EcoWorks is a really engaging place with lots of friendly people. There’s a lot of diversity and a lot of cooperation. All of the groups in the building are very respectful of each other, while still being able to discuss differences and disparities. On a lighter note, here are some observations I’ve made in the office:
- They never turn the lights on
- There’s no air conditioning
- It’s basically a concrete oven
- Every Monday there seems to be free food
- The windows don’t open
- The door buzzer is very loud
- The front office looks like a reception desk but it’s not
- You can hear people between the offices
- You lose people all the time even though the building is small
- They sometimes call the cafeteria the “center conference room,” which is confusing because there’s an actual conference room across the hall
- When the YES team isn’t there, it feels like no one is there
- Your office chair matters
- The gate is very slow and annoying
Since being in Detroit, subtler racial disparities and attitudes have become clearer. I’ve noticed more than ever how people cluster within their own groups and the lingering tensions that remain wedged between them. It’s also been eye opening to see gentrification in action and the real burden of the city pushing out its enduring residents.
Economic development is only useful if it improves the economics of households and communities. It’s worthless is all it accomplishes is the development of the environment without bringing the population with it. This doesn’t accomplish the intended goal of economic development — poverty alleviation — but rather shifts the poverty to other areas, altering the geographic distribution of wealth, leaving families worse off than they were before.