyone will watch this video all the way through--let alone four of them. But it's an interesting new path for grassroots activism. I'm sure we'll be seeing much more like it.
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Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.