Displacement, Segregation (News)

For New Life, Blacks in City Head to South

Source: 
New York Times

In Deborah Brown’s family lore, the American South was a place of whites-only water fountains and lynchings under cover of darkness. It was a place black people like her mother had fled.

But for Ms. Brown, 59, a retired civil servant from Queens, the South now promises salvation.

Three generations of her family — 10 people in all — are moving to Atlanta from New York, seeking to start fresh economically and, in some sense, to reconnect with a bittersweet past. They include Ms. Brown, her 82-year-old mother and her 26-year-old son, who has already landed a job and settled there.

Interview with members of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission

Source: 
KQED
The California Redistricting Commission is set to release its completed political district maps on Friday. Commissioners Cynthia Dai, of San Francisco, and Connie Galambos Malloy, of Oakland, talk with Belva Davis about the process and challenges of drawing new district lines for California.

Transit-Oriented Development and Communities of Color: A Field Report

By Gen Fujioka

The following article originally appeared in The Planner's Network and is reposted here with permission from the author, Gen Fujioka (Senior Policy Advocate at the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development).

Transit-oriented development (TOD) has become a leading policy prescription for reversing America’s sprawling path of growth. The Obama administration, through its Sustainable Communities Initiative, state and local agencies and progressive think-tanks all emphasize TOD as a means to achieve housing, transportation and environmental goals, often through public-private partnerships. But as TOD has been justifiably promoted as the cleaner alternative to auto-dependent development, gaps have appeared in the discourse that understate its costs. This report seeks to fill in some of those gaps with snapshots from four communities of color that have been impacted by various stages of TOD in the cities of Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Minneapolis–Saint Paul.

Oakland Airport Connector Ignored Civil Rights Laws

Source: 
SF Chronicle
The Federal Transit Administration pulled $70 million in stimulus funds from BART's Oakland Airport Connector project last month based on our civil rights complaint, finding that BART ignored civil rights laws. Fortunately, the Bay Area didn't lose that funding - it was distributed among the region's ailing transit systems. But the transit administration's action makes it clear that public money must be spent fairly or agencies will be held accountable.

A project isn't "shovel-ready" until it is fair. Agencies receiving federal funds are legally obligated to ensure that low-income and diverse communities share fairly in the benefits of that funding. To do so requires analysis and community involvement. BART failed to live up to these responsibilities.

Brown Sues Pleasanton Over Housing Limit



Wednesday, June 24, 2009


(06-24) 18:14 PDT PLEASANTON -- State Attorney General Jerry Brown joined a
legal challenge Wednesday to Pleasanton's 13-year-old limit on housing
construction, arguing that the East Bay community is defying state housing
laws and adding to urban sprawl, vehicle use and greenhouse gas emissions.

"Pleasanton's draconian and illegal limit on new housing forces people to
commute long distances, adding to the bumper-to-bumper traffic along
(Interstates) 580 and 680 and increasing dangerous air pollution," Brown

Luke Cole - Environmental Justice Lawyer Dies

Source: 
SFGATE



Luke Cole, a San Francisco attorney who was one of the pioneers in the field of environmental justice - filing lawsuits for poor plaintiffs or people of color whose communities were being ravaged by corporate polluters - died in a head-on car crash Saturday in Uganda. He was 46.

Mr. Cole and his wife, Nancy Shelby, were on vacation and traveling on a rural road in western Uganda about 7:30 a.m. when "a truck veered to Luke's side of the road," said Mr. Cole's father, Herbert "Skip" Cole.

Mr. Cole died, and his wife was injured. She was flown to Amsterdam, where she underwent an eye operation Monday, Herbert Cole said.

Housing renovation funds may displace hundreds of families

Source: 
SF Bayview

Stop the displacement: Pack the CEDA meeting Tuesday, March 10, 2-4:30 p.m., at Oakland City Hall, Hearing Room 1, first floor

Oakland - Low-income renters have long complained about being barred from so-called affordable housing developments because they do not earn enough money. And residents of those developments live in fear that renovation schemes will end up displacing them.
© Michael Democker, Times-PicayuneIn recent months, two Notices of Funding Availability (NOFA) were made available for affordable housing projects by the City of Oakland. NOFA-1 is for new construction and substantial renovation of low-income housing, and NOFA-2 is for the renovation of existing low-income rental housing. The funding comes from HUD’s HOME program and other sources.

During November 2008, 11 NOFA applications were submitted to the City requesting $13 million in funding to renovate, rehabilitate or preserve a number of low-income housing sites citywide, placing hundreds of low-income renters at risk of being displaced due to a lack of housing available for relocation while their homes are being renovated. Some of these NOFA applications seek funding to renovate properties that they have not acquired beforehand - properties that are currently in legal dispute.

Pleasanton General Plan Delayed again by Housing Cap Dispute

Atty. Gen. Brown, lawsuit contend cap blocks affordable units


Pleasanton Weekly Staff

Community and city leaders started updating the Pleasanton General Plan in 2003, a hoped-for three year process that is just now nearing completion and waiting for final approval by the Planning Commission and City Council within the next few weeks.

But now everyone may have to wait a bit longer. 

Resistance to Housing Foreclosures Spreads Across the Land

Source: 
AlterNet

"This is a crowd that won't scatter," James Steele wrote in the pages of The Nation some seventy-five years ago. Early one morning in July 1933, the police had evicted John Sparanga and his family from a home on Cleveland's east side. Sparanga had lost his job and fallen behind on mortgage payments. The bank had foreclosed. A grassroots "home defense" organization, which had managed to forestall the eviction on three occasions, put out the call, and 10,000 people -- mainly working-class immigrants from Southern and Central Europe -- soon gathered, withstanding wave after wave of police tear gas, clubbings and bullets, "vowing not to leave until John Sparanga [was] back in his home."

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