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The New York Times: Opinion | Amazon and the Breaking of Baltimore

The New York Times, March 9, 2021, Opinion | Amazon and the Breaking of Baltimore

When I set out to report a book on the problem of growing regional inequality in America, I did not expect that it would involve spending several hours on a cold winter day standing inside a large dumpster.

But there I was, helping a man named Keith Taylor toss all manner of trash from a giant receptacle to reach the treasure buried below: hundreds of bricks from the demolished headquarters of the sprawling Bethlehem Steel plant on Sparrows Point peninsula outside Baltimore.

Taylor, who started working at the plant in 1989 and spent the next 11 years there, wanted the bricks as part of his effort to reclaim the heritage of Sparrows Point. In the 1950s, Beth Steel, as locals call it, was the largest steel plant in the world, a dense skyline of chimneys and coal chutes abutted by a company town then home to more than 5,000 people.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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