Let me share Ryan Avent’s puzzlement at Ezra Klein’s apparent belief that black people don’t like coffee shops. On U Street where we have a ton of coffee shops and a healthy number of African-American residents you see . . . lots of black people in coffee shops. Check out Mocha Hut, for example. Also the idea that “You don’t move to DC because it’s awesome, you move because it’s where your work is” meaning that “there’s little need to construct an affirmative agenda to attract residents” is badly wrong.
This analysis seems to, among other things, leave the existence of the suburbs out of the picture. There’s no reason anyone has to live in DC as opposed to Arlington or Silver Spring. And, indeed, when the city was at its nadir of malgovernment and crime that’s exactly what everyone did. Just like anyplace else DC needs to make itself an attractive place for people to live, and the past few years of DC repopulating itself (it’s still way lower than its peak population) are driven by just that — lower crime rates, more retail opportunities, more intense development around the newer Metro stations, etc.