Buying Back The Block

We currently live in interesting times. Many of the neighborhoods we grew up in are being gentrified. Remember when Bed Stuy was really do or die? Watching your childhood neighborhood turn into a gossip girl set can be frightening, especially when you're still living in it and feel like you're getting priced out. It's easy to feel hopeless, but to be real with y'all, not all hope is lost. There are ways for you to buy back the block. You can do it socially, by way of property, by way of business, and by way of government.

Socially:

Yeah, they aren't from here, but they're still people. Welcome the new people who have moved to your area. There's nothing scarier than moving somewhere new, and there's nothing more comfortable than your neighbors getting to know you. Get to know the new people that move there, help them get acquainted with the neighborhood, even offer them to go to the best local bar you know. By doing this you gain neighborhood influence, which allows you to retain some sort of control over what happens in your environment.

Some tools you can use to get to know new people in the area:

Reddit

Meetup

Block associations:

Every single block has a block association. These group of people usually help put together the block parties, work with local government on when garbage will be picked up, alternate side parking, you name it. Whether you own a home or are just renting, make sure you know who's on your block association, and when your meetings are. They are important. By knowing who's there you can help retain influence on what happens on your block, you also get to know other people on other block associations and build connections throughout the neighborhood.

Example:

In my previous apartment on St. Marks Ave in Park Slope in 2013 we had a huge rat problem. They were running the streets. No, literally running everywhere. Rats were literally sittin on people's stoops like stoop kid in Hey Arnold. Dead serious. I swear one time me and some friends were walking home and I think I caught the rats shootin' music video in the middle of the street.

 Got the footage of these damn rats shakin' & Bakin'

Got the footage of these damn rats shakin' & Bakin'

The entire block was over it. I found the chair of the block association and requested to hold a meeting. She did it. We held the meeting at a local library and every person on the block association board showed up. We sat together and came up with a plan, we decided to hire a surveyor to identify where the rat issues began, and to help us keep the rats at bay. As a block we contributed to pay for the surveyor. After researching he found that the construction of Barclays Center (around the corner smh) caused the rats to migrate to our block.

The solution?

He advised everyone on the block to change their garbage cans, bags, to place rat traps with poison, and to create better fencing for our homes. He also advised us to slow down on the gardening. So together as a block we followed his instruction. For the first few weeks you saw dead rats everywhere, and then over time the amount of rats decreased immensely.

This is just one way you can control the function of your block by being involved. It's not being in everyone's business, it's literally letting people know you live here, are from here and care about it just as much as they do.

Property:

 East New York

East New York

If you see abandoned/empty homes in your area, don't just look at it. Do something about it. Check your county department of buildings, or public records to see the current issue with the property. If it's in foreclosure, how much is the bank willing to let it go for? If the owner didn't pay taxes and got the home seized? Find out how much they owe and work together with people in the neighborhood to buy the property. Thousands of Delinquent Tax Auctions are happening everyday, it's time you get on that and start buying back your block.

If you want more information about buying property really take a look at a previous post on everything you can do to get a cheap home, you can literally buy a house for less than $5000 if you look carefully. Click ----------> here

Controlling who owns property in your area is an effective way of controlling who can and can't live in your area. The more property you own as a neighborhood, the more power you have. If you hear a good neighbor having payment trouble try to help them pay or if worse comes to worse, buy the property (as a group) and rent it to them. Like a good neighbor you should be there (Sings in State Farm Jingle).

Business:

Next time you enter your neighborhood ask yourself some questions:

Who owns the supermarket?

Who owns the local coffee shops?

Who owns the local bars?

Who owns the local restaurants?

Who owns or works at the local service industries in my neighborhood? Do they live here? Do I know them?

If you can't answer these questions, you need to start finding those answers.

These are the people who control your cost of living.

One of these people needs to be you, or people you know that live in the neighborhood.

In some states people are building relationships through services such as marijuana dispensary deliveries.

Marijuana Dispensaries, and services in that industry are one large way minorities are buying back their blocks. Because of the contacts they have in their local areas they have control over the distribution and consumer base in an area. Of course some of us do not live in states where marijuana is legal, but if you want to make an investment in marijuana you can take a look at some good old marijuana stocks. If you want to see a few good marijuana stocks click ----------> here

Next week I will go deep into detail about the ins and outs of the marijuana industry, what matters and what doesn't and what to watch out for.

The Local Detroit man trying to buy back his block:

ow if buying back your block seems like a heavy lift for you, but you'd love to contribute to someone else buying back their block meet Raphael Wright.

 @faira_rafa on all social media sites. rafawright.com

@faira_rafa on all social media sites. rafawright.com

Raphael is a guy who grew up in Detroit, but watched his city fall apart and go bankrupt and is currently watching his city being carved up for real estate developers to come in and build everywhere (sound familiar?). But instead of allowing them to build there and not have any say, he is raising money to buy a property to build an organic grocery store in his neighborhood of Detroit. Son is really out here Raising Benjamin's.

His story as been featured in Huffington Post, here is a link to his GoFundMe if you'd like to donate to his mission of buying back the block click -------> here

This is also a model you can work off of when buying back your block. If you can donate anything that would be dope, but if you can't at the very least share this link ------> bit.ly/raphaelwrightstore

And last but not least The Government:

Yeah, we hear it all the time "Government doesn't work." But in all actuality, it does. We just don't put pressure on our local elected officials. I've seen people get free housing, win the housing lottery, get free NYC Transit for a year, get jobs, even I personally got my passport expedited for the low (got it in 3hrs for under $100), by contacting a local elected official. Voting for these individuals and building relationships with them will help you gain a strong understanding of what's going on in your neighborhood and how you can take advantage of it. These elected officials are here to serve you. You. Are. Their. Boss.

The only way you can put pressure on your local elected officials is if you know who they are. So today I want to help you do that. I am personally going to locate your local elected officials and send you all of the information to get in contact with them.

If you're interested in finding out who your local elected officials are click -----> here

It's very possible to control your environment and buy back your block. You just have to be diligent, consistent, and solution oriented. We should not stand idle while we lose representation in our neighborhoods. We need to own where we live. I hope these words have inspired you and see you next week so we can get this weed money.

Keep Stacking That Paper Y'all,

CJB

PS: Don't forget we have the BLACK WEALTH hats available on the website. If you want one click--------> here (or the photo below, you choose)