The ecology of the question: Reading Austin’s public housing Debates, 1937-1938

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In September 1937, President Roosevelt announced the Wagner-Steagall Public Housing Act, which awarded the fi rst federal money for slum-clearance and public housing project construction in needy cities across the country. After several months of negotiations in Washington, three cities were fi nally chosen to receive the fi rst round of federal funds: New York, New Orleans, and Austin. The fi nal city on the list came as an unhappy surprise to other cities who lobbied hard for these funds. After all, although Austin had the same problems as any urban area, it did not register in the national public’s imaginary of deeply impoverished cities. Nevertheless, young Congressman Lyndon Johnson worked tirelessly on behalf of Austin in order to win $450,000 for clearing away “slums,�? or inadequate spaces on the city’s eastside. Johnson was thrilled to land this plum for Austin, as were his local political allies. Thanks to LBJ’s tireless work on behalf of his home base, the City of the Violet Crown was about to receive one of the New Deal’s choice projects.1.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEcology, Writing Theory, and New Media
Subtitle of host publicationWriting Ecology
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781136482434
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2012 Taylor & Francis.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (all)
  • Social Sciences (all)


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