Environmentalists’ Spring Social 4/30

Join us for an Environmentalists’ Spring Social!
Sierra Club Sacramento, Environmental Council of Sacramento, and the Sacramento Climate Coalition invite you to our Spring Social. This is an opportunity to reconnect with friends from many environmental groups. Join us for drinks and hors d’oeuvres on the patio! Lisa Phenix will perform with Tony Bowler. Plus Silent Auction of wine, artworks, etc.
DATE: Saturday, April 30 from 2:00 – 4:30 pm
LOCATION: Sierra 2 Center, 2791 24th Street, Sacramento, CA 95818
COVID: please bring your vaccination ID and your mask for indoors.
DONATION: $5 min. requested at the door to help us cover costs.

Register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/environmentalists-spring-social-tickets-310775055557
Facebook Event: https://facebook.com/events/s/environmentalists-spring-socia/687050185807001/

Oak Park gentrification: $5 million Aggie Square fund to protect tenants from displacement

By Alexandra Yoon-Hendricks | November 14, 2021 | The Sacramento Bee

…community advocates have repeatedly warned that those benefits may not be experienced by low- and middle-income residents and residents of color. Those concerns led to the creation of a sweeping Community Benefits Partnership Agreement* that would invest several hundred million dollars in Oak Park and Tahoe Park through new affordable housing, local hiring requirements, job training and eviction protections. As part of a deal reached with a group of local organizers called Sacramento Investment Without Displacement, the city is required to allocate $5 million from its housing trust fund and general fund to efforts that would alleviate resident displacement and stabilize the housing market.

Read more at: https://www.sacbee.com/news/equity-lab/article256557521.html#storylink=cpy


*Join Sacramento Investment Without Displacement for a Community Benefits Agreement Presentation on Dec 16. Attend to learn more about Community Benefits Agreements (CBA) and how they have significantly impacted other cities. We will also have a discussion on the CBA Ordinance for the City of Sacramento and what should be included as the Ordinance is being developed.


Photo by MART PRODUCTION from Pexels

Community Benefits Agreement Presentation Dec 16

Join Sacramento Investment Without Displacement to learn more about Community Benefits Agreements (CBA) and how they have significantly impacted other cities. We will also have a discussion on the CBA Ordinance for the City of Sacramento and what should be included as the Ordinance is being developed.

The zoom meeting will take place on Thursday December 16, 2021 at 5:30pm.

Zoom Meeting Click Here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82740647648

Come and learn as you share input about your community.


Letter to City of Sac – ECOS support for Sustainable Transportation Planning Grant

On October 27, 2021, ECOS sent a letter to the City of Sacramento in support of its application for a Sustainable
Transportation Planning Grant for its 15-Minute Neighborhoods Plan.

Dear Mr. Chan,

The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) supports the City of Sacramento in its application for Sustainable Transportation Planning Grant for its 15-Minute Neighborhoods Plan.

We served on the Mayors’ Climate Change Commission’s Transportation Technical Advisory Committee. As you know, the prioritization of active transportation, then transit and shared mobility, and then zero-emission vehicles was unanimously adopted. This prioritization, coupled with housing around transit, would reduce GHG emissions, increase affordable housing with good local and regional access to shops and jobsites, improve air quality, and improve physical safety for pedestrians and cyclists.

Over half of Sacramento’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) are from the transportation sector. The City’s proposed 15-Minute Neighborhoods Plan will set the stage for increased transit use, walking and biking — travel modes that are essential to reduce GHG and meet our climate goals.

Sacramento’s topography is relatively flat and its neighborhoods are interconnected – these are two necessary but not sufficient preconditions for a large shift to walking and biking for daily errands and for job commutes. Neighborhood studies show that slowing driving is a big concern.

The City’s 15-Minute Neighborhoods Plan will calm the entire network of neighborhood streets to make comfortable places to walk, bike, and scoot. Calmer streets will encourage more trips by active transportation, helping the city to meet its goals around sustainability, speed reduction for cars and trucks, community health, and thriving local businesses. The City’s 15-minute Neighborhoods Plan will further the following:

• The City’s Climate Action Plan;
• The City’s commitment to equitable processes by engaging neighborhood communities about their needs;
• Economic vitality of our retail and restaurants within and next to neighborhoods;
• Affordable and efficient access to jobsites, parks, and schools.

Sincerely,

Ralph Propper
ECOS President

Click here to view the letter.

CEQA can increase affordable housing in Sacramento while protecting communities

By Ralph Propper, President of the Environmental Council of Sacramento | October 19, 2021 | Sacramento News and Review

The City of Sacramento signed a deal this summer to build a U.C. Davis campus and innovation hub, bringing economic investment that will create affordable housing, jobs and transportation infrastructure. Thanks to California’s premiere social and environmental justice law, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), this agreement was not just a win-win for the project developers and city, but also for the community living near the development. Without a strong CEQA, however, the deal could have had wide-ranging negative impacts for the area’s under-resourced neighborhoods.

The project, known as Aggie Square, is a case study in how CEQA works to protect public health, safeguard communities and spur more affordable housing development. When market-rate developers approach cities with plans to build housing developments, warehouses or other big projects, their main concern is to make a profit. Thanks to CEQA, communities have a chance to make their voices heard by decision-makers before permits are approved and potentially problematic projects are built. Under CEQA, public agencies must study the environmental and public health impacts of a proposed development and identify feasible ways to offset those impacts.

Originally signed by Governor Ronald Reagan in 1970, CEQA protects environmental resources and advances environmental justice and social justice goals. But this keystone law has somehow become the punching bag of for-profit developers, who wrongly blame the statute for creating a barrier to the development of affordable housing. In fact, studies show local zoning and other local factors – not CEQA – are the primary barriers to affordable housing development. While the CEQA process has at times stalled or even blocked inclusionary housing or densification—which does further chill affordable project proposals—the Aggie Square development is a case where CEQA worked as designed, providing a pathway for inclusionary affordable housing and equitable access to opportunity.

The developers of Aggie Square were planning a project that, while bringing economic gains to the city as a whole, would have driven up rents for existing residents, leading to the all-too-familiar pattern of gentrification that displaces lower-income residents. But the outcome was different. Largely as a result of a grassroots effort led by Sacramento Investment Without Displacement that leveraged CEQA to ensure that community voices were heard, the city established a Community Benefits Partnership Agreement that protects local residents from gentrification and reduces the impact of increased traffic surrounding the new development.

Moreover, the agreement goes beyond mitigating harm posed by the project — it creates real benefits for the existing community. It will ensure that a significant portion of the new jobs created by Aggie Square, from entry-level to higher-wage positions, go to local residents. And it will create affordable housing, transportation options, job training and youth education programs.

By requiring decisionmakers to take the time to receive public input, and developers to understand the impact of their proposed development, the CEQA process made this project better and brought it into alignment with state priorities, including by increasing affordable housing supplies. Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg is now talking about replicating the agreement elsewhere in the city, prioritizing economic equity and residents’ rights over the financial gains of big, for-profit developers. This same model could be used to bring affordable housing and economic growth to communities across California.

As we continue to look for solutions to build more affordable housing, all Californians should look past the distorted picture being presented by those who have the most to gain by weakening this 50-year-old law. CEQA may be imperfect, but we must recognize that it is an essential tool for environmental and social justice, and for housing justice.


Click here to read this article on the Sacramento News and Review website.

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Stockton Blvd Plan Events Oct 23 and 28

The Stockton Blvd Plan is a partnership between the City of Sacramento, community members, and organizations to transform Stockton Blvd into a thriving corridor that expands opportunities for, and supports the cultures of, existing residents and small businesses while accommodating growth and centering racial equity.


October 23

A community celebration with food and fun will be held on October 23. Attendees will have a chance to see what other community members said about the strategies that were gathered from the previous events and recent surveys (visit the Stockton Blvd Events page for more information). Other resources will be available to visitors.

Click here to register.



October 28

Harvest Festival
Join us for food, raffle prizes, and a discussion about the future of Stockton Blvd. Along with English, we will also have materials and staff available for Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Spanish, Hmong, and Vietnamese speakers.
Date: Thursday, October 28th
Time: 5:30-7pm
Location: Fruitridge Community Collaborative, 4625 44th St, Sacramento


Click here for more info.