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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Metropolitan Transportation Plan Update

On November 7, 2019, the Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) submitted comments on the recently proposed update to our region’s Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS). These comments were submitted via one letter solely from ECOS, and a joint letter from both ECOS and 350 Sacramento. Below is an excerpt from our comments, followed by links to PDFs of both letters.

The Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) has put forth a sophisticated Metropolitan Transportation Plan/Sustainable Communities Strategy (MTP/SCS), a regional plan that the region’s jurisdictions should follow. While this regional plan is not a strong as we feel it could be, the 2020 MTP/SCS is a viable strategy for the region to meet its regional greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets mandated by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) per Senate Bill 375 (2008).

The plan represents a reasonable compromise between what the region could accomplish if the political will existed, and the reality of much more expansive car-oriented, low-density growth that is actually being actively pursued by some of the region’s jurisdictions on the ground. ECOS would prefer a greater percentage of transportation investment to non-auto modes, and a much more compact land use footprint than proposed. The Sacramento region is not meeting its mandated GHG reduction targets because local jurisdictions are not complying with the strategy that SACOG has laid out for them, and the State must do more to ensure compliance of local authorities to our Sustainable Community Strategies, as well as to ensure the State’s own investments are aligned with its climate laws.

Click here to read the comment letter by ECOS on the MTP/SCS.

Click here to read the comment letter by ECOS and 350 Sacramento on the Climate Change section of the MTP/SCS, which was submitted separately.

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ClimatePlan’s Commitment to Investment without Displacement

April 04, 2019

California is in the midst of an affordability crisis. Without careful planning and policies, new investment in existing neighborhoods or ongoing disinvestment in areas where low-income people live can push lower-income and people of color out of their own communities and away from jobs and transit. This exacerbates historical inequities, forces more driving and climate pollution from those who have the highest propensity to ride transit, re-segregates our towns and cities, and destroys natural and agricultural lands. ClimatePlan recognizes that displacement threatens to undermine all of our network’s priorities including climate, equity, health, active transportation, and conservation; it is a central challenge to building a more sustainable and equitable California.

Displacement harms people and communities and worsens the climate crisis. Recognizing these profound impacts, beginning in April 2018, ClimatePlan convened partners from housing, transportation, land use, equity, conservation and climate organizations to develop a shared policy platform on Investment Without Displacement for guiding the ClimatePlan network’s advocacy. Over 20 participants worked collaboratively to develop the approach and solutions outlined in the document linked below.

The ClimatePlan network’s vision is to create a healthier, more sustainable California, where people of all backgrounds and incomes have the opportunity to thrive.

Click here to view the document.

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