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winners never-John McMillion of Majestic Mortgage Company A Majestic Youth of Tomorrow Announcement

John McMillion aka Johnny McMillion or Mr. Mc Million, has a series of Service Announcements:Public, Youth,Community,Safety etc. These ...

Snagging Amazon HQ2: Who Wins When Tax Subsidies Lure Big Business To PA?

’S district fishing report detailed a good season for walleye and clear skies were forecast in the Pittsburgh region. All in all, it was a pretty normal day.

Then Amazon announced it was kicking off a continent-wide search for a second headquarters: HQ2. Phones lit up across Pittsburgh. The city’s Chief Development Officer Kevin Acklin said he remembers it clearly.

"(It was) 7:30 in the morning. It was a Thursday. I was stuck in traffic, I got a phone call— ‘Did you hear?’” he said. Calls started coming in from friends in New York and California. "'This is perfect for Pittsburgh, you guys gotta get on this.’”

Around the same time, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said he looked down at his phone and did a double-take.

“Like, ‘Whoa, what happened?’ I knew something had happened because when you see that many missed calls, texts. And the tweets that went out, it was just a frenzy,” he said.

Strategy meetings were scheduled for the very next day, eventually coalescing into HQ2PGH, a regional partnership tasked with creating a winning proposal to send to Amazon.

What's Kept Black Families Out Of Atlanta's Housing Market

And that decline isn’t only because of changing lifestyles.

Caught In The Crisis

One reason traces back to the foreclosure crisis and its disproportionate impact on black households.

Annie Manning sits in the lobby of her senior high-rise community in the Old Fourth Ward and describes the home she purchased in the 1990s.

It was in a recently built subdivision in Stone Mountain, and it was a good price. Manning says she never had trouble paying the mortgage.

In 2005 she refinanced and got a loan with an adjustable interest rate. She says the lender promised it wouldn’t go up by more than a percent.

“I took his word for it that it would be 1 percent. No more than that,” Manning says. “Oh my god. After the two years was up, I got a bill 4 percent. And then six months later, another 4 percent.”

Manning says she couldn’t keep up, and in 2008, she lost the home.

Risky loans, like the one Manning chose, were concentrated in black communities, especially in Atlanta, according to an Urban Institute study. Atlanta Legal Aid Society Attorney Sarah Bolling Mancini says there’s evidence those communities were singled out.