As issues spread throughout Atlantic County and Atlantic City specifically, gentrification and mistrust have became a major topic that my interviewee discussed plenty of times. The person I have interviewed named Steve Young is an active community member in Atlantic City. In Atlantic City, Steve discussed how “gentrification is the vision because of foreclosures on every block and people are leaving for lower tax and more.” This is important throughout the community even though there are people who can or cannot afford it. The people who are coming in are able to afford these homes with property taxes which helps boost the community. Gentrification is pushing people away from the urban community by them not being able to afford it which affects the people who have been there the longest. Along with the vision of Atlantic City, he hopes that Stockton University can adopt some elementary schools where the new campus is added. This will help the economy by the new campus being in Atlantic City as well as helping young children gain knowledge of being on the right path. He said, “Stockton can play a role in gentrification with keeping a balance to help people afford living in Atlantic City, types of students applying, and classes and assistance that will be given in Atlantic City.” He believes that Stockton could help with gentrifying the community through a balance of costs and helping pay to get a better economy.
As the discussion went on, Steve discussed the mistrust between Atlantic City people and the government. Atlantic City have people looking over the local government and even have taken control of the city. These people have to see who gets hired and who gets fired within the local government. Steve said, “No city should be taken over by government such as sovereignty and voting rights.” People have lost their rights to elect local government officials, which lost the trust of the community. The community has no say in what should happen, which explains riots that can occur. The people who have been in the community and actually know what it is about should have the right to speak up. They are the people who would know how to help the community by gaining the trust back and help the economy in Atlantic City. Since the state government took over in Atlantic City, Steve said, “Everything has been taken away.”
The gentrification in Atlantic City discussed by Steve effects the environment and interaction being brought to the community. The environment is being redeveloped by Stockton including a campus in Atlantic City hoping to put a balance on the economy through taxes. Stockton is redeveloping an area that causes issues in Atlantic City and trying to promote great things. In the article “The City as a Growth Machine” by John Logan and Harvey Molotch (1987), they discussed the importance for city growth. “The overall ideological thrust is to deemphasize the connection between growth and exchange values and to reinforce the link between growth goals and better lives for the majority” (Logan & Molotch, 1987). This is important because the gentrification can help bring growth and improvement to the people in Atlantic City. Gentrification can either help or destroy the environment through cultural ways and interactions of people. The people whose interaction in the community now are used to each other, but when being gentrified, the people will not interact more with new residents. These areas in the environment could create privatized public spaces in public spaces creating less interactions. This could cause more issues through the community because of the changing of the environment could create less interactions from people who could possibly afford living in Atlantic City.