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The Fight to Save Discarded Places: Michelle Wilde Anderson

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Neighborhood, local and regional inequality has been overlooked too long. In this episode we visit four cities and towns with deep poverty and gutted public services— where entire communities are struggling to hold on.

Our guest is Michelle Wilde Anderson, a professor of property, local government and environmental justice at Stanford Law School. Her new book is “The Fight to Save the Town: Reimagining Discarded America”.

“We have given up on many of these places”, Michelle tells us. Discarded America is “a term that describes active decision making.”

She reports on efforts to revive four communities— Stockton California, Lawrence Massachusetts, Josephine County Oregon, and Detroit.

The focus is on local activists, community leaders, elected officials and others who have poured their heart and soul into fighting for the places where they live. In these places and others some of the most basic aspects of local government services have been dismantled.

We learn about the devastating impact of the foreclosure crisis, opioid addiction and long economic decline as jobs and entire industries moved offshore or to other parts of the country.

As always with our podcast, there is also a focus on solutions, as we discuss examples of civic pride and rebuilding.

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