Innovation without gentrification?

By Graham Womack
April 1, 2020
Sacramento News and Review

The promise and pitfalls of Aggie Square in Oak Park

“The reality is Aggie Square could be the best thing for the neighborhood, and it could be the worst thing for the neighborhood,” said Sacramento City Council member Eric Guerra, whose district is directly east of UC Davis Med Center.

https://sacblog.newsreview.com/2020/04/01/innovation-without-gentrification/

Even a UC Davis official—Hendry Ton, the university’s associate vice chancellor for health equity, diversity and inclusion—has questions about Aggie Square causing gentrification and displacing residents.
“I think there’s a lot of questions about that and I certainly have questions about that as well,” Ton said. “I think that the potential is that if the people in Aggie Square and the university are thoughtful and careful and collaborative about this, this can be a very significant force for good in the neighborhood.”
So far, however, collaboration hasn’t exactly been smooth, with officials and residents clashing on plans to ensure the neighborhood benefits from the project.
A group connected to the California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities initiative, known as Sacramento Investment Without Displacement, has been working on a legally binding community benefits agreement for Aggie Square.
A January draft of the agreement called for local hiring from nearby zip codes, anti-demolition policies to protect homes and enrollment of at least 50 percent of Medi-Cal recipients living within five miles of Aggie Square.
“We believe that this project has a lot of potential to be successful. But it also has a lot of potential to displace working families.”
Gabby Trejo is executive director of Sacramento Area Congregations Together.
“We want to see Aggie Square be successful,” said Gabby Trejo, who has been working on the agreement and serves as executive director of Sacramento Area Congregations Together. “We believe that this project has a lot of potential to be successful. But it also has a lot of potential to displace working families. And we want to make sure that working families in our region are protected.”
City leaders have yet to commit to a community benefits agreement, however. Guerra and Councilman Jay Schenirer, who didn’t respond to a request for comment, are instead working on a letter of intent, which city leaders declined to provide.
“I’m less concerned about the type of document and more concerned about an honest agreement… that will last longer than whatever we call the agreement,” Guerra said.
But Trejo and Sasso said the letter is insufficient. “We’ve seen other folks be bad actors in that things are promised and then they’re never delivered,” Sasso said.

https://sacblog.newsreview.com/2020/04/01/innovation-without-gentrification/

Click here to read the full article.


ECOS’ Involvement

ECOS is a part of the Sacramento Investment Without Displacement coalition to work towards preventing the displacement of long-time residents and local businesses that could occur as a result of this significant, new project at the UC Davis Medical Center.

Click here to learn more about Aggie Square and ECOS’ involvement.


Image credit: Edna Winti, 2016/366/238 Proceed with Caution

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ECOS Comments on Aggie Square NOP

UC Davis has an opportunity to lift up rather than disrupt the Sacramento Campus’ surrounding community. Investment alone is not enough; these major investments must be coupled with anti-displacement strategies to ensure that existing residents will equitably reap the benefits of these improvements. We hope [UC Davis] seize[s] this opportunity to demonstrate what a true relationship between the University and the community can bring.

ECOS Comment letter dated March 10, 2020

On March 10, 2020, ECOS submitted a comment letter on the Notice of Preparation for an Environmental Impact Report on the UC Davis Sacramento Campus 2020 Long Range Development Plan Update (LRDP), which will serve as a project-level EIR for Aggie Square Phase 1.

Click here to read the letter in full.

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LA proposes putting ‘anti-displacement’ zones around luxury development

It’s aimed at helping renters in a one-mile radius around new buildings

By Bianca Barragan
November 13, 2019
Curbed LA

The proposal stems from a motion introduced by Councilmember Herb Wesson, Jr.
In his motion, Wesson says that while luxury and market-rate projects are “designed to strengthen” a neighborhood’s economy, many times they have negative consequences for long-time residents, especially when they’re located in neighborhoods that sustained decades of disinvestment resulting from racist housing covenants and redlining.
“Development projects should help to build up an area in need of economic investment so that members of a community can make use of these local amenities and improve their everyday lives,” Wesson says.

https://la.curbed.com/2019/11/13/20963844/anti-displacement-zones-los-angeles-development

Click here to read the full article.

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