Demand Affordable Housing in Scarsdale, NY and Begin Desegregating Scarsdale Schools

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Ariel Weinsaft
Ariel Weinsaft signed this petition

As one of the most segregated towns in America, Scarsdale, New York has successfully avoided integrating its school system by refusing to build affordable housing and creating/benefiting from institutional racism that it refuses to confront. In Scarsdale, the average household income is $452,000, and the school system is 70% White. In Scarsdale High School, the African American and Hispanic student populations combined represent only 2% of the total student population (Warren, NYSED).

Despite claiming to be one of the most liberal towns in America, Scarsdale has time and again refused to build any units of affordable housing (Affordable Housing Online, Denvir). In 2002, the Westchester Housing Opportunity Commission recommended building 160 units of affordable housing as a first step to integrate this white enclave (Brenner). In 2009, a federal court ruled that Westchester County was required to build 750 units of "fair and affordable" housing and begin de-segregating its schools (Brenner). Unfortunately, a federal appeals panel ruled in 2017 that Westchester County had failed to live up to its requirement to build this housing. During the entire process, Scarsdale and other affluent white communities had "engaged in total obstructionism" and refused to follow the court order (Fallia). 

In recent years, the student body of Scarsdale High School has participated in a number of progressive movements. From the Women's March, to gun control activism, to the Black Lives Matter social media movement, the students of SHS have shown that they desire to create positive change in the world. As a student at SHS myself, I know that my fellow classmates genuinely believe in social justice. If I am right, and the students of Scarsdale, New York really want to see racial and economic justice in their community, then they will sign this petition and demand that the village government begin complying with the affordable housing mandate. In doing so, Scarsdale will take the first step towards desegregating our school system, and rectifying the social injustice inherent in our community. If the administration understands that the student body wants to create real, meaningful change in our town, then it is much more likely that policy change will actually occur. Please sign this petition if you want to see real change in Scarsdale, NY. 

- Jacob Rosewater

 

 

Sources: 

(Warren): https://www.businessinsider.com/scarsdale-new-york-east-coast-richest-town-photo-tour-2019-3

(NYSED): https://data.nysed.gov/enrollment.php?year=2017&instid=800000034927

(Affordable Housing Online): https://affordablehousingonline.com/housing-search/New-York/Scarsdale

(Denvir): https://www.salon.com/2011/07/01/denvir_westchester_segregation/

(Brenner): https://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/23/realestate/23wczo.html

(Fallia): https://dailyvoice.com/new-york/scarsdale/news/court-rules-against-westchester-in-federal-affordable-housing-case/709033/