Monday, February 05, 2007

Nice Work Mo Vaughn

The folks here at IDYFT are quick to mock the stupidity and/or venality of the professional athlete. This seems like just a good story and I have no idea how to handle that.

Generally speaking, I'm ambivalent about the whole concept that Black professional athletes are somehow more responsible to uplifting the neighborhoods that they came from, or spending any of their money on charities. We don't make a big stink when white athletes don't spend their money on improving their community. We should be glad when they don't, seeing as Super Bowl MVP (phht--sorry, it was Dominic Rhodes if it was any one dude) Peyton Manning gives his money away to dicks like Senator Bob Corker.

But, all of that complaining aside, Mo Vaughn seems to be doing something really special in New York City. The story is pretty incredible, and should be read in full. Short version is that some asshole slumlord, after 10 years of neglect and disrepair and violence (three murders in three years) attempted to change the designation of the building to "emergency homeless shelter" which would have evicted the tenants, and set up the landlord for a big payday from government agencies--almost $6 million a year. The tenants sued the landlord, who declared bankruptcy. Mo Vaughn and his partner purchased the development, and have pledged to add security, renovate the building, and keep it as Section 8 housing. They estimate spending at least $20 million to complete the project.

And it turns out, Mo's been at this for awhile, with three completed projects in the Bronx, and another in Brooklyn. Pretty fucking cool, Mo Vaughn. We salute you, big man. We also pretend you care that we salute you.

I first saw this story on CNBC (the odds of me watching CNBC and catching something I'd find interesting are long odds, at best) from a story filed by Darren Rovell. You can watch it here.

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