NASW Press Publishes Groundbreaking Book on Urban Poverty Policies
Econocide Explores the Disenfranchisement of Urban Poor and Governmental Resposibilities
WASHINGTON, DCâ€”Econocide: Elimination of the Urban Poor tells the story of how an overweening focus on economic development, in concert with biased housing practices and a virtual abandonment of civic responsibility, has forsaken the urban poor in Cincinnati, Ohio. Alice Skirtz, PhD, MSW, LISW-S, shows how the city has used legislation and the administration of public policy to serve the ends of privatizing public assets and displacing people who are perceived as undesirable because they lack economic power and privilege.
Skirtz argues that enactment and implementation of legislation grounded in contempt for the economically disadvantaged and schemes contrived to keep affordable housing off the market and to reduce or devolve essential social services have resulted in gross economic inequities, manifest in a collectivity she identifies as "economic others."
"Based on over 40 years of experience in working with the urban poor, I wrote this book to call attention to how they have become increasingly at risk of being removed permanently from the community and civic life," says Skirtz, founding organizer of the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless. "The growth of privatization has led to increasing economic inequities, lessening influence in administrative and legislative affairs, and decreasing access to housing and even public spaces. I intend for this book to lead to a change in how we treat the urban poor."
The book examines the constructs of economic others and econocide through three themes:
- The development of exclusion ordinances to remove economic others
- The indirect removal of economic others by means of policy decisions
- The privitization of governance to absolve the city of its social and ethical responsibilities
Econocide is more than just a profound history of a sociopolitical vicious cycle; it also suggests a way out of itâ€”not just for Cincinnati, but for all cities in which econocide is occurring.
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