To those of us who lived in East Austin for generations and were displaced by gentrification, the word entrepreneur is regarded as a negative connotation. It has been devastating to see our old Mexican businesses torn down and replaced by outside businesses! Expensive condos built instead of affordable housing for those who not only built this community but also the rest of the city. This encroachment into our traditional neighborhoods has eradicated our culture and our one-family homes with vegetable gardens. Those of us with deep roots love Austin with all our heart and soul. We clearly remember it in the Forties, Fifties, and Sixties and don't want it to lose its character and originality and look and feel like California or the East Coast.
History is certainly repeating itself here. In the 19th century in Austin my great-great-grandparents and hundreds of other Mexican Americans were unable to hold onto or start their own small businesses because of the huge influx of carpetbaggers from New York who bought up all the lots to establish their large businesses. And, my family was cheated out of our Rainey Street property, an unscrupulous practice that is certainly befitting with the Texas tradition of land grab. Entrepreneurship is not helping us. Years ago when many new restaurants and other business were opening up in East Austin I went to investigate and found that none of them were consciously recruiting people from the community.
It seems that the women attending this summit were wearing rose-colored glasses. ["Kendra Scott Holds First Women's Summit for Entrepreneurs
," News, March 3] They were optimistically looking at only their special, upscale world, which is unrealistic in a real world that is not so rosy for most people. I wonder how many of the speakers at this women's summit were Mexican Americans from Texas.