Call it gentrification

I take it I'm among the interviewees Antoinette Roades accuses of perpetuating "the politically convenient notion that [Fifeville] has always been overwhelmingly black and poor and should remain so" [Letters, October 2: "Fifeville wasn't Fife's"].

This was hardly the gist of my comments. While Fifeville has, in fact, been a predominantly Afro-American neighborhood for a century, it housed a mix of tenants and owner-occupants, just as Rhoades states. But how much longer will it accommodate the working people whose presence she celebrates?

All shibboleths about diversity aside, what we're seeing is the elimination of low-end rental from the core of Charlottesville. Maybe this is a "natural" pattern (though I'm leery of that one). Maybe those being displaced are "undesirable" (though some "poor" people are "working" people too). And maybe they'll be re-housed at the City's fringe– forcing greater reliance on automobiles that poor people can ill afford.

But if this is gentrification, let's call it that, think seriously about the City's role in it, and, in particular, ask how this agenda meshes with the City's professed interest in preservation and "affordable" housing.

Aaron Wunsch