Virginia evictions and housing justice.

This NYT piece on eviction records follows some startling research by author and Princeton sociologist Matthew Desmond, who’s book “Evicted” showcased how the loss of housing makes the poor poorer. Desmond and his team did analysis of eviction records across the nation in 2016, and came up with rankings of cities across the United States. I was shocked when I saw this screenshot of the top 10 large cities:

4 large cities from Hampton Roads make the top 10; Richmond is #2. 

Virginia Beach is on there as well, down at #15. Portsmouth comes in at #5 on mid-sized cities, Suffolk down at 28. Now, to be fair, the data that the Princeton team collected is missing data from over a third of the states in the U.S.

This reminded me of an effort by the Democratic Socialists of America’s DC and NOVA chapters called Stomp Out Slumlords, which aims to slow down the evictions by sabotaging the courts system. The court system has turned into an eviction machine, and landlords and lawyers plan on tenants not showing up. I examined the docket in Newport News one day in mid-January of this year and found dozens upon dozens of cases listed. They are usually processed in batches, with summary judgements against the tenants. The DSA program provides tenant rights information, and encourages renters to show up to court.

Hampton, Newport News, and many other Virginia municipalities are currently days away from a May 1st election for city council and school board seats. I have not heard any candidates address the eviction issue directly yet, but I think it will be a huge issue moving forward.  The Pilot just published an article about it, and local NPR call-in show HearSay with Kathy Lewis interviewed the author on air today, along with organizers from Norfolk Housing Justice Network. 

Telling myself again…

I’ve decided that I’m getting the fuck off Facebook. While I’ve probably told myself that I’m going to start blogging again about a hundred times, I think that the social media behemoth has become to big for it’s own damn good and secondly, that I’ve got to force myself off of it if I’m going to be productive and achieve the level of success that I want to. I’ve already deleted the main app off of my phone, but escaping it completely will be impossible for the near term since managing a social media presence is an essential part of brand-management or whatever marketing term you want to use. I am going to ignore my status notifications for the time being and find ways to move my audiences off of the platform. Messenger and Pages apps are still sitting on my phone — along with Twitter, for now — but I’ve decided that I’m only going to go on FB when I need to post something to one of my client pages or groups, and will start using this blog as much as possible.

The other decision I’m grappling with is this pseudo-anonymous identity that this site is named after. I’m sure that anyone with the time or willingness could figure it out without too much trouble, as I’ve had multiple profiles on various sites linked out across the interwebs under this name that probably has enough personal information scattered within it for someone to make a case for it. I just did a Google search and found one profile that needed a name change, but it looks like things are getting a bit obfuscated now that this reggae dub producer has started using the name.

At some point I’ll need to focus more on what I hope to accomplish with this, but for now I guess I’ll just keep posting.