Also: Give pay toilets another chance, and Texas cities block out Section 8 renters.
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Patch it up: On a dirt road in Boykin, Alabama, there’s a repurposed two-room schoolhouse where you can find the Gee’s Bend Quilters Collective. The group has inherited a rich community tradition: Women have been making quilts in the area since the 1920s, gaining prominence especially during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Their quilts reside in permanent museum collections from coast to coast, and are widely acknowledged as masterpieces of American art.
Despite that global fame, if you want to visit Gee’s Bend, you’ll have plan your visit well. The collective sits 40 miles from the nearest hotel, supermarket, or conventional restaurant, so it doesn’t get much foot traffic. In fact, Boykin isn’t even considered a town, and it’s deeply impoverished. But the community wants to change that by incorporating as a municipality. It’s a move that could get the 300 or so people of Boykin new access to resources, and offer a political agency that they’ve never had before. Today on CityLab: Could incorporating as a town save Gee’s Bend, Alabama?
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Hotel and city representatives are meeting in New York to discuss their Airbnb problem (BuzzFeed News)
The big city paradox: They’re getting richer, but they’re losing electoral clout (Washington Post)