Going into this interview, I hadn’t really spoken much with Baltimore City residents. I know a few; however, I never thought of them as residents or ever considered how life might be different in the city as opposed to Baltimore County. Listening to her talk about Obama and local government, I got an idea of how little his initiatives play on her life directly. I feel like the federal government affects her life as little as it does mine (that I’m aware of).
Part of the interview that I found interesting to was her response to the first question (what do you think about the election of President Obama). I have mixed feelings about Obama and so does she. Lindsay questions his promises of change. She really likes the notion of change, the motivation that comes with it and likes a lot of his promises, but she’s skeptic about it how realistic they are. I think a lot of Americans feel this way. Yeah he can promise to do all these things, but how much of that is actually possible in 4 years. I think another interesting insight she offered in this response was about how a lot of Baltimore City residents voted based on race. I agree with her in the fact that I think a lot of people vote based on narrow minded ideas. In her opinion, a lot of residents voted solely on one issue of race; assuming that since Obama is back he can address all issues that African Americans face. Like Lindsay, I think this is ignorant. It got me thinking though, I think that if it wasn’t race, people will naturally find one issue to gravitate towards and vote solely on it. I think its human nature. Issues and factors that people are passionate about, like gay marriage, abortion, and in this case race, are the driving force that people use to make decisions on who to vote for.
Another part of the interview that made me think was her point on the stimulus and how she doesn’t think it’s going to solve all it’s meant to. She makes the point that with the housing initiative for first time buyers for example, yes it’s getting people out and looking for houses, but it is hurting those that are either forced to sell or sell by choice. She points to how this initiative favors a buyers market and really hurts those who sell. I think this point ties into our class’s focus on gentrification. People are able to get really cheap prices on foreclosed houses and those who are forced out and forced to sell are really hurt by it. She even mentions how if you own a building, property taxes have gone up significantly in the past few years.
The last part of the interview I found particularly interesting was how she mentions that in the past she’s been really involved in community meetings and events. She says how she used to go to the community meetings when she lived out west but now that she’s in the city, she “does her own thing” and is much less involved. It made me think a lot about what my research and gentrification. I wonder if this idea of “doing your own thing” is typical of all cities or just those that have been gentrified. I think it’s something that goes along more with all cities, but I wonder if there’s a way to combat this notion for the better of all residents. It’s clear that in Sharp Leadenhall community involvement is crucial to fighting displacement. Would more involvement in Mount Vernon make a difference? Is it too late?