Discover more from Infinite Scroll
How Progressives Became Processives
Why progressive cities value the process over the results
A break from the usual articles on the social internet - I’m published in The Bulwark today, talking about why American progressives are obsessed with process over results. The first bit is shared here and you can click through to read the full essay!
IN DECEMBER 2002, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg announced a plan to bring more housing to New York. As the plan’s details were hashed out, they came to include redeveloping parts of Hell’s Kitchen and Chelsea. In 2005, the city upzoned Hudson Yards, paving the way for potential future development in the area. Then, in 2009, the city signed an agreement that included a commitment to develop a vacant parking lot at 54th Street and Ninth Avenue, owned by the state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority, into a few hundred units of affordable housing.
But it wasn’t until August 2022—nearly two decades after Bloomberg sketched out his original proposal and more than a dozen years after the city committed to putting affordable housing on that specific site—that the city voted to approve the permit for the Lirio housing project there. And even now, as of June 2023, construction still has not yet begun. The developer claims the project will be finished by 2025. Count me among the skeptical.
The housing crisis in New York City has been going on for decades. The city’s elected officials talk constantly about the need for more affordable housing. So why can’t they build any? What is the source of the paralysis?
A problem this pervasive in a place with politics and history as complicated as New York’s has many interlocking causes. But one major factor is that there is something that progressives in New York and elsewhere around the country care about more than they care about lowering rent: The Process.
The Levers of Bureaucracy…
Read the rest over at The Bulwark!