By Genoa Barrow | September 28, 2020 | The Sacramento Observer
Aggie Square is described as a “game changing partnership” that will bring innovative opportunities to the area surrounding the UC Davis Medical Center on Stockton Boulevard. Local residents say they don’t want to be losers when the project, which will include the building of spaces for research facilities, academic programs, offices, retail and mixed-use space,and housing, kicks into gear.
Kim Williams, of Sacramento Building Healthy Communities says the Aggie Square project should benefit everyone in the surrounding area, not just a certain part of the population.
The Sacramento Building Healthy Communities: Community Development Action Team and Sacramento Investment Without Displacement (SacIWD) held a press conference at the Fruitridge Community Collaborative last week, demanding a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) in the UC Davis Aggie Square project to ensure issues of affordable housing, jobs, healthcare access, and other issues are addressed in any major projects brought to the community.
SacIWD is a coalition of community organizations and neighborhood associations. Coalition members have been working together for almost two years and say the proposed Aggie Square project at UC Davis Medical Center “has the potential to improve and protect residents’ health, provide residents with access to good union jobs that pay a living wage, improve the quality of our neighborhoods, and reduce existing inequities.” Members want to make sure area residents in the 95817, 95820 and 95824 zip codes aren’t summarily boxed out, and priced out, by the Aggie Square project.
Community involvement topped a list of concerns.
“While neighborhoods surrounding Aggie Square will be altered by the many thousands of new workers and students at Aggie Square, with a recent estimate as high as 25,000, and the flow of billions of dollars, the traditional avenues of resident involvement will be weakened, and those communities already on the fringes are likely to be further silenced,” reads a statement from the group.
Concerns also include local hiring, affordable housing access, access to primary care for Medi-Cal beneficiaries, project labor, and local business protections and support.
“This is about building with our community,” HUB Director Kim Williams said.