NYT blog post on community forum on gentrification in NYC

My feedreader brought me this interesting blog post about a forum in NYC about gentrification in neighborhoods.

A community leader once optimistic about development in Harlem said:

We want the gentry, because they represent people who can support the commercial businesses, and attract more. But we don’t want to be overrun by them. We don’t want to be smothered by them, and we want to make sure the working women and men we were concerned about are not run out of the neighborhood that they stuck with and fought for and even died for.

Errol Louis, a New York Daily News columnist who seems much more pro-development is quoted as saying:

“Terms like ‘oversuccessful,’ terms that get thrown around like ‘out of scale’ — even gentrification itself – these are terms of art,” Mr. Louis said. “These are differences of opinion. These are things that have to be fought out at the community level, frankly. It’s probably too late by the time you get to the public hearing.”

Sadly, the last sentence reads true to me, but I feel like whether it’s residents of neighborhoods in Brooklyn, or in Bloomington, it can be nearly impossible to become involved in the process of neighborhood development before it’s too late.