Here we are on the cusp of 2019. Are you ready? We feel ready. We’d like to take a moment to reflect on (1) the great things we did this year, (2) the rachett stuff we’ll be leaving behind in 2018, and (3) the great stuff to come for 2019.
(1) Heck yeh, we did that:
1.We went to Vancouver and met some incredible researchers working on bringing carcerality and the prison system to light. We learned so much at Simon Fraser University in March of this year, and were able to share our research on the linkages between displacement and crime.
2.We published a detailed timeline of city planning initiative in Austin and the public responses to it in a text called Not in the Plan. We took depressing statistics and turned them into public information. Go, us.
3.We participated in a kick-ass virtual conference in Australia, picked up some new readers and peer researchers, and learned about interactions between colonialism and housing policy in other parts of the English-speaking world.
(2) Hell no, we aren’t doing that:
1.Making excuses for the bad, tone-deaf, or intolerant behavior of friends of acquaintances–at work, at conferences, online, or in our personal circles. We don’t move forward without mutual respect, and you have to get it to give it. There are basic standards for engagement, and they include treating everyone with dignity. Not hearing otherwise (or feeding trolls) in 2019!
2.Allowing important conversations to be hijacked by people who feel uncomfortable participating. Race and inequality are sometimes hard to talk about. We try to educate ourselves and share relevant information, strategies, and stories with each other and others. Professional distraction artists, be scarce! We are staying focused in 2019.
3. We are officially done with all forms of partial engagement and unnecessary division. We don’t need to invent new partitions to find reasons to not understand one another. Conflict is not abuse, and we aren’t afraid of a little conflict on the road to authentic truths. Per our last podcast of the season (as you will see) there’s much to be hopeful about in terms of partnerships in 2019.
(3) Get ready for all this stuff we are going to do this year:
1.We are tying up Season 1 of the DC Podcast, with two more episodes for January and February. March will start a new podcast season, with fancy new intro music and a new focus.
2.This year’s next book project branches out from Austin to address the politics, history, and infrastructure of other cities across the US. While last year’s work was focused on displacement, this year’s big writing project will address belonging and the concept of stable and resilient communities.
3. In keeping with our 2018 trends, we have two presentations/conferences tentatively lined up. The first is a conversation about planning and public health; the second is a look at demographics and diversity in the world of historic preservation. Get pumped y’all!