Rakeen Dow-A Tale of Two Cities

Rakeen Dow is an activist with the All Stars Project’s Committee for Independent Community Action. He is also a co-founder of Live Poet’s Society NYC performance ensemble.  

A Tale of Two Cities is a poem that Rakeen wrote in response to the regressive Next Gen plan for New York City’s public housing.




A Tale of Two Cities

This is the tale of two cites,

One where you know,

The rich get richer,

And richer,

The poor get poorer and poorer

And consistently screwed!

De Blasio’s political platform,

When running for the Mayor ship

Was that he didn’t want

New York City,

To turn into

A tale of two cites

All the while

Gentrification was the master plan

To be implemented

Sort of like it was

When the true Native Americans

Where run off the land!

So here comes NYCHA

With their Next Generation/Infill plan,

A plan built to deceive

And is as stealth as a Trojan horse!

They’re gonna build

These luxury condo buildings

On the public housing’s under-utilized land?

They say don’t worry

Thirty percent of the apartments

Are earmarked for affordable housing usage

For those with a minimum income

Of forty thousand dollars.

Meanwhile the median income

Of the families who live

In NYCHA housing complexes is

Twenty-five thousand dollars.

So I ask,

Affordable for whom?

Not my sister Deborah,

Not my uncle Buddy and

Not my best friend Boo

Who I grew up with

They all still reside there

What are they gonna do?

It’s a damn shame!

People being forced out their homes!

Meanwhile where is our political leadership?

Last I heard

In some backroom

Cutting deals with

The Developers!

What has this world come to?


It’s a damn shame!

When basic human needs,

Such as housing and shelter

Have become obsolete

Due to the love of money

Politicians’ and developers


So remember, the next time

You pass by A Next Generation/Infill site,

Behind it is,

A Tale of Two Cites!



Politics for the People Conference Call

With Matthew Desmond

Sunday, October 23rd at 7 pm EST

Call In Number: 641 715-3605

Access code 767775#

Founder of the Politics for the People free educational series and book club for independent voters. Chair of the New York County Independence Party.

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