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Justice Cistrunk interviews Steve Young

There many issues are many issues and changes occurring in Atlantic City that are affecting the people as well as the environment. During my interview with Steve Young he gave me his perspective on the state or position on which Atlantic City finds itself in. Atlantic City has found itself facing the beginning of gentrification. Gentrification is the buying and renovation of houses and stores in deteriorated urban neighborhoods by middle to upper income families or individuals, improving property values but often displacing low income families and small businesses. During my interview with Steve Young, he spoke a lot on the topic of Atlantic City being gentrified and related all to the social, economic, and housing problems of the city. In a quote by Steve Young on gentrification on the city he said: “the haves and have nots will be separated.”
The fundamental and powerful concepts I learned class all relate to gentrification but the ones mainly focused on in the interview was power and environment. Gentrification will impact the environment because it will effect who now occupies these spaces in Atlantic City with families with higher incomes coming to live and maybe essentially take over the city. Power is fundamental part of gentrification, because it effects who controls the city or whose voices are
heard. These are major concerns for many of the residents now living in Atlantic City. During the interview Steve Young made comparisons of the pros and cons of gentrification in the city and how Stockton can play a role in both. With Stockton University having a campus in Atlantic City it create jobs, and bring a sense of youth to the city. He spoke about how he wanted to see Stockton adopt a few elementary schools in the city and provide mentorship, interaction, tutoring to the youth in the schools. But Steve Young also spoke on how Stockton University can play role in the negative effects of gentrification. He talked about who will be accepted in the campus in Atlantic City and will be affordable for minorities. Steve Young spoke on Stockton being inclusive to all of Atlantic City or it will also create a negative impact on gentrifying the city.
The struggles of Atlantic City, Steve Young spoke about related almost identically to black residents of (Fillmore) San Francisco struggles and conflicts. He spoke about how the social, economic, and housing problems need to be provided solutions first to develop the community and provide a better future for Atlantic City. In the reading many Fillmore residents feel at odds with city-funded efforts, and report that they gloss over the real struggles in the
Fillmore and marginalize the voices of its low- and middle-income residents. A common belief among these residents is that the city-funds efforts are not beneficial tote black residents who have lived in the neighborhood for decades. Instead, they argue, these efforts are oriented toward drawing the city’s white community and newcomers to the neighborhood. (Jackson and Jones 2012). Steve Young spoke about of the voices of Atlantic City a marginalized and losing their sovereignty with the takeover bill. There elected officials are not power to or have the power they once did and now Atlantic City residents are fighting for their voices to be heard. There is no relationship or unity with the government and its residents according to Steve Young. He states there is no transparency with local and state government and thus the reason for the lack of trust between the residents to the government.
Redevelopment in Atlantic City are shaped by the views of mistrust of the people with the people in power creating the change, something that was seen in the reading “Remembering the Fillmore” (Jackson and Jones 2012). As we learned in class redevelopment is a major catalyst for change; but gentrification follows. The city becomes a spectacle with the entertainment, retail, industries, and tourism. Steve Young stated that the redevelopment of Atlantic City, tourism, entertainment of the city is “taxation without representation.” To redevelop the community of Atlantic City the residents voices need to heard and the people of the “everyday AC” needs to be represented. And new voices or ideas need to be brought to the “table” to help create sustainability in the community of Atlantic City without the negative effects of gentrification.