Environmental Justice Principles Fall Victim to Semantic Attack

Action alert about the vote.

It was all about the words at the recent Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) meeting. Commissioners appearing litigiously gun-shy, were particularly picky about the language in the four environmental justice principles brought before them for adoption.

While the principles seemed straightforward enough, (see sidebar) the discussion concerning them bounced all over the room before a half-measure was finally settled on--the first two principles (as originally worded) were adopted and the commissioners gave themselves four more months to consider the last two.

Proposed Principles from the Minority Citizens Advisory Committee
1. Create an open and transparent public participation process that empowers low-income communities and communities of color to participate in decision making that affects them
2. Collect accurate and current data essential to defining and understanding the presence and extent of inequities, if any, in transportation funding based on race and income
3. MTC should change its discretionary investment decisions and action to mitigate identified inequities.
4. Ensure that adverse or potentially adverse disproportionate project impacts on low-income and/or minority communities are addressed and mitigated by project sponsors prior to MTC project or funding approval.

“We don’t want to draw a line in the sand,” said Anne W. Halsted, of the San Francisco Conservation and Development Commission, who left before the vote. “But if it takes a couple of months to come up with the right language so we won’t be litigious, we should do it.”

The lengthy debate seemed a bit odd given the amount of time the MCAC had been working on the principles and the number of times it had already gone before the MTC. The March 22 meeting was at least the fifth time commissioners were presented with the four environmental justice principles which were hammered out over a two-year period by the Minority Citizens Advisory Committee (MCAC) of the MTC.

Working with MTC staff members, MCAC developed a clearly-worded proposal to present to the MTC for approval. But, even after a laborious and careful process the wording apparently wasn’t right for the commissioners or their legal counsel.

Asked by the Legislation Committee to review the principles and provide a legal analysis, MTC General Counsel Francis Chin instead got out his red pen and made a number of revisions and changes to the document. By the time he was finished key words had been struck out and the principles themselves had been gutted, according to members of the MCAC and of the Transportation Justice Working Group (TJWG).

“He took the heart right out them,” said Frank Gallo, a former chairperson of the MCAC. Current MCAC chair Carlos Valenzuela called the General Counsel’s version “environmental jello.”

The result of Chin’s efforts was a second set of principles. Chin’s version took out the words “transparent” and “empowerment” from principle 1 and rewrote principles 3 and 4 in decidedly passive language that appeared to excuse the MTC from having to take in any real corrective action.

Both the MCAC and Chin’s versions were presented along with Chins’ recommendation that if the commissioners decided to stick with the original principles as developed by MCAC that they be “received” rather than adopted.

“Receiving the principles will result in them just being put on a back shelf somewhere and never being acted on,” said Gallo.

The MCAC principles would lay the basic foundation for developing environmental justice policies and procedures as well as guide the MTC’s approach to its funding allocations, helping to ensure that transit dollars, of which the MTC distributes billions, are spread out more equitably. Lila Hussain, a transportation justice advocate from Urban Habitat and a member of the Transportation Justice Working Group explained that contrary to the liability concerns expressed by the Commissioners, the principles would provide the broad framework for ensuring full legal compliance with the executive and federal orders on environmental justice.

She said, “It’s surprising the Commission couldn’t express such a simple commitment.”

Currently, the MTC is facing a discrimination lawsuit brought by bus riders. In December a district court judge ruled that the class action suit filed against the agency April 19, 2005 can go forward.

The suit, brought by people of color, asserts that MTC discriminates against poor riders by maintaining a “separate and unequal” transit system. The action points to funding for a state-of-the-art rail system, CalTrain and BART which are used by a disproportionate number of affluent whites versus a shrinking bus system used by low-income people. Further the suit shows that riders of the systems serving the higher income populations receive subsidies in some cases nearly four times that of bus passengers.

The apparition of the pending suit hung in the air as the commissioners discussed the environmental justice principles at the meeting. However, not all of the MTC members confused the lawsuit with the adoption of the EJ principles, a process assigned by them to their own advisory committee. After the protracted debate, Tom Ammiano, City and County of San Francisco, Irma L. Anderson, Cities of Contra Costa County, Mark DeSaulnier, Contra Costa County, Steve Kinsey, Marin County and Cities, and Pamela Torliatt, Association of Bay Area Governments, broke ranks and voted to support a motion that would have adopted all four principals as originally worded. (See sidebar for voting list.)

“We are looking at social justice here,” said Ammiano. “It’s bigger than just the law. When it comes right down to it we owe people more than what we’re doing.”

But their five votes weren’t enough and the first motion, to adopt Principles 1 and 2 and wait four months to decide on 3 and 4, was unanimously passed. During the grace period MTC has instructed staff to gather pertinent data to determine if the “inequities” addressed in principles 3 and 4 truly do exist and if there is need for corrective action.

Stepping up to the microphone after the vote was taken, Nancy Cross, a supporter of the MCAC principles, asked the Commission to go the extra mile in their search for information.

“In the light of the outcome, MTC should have a special public forum to reveal inequities in the transit system,” she said.

Transportation advocate Hussain went further, “If the MTC commissioners, including their chair Jon Rubin, can’t support basic equity, we need to go back to our Mayors and our city councils to get some commissioners appointed who can.”

Fresh Thinking about Community and Anchor Partnerships: Creating Shared Value for More Equitable Communities

BCLI Issues and Advocates Speaker Series
Fresh Thinking about Community and Anchor Partnerships:
Creating Shared Value for More Equitable Communities
October 19, 2011

Anchor Institution PanelistsWe've seen that anchor institutions, such as universities and hospitals, can have a significant impact on community economic development. But how can communities with fewer economic resources catalyze anchor relationships that will serve the particular needs of their community members? And how can leaders within anchor institutions move from a "social responsibility" framework to one that acknowledges the community's integral role in their long-term success?

In this panel, we offer some innovative case studies that allow us to stretch our thinking about the ways that anchor institutions are defined and how they support the communities in which they reside, in terms of both economic development and cultural stabilization, and we provide examples of the kinds of strategic partnerships that can emerge from engagement between anchors and communities when the focus is on the creation of shared value.

Read the speakers' bios and listen to the Anchor Partnerships panel podcast:

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How We Got Here: Climate Injustice in the Bay Area

Connie MalloyConnie Galambos Malloy, Director of Programs, Urban Habitat Low-income communities and communities of color have always been disproportionately impacted by pollution, but much of the inequities we see today have been significantly perpetuated by land-use decisions and transportation investments made over the past 50 years.  "How We Got Here: Climate Injustice in the Bay Area," an interview with Connie Galambos Malloy, aims to provide some historical context as to how such decisions have helped perpetuate the inequitable distribution of pollution in the nine-county Bay Area region, the inequitable impacts it has had on low-income communities and communities of color, and, more importantly, how despite our best intentions and efforts, the climate policies and efforts we’re pursuing today will be limited in success if we do not address the systemic racial and economic factors that drive pollution throughout the region. 

 

Juliet Ellis, Assistant General Manager of External Affairs, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

Juliet Ellis, Assistant General Manager of External Affairs, San Francisco Public Utilities CommissionJuliet Ellis, Assistant General Manager of External Affairs, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Juliet Ellis currently serves as Assistant General Manger of External Affairs on the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. She was formerly the Executive Director of Urban Habitat. Prior to becoming Executive Director of Urban Habitat, Juliet was the Associate Program Officer for Neighborhood and Community Development at The San Francisco Foundation and was responsible for all aspects of grantmaking in the areas of workforce development, housing, homelessness, economic development, community development, and neighborhood planning. Juliet has served on numerous regional and local boards and committees, including the Oakland Homeless and Low-Income Taskforce, the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, the San Francisco School of Volunteers, and the Alameda County Public Health Disparities Taskforce. Juliet holds a Master of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in environmental and urban studies from San Francisco State University.

Please listen to her presentation at the BCLI Issues and Advocates Speakers Series, Fresh Thinking about Community and Anchor Partnerships: Creating Shared Value for More Equitable Communities

Prerana Reddy, Director of Public Events, Queens Museum of Art

Prerana Reddy, Director of Public Events, Queens Museum of ArtPrerana Reddy, Director of Public Events, Queens Museum of Art Prerana Reddy has been the Director of Public Events for Queens Museum of Art in New York City since 2005, where she also spearheads the Museum's community engagement initiatives combining arts and culture with social development goals in nearby neighborhoods predominately comprised of new immigrants. She was one of four inaugural Douglas Redd Fellows for emerging leaders in Arts and Community Development awarded by the Ford Foundation. Currently she is overseeing Corona Studio, a series of long-term socially-engaged artist residencies in the neighborhood where the Museum is located. She is also developing a new Critical Social Practice concentration for the MFA program at Queens College (CUNY) in Spring, 2012. She recently returned from a semester-long Asian Pacific Leadership fellowship at the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii-Manoa that links advanced and interdisciplinary analysis of emergent Asian Pacific regional issues with experiential leadership learning.

Please listen to her presentation at the BCLI Issues and Advocates Speakers Series, Fresh Thinking about Community and Anchor Partnerships: Creating Shared Value for More Equitable Communities

Sam Chapman, Manager of State and Community Relations, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Sam Chapman, Manager of State and Community Relations, Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratorySam Chapman, Manager of State and Community Relations, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Sam Chapman is the State and Community Relations Manager for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Sam is responsible for developing strategic plans, building relationships and leading actions that strengthen the Lab's ties with state officials and the local and regional community. Prior to coming to the Lab, Sam was Publisher of the Pacific Sun newspaper and website in Marin County and a part of the management team for Embarcadero Media. Previously, he was Chief of Staff for U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer for many years. Prior to joining Senator Boxer he was an elected County Supervisor and practiced law in Napa County. Sam has also held various regional and state government positions, including serving as a member of the California Air Resources Board, chairing a Governor’s commission on renewable energy, chairing the Bay Area Air Quality Management District board and serving on the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. He’s a graduate of U.C. Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law.

Please listen to his presentation at the BCLI Issues and Advocates Speakers Series, Fresh Thinking about Community and Anchor Partnerships: Creating Shared Value for More Equitable Communities

Vu-Bang Nguyen, Land Use Program Coordinator, Urban Habitat

Vu-Bang NguyenVu-Bang Nguyen, Land Use Program Coordinator, Urban Habitat Vu-Bang Nguyen is the Land Use Program Coordinator at Urban Habitat. Vu-Bang began his journey into the world of land use planning after studying Architecture at the University of California (UC) - Berkeley with an emphasis on City and Regional Planning and Design in the Third World while also working for the City Planning Departments of San Jose, Oakland and Berkeley, CA. He continued his studies at UC - Berkeley and completed a Masters in City and Regional Planning with an emphasis on Community Development and Land Use Planning. His research included working with the San Jose Redevelopment Agency on increasing community engagement in the City’s Strong Neighborhoods Initiative, especially among San Jose’s Vietnamese American population. After City Planning positions for the City of Berkeley and Town of Los Gatos, Vu-Bang switched to the private development side as a Project Manager for a real estate development company in San Jose, CA. He is Urban Habitat's site coordinator for the Great Communities Collaborative, working in several planning efforts throughout the Bay Area including Sunnyvale and East Palo Alto. Vu-Bang is a member of the American Planning Association (APA) and the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

Please listen to his presentation at the BCLI Issues and Advocates Speakers Series, Close the Opportunity Gap: Prioritizing Schools in Planning for Sustainable Communities.

Closing the Opportunity Gap: Prioritizing Schools in Planning for Sustainable Communities

BCLI Issues and Advocates Speaker Series
Closing the Opportunity Gap: Prioritizing Schools in Planning for Sustainable Communities

September 21, 2011

Closing the Opportunity GapSupportive, inclusive educational institutions are essential for vibrant, equitable communities, and access to opportunity-rich education provides a means by which socially and economically marginalized community members can improve quality of life. As we plan for growth within the Bay Area region, we must prioritize high-quality schools as a key feature of sustainable communities.

In addition to classroom education, the level of student opportunity is informed by where and how students and their parents sleep and eat, how they travel to and from school, and the environment that surrounds and supports (or does not support) their general well-being. Equitable decision making on behalf of community education, therefore, includes paying careful attention to those elements outside of the school itself that can greatly impact students' abilities to succeed. Economically stable communities with opportunities for affordable family housing, healthy neighborhoods with clean air, dependable transportation for both students and working parents, and safe routes to school for students who walk or ride bikes are just a few of many factors that can support student success.

Focusing primarily on land use, housing, and transportation, our panelists identify key issues in equitable decision making in planning for opportunity-rich schools in the Bay Area in the face of anticipated high regional population growth. As a group, we share policies and strategies that decision makers and advocates can use to ensure that our growth strategies are sustainable, equitable, and address the needs of low-income families and communities of color.

Read the speakers' bios and hear the podcast of their presentation:

*Jeffrey Vincent, Deputy Director, Center for Cities & Schools
*Marisa Raya, Regional Planner, Association of Bay Area Governments
*Vu-Bang Nguyen, Land Use Coordinator, Urban Habitat

Curbing Sprawl, Protecting Health: Building Housing for the Bay Area's Most Vulnerable Residents

BCLI Issues and Advocates Speaker Series

Curbing Sprawl, Protecting Health: Building Housing for the Bay Area's Most Vulnerable Residents

August 31, 2011

Panelists (left to right) Eli Moore, David Vintze, Jeremy Liu, and Lindsay ImaiOver the next 30 years, the Bay Area is projected to add two million people to its population-a 30% growth, or the equivalent of adding two-and-half cities the size of San Francisco or about four Oaklands.

Senate Bill 375, the Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act, requires regional planning agencies in the Bay Area to prepare for this growth in a strategic manner by prioritizing new housing development near public transportation in order to reduce the amount of automobile-generated pollution in the region, which is currently the single largest and fastest growing source of pollution in the Bay Area. But much of the planned development will take place in low-income communities and communities of color already exposed to high levels of pollution from sources such as highways, ports, and industrial manufacturing. This conflict presents a challenge for regional agencies and advocates who want to both curb urban sprawl and protect the health of those already impacted by environmental injustice.

Our panelists will identify the health and planning challenges associated with transit-oriented development projects in the Bay Area's most polluted communities. As a group, we'll share policies and strategies that decision makers and advocates can use to ensure that such projects are planned, designed, and built in a healthy and equitable manner.

Read the speakers' bios and hear the podcast of their presentation:

 

Dave Vintze, Air Quality Planning Manager, Bay Area Air Quality Management District

Dave Vintze, Air Quality Planning Manager, Bay Area Air Quality Management DistrictDave Vintze, Air Quality Planning Manager, Bay Area Air Quality Management District Dave Vintze is currently the Air Quality Planning Manager at the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD). The air quality planning section is responsible for developing plans for attainment of State and federal ambient air quality standards; preparing, reviewing and commenting on California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) documents; developing CEQA guidelines; participating in regional smart growth and transportation planning activities; and developing and implementing the Air District’s climate protection program. Previously Dave was the Planning Manager at the Placer County Air Pollution Control District and prior to that Dave worked for a consulting firm specializing in land use planning and environmental review.

Please listen to his presentation at the BCLI Issues and Advocates Speakers Series, Curbing Sprawl, Protecting Health: Building Housing for the Bay Area's Most Vulnerable Residents

Eli Moore, Program Co-Director, Community Strategies for Sustainability and Justice

Eli Moore, Program Co-Director, Community Strategies for Sustainability and JusticeEli Moore, Program Co-Director, Community Strategies for Sustainability and Justice Eli Moore is Program Co-Director for the Community Strategies for Sustainability and Justice program. Eli brings to the Institute expertise in participatory research strategies and spatial analysis and a depth of experience with community health, environmental justice, community safety, and sustainable economic development issues. Eli currently directs projects on nitrate contamination of drinking water, community reintegration after incarceration, and community resilience to climate change. He holds an M.A. in Geography and an M.A. in International Relations from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.

Please listen to his presentation at the BCLI Issues and Advocates Speakers Series, Curbing Sprawl, Protecting Health: Building Housing for the Bay Area's Most Vulnerable Residents

Jeremy Liu, Executive Director, East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation

Jeremy Liu, Executive Director, East Bay Asian Local Development CorporationJeremy Liu, Executive Director, East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation Jeremy Liu is Executive Director of East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), which works on community economic development and affordable housing in Oakland and the East Bay Area. Jeremy has been involved in the planning and development of public transit and transit-oriented development projects for over a decade. EBALDC is currently completing a 500+ home, mixed-use, mixed-income community known as Lion Creek Crossings at the Coliseum Transit Village. EBALDC is also involved in the transformation of the San Pablo Avenue corridor in Oakland and Emeryville. Jeremy has previously worked as an environmental planner for Sverdrup Civil on brownfield redevelopment, commuter rail, and highway projects, and as a program associate with the Trust for Public Land.

Please listen to his presentation at the BCLI Issues and Advocates Speakers Series, Curbing Sprawl, Protecting Health: Building Housing for the Bay Area's Most Vulnerable Residents

Lindsay Imai, Transportation Justice Program Coordinator, Urban Habitat

Lindsay Imai, Transportation Justice Program Coordinator, Urban HabitatLindsay Imai, Transportation Justice Program Coordinator, Urban Habitat Lindsay Imai is Transportation Justice Program Coordinator at Urban Habitat, where she works to increase funding for bus and other public transit systems serving low-income neighborhoods through research, policy analysis, advocacy, coalition building, community organizing support and media activism. Lindsay is also playing a key role at Urban Habitat advocating for an equitable implementation plan of the Bay Area’s sustainable communities strategy as required by SB 375. Lindsay holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from Syracuse University and a BA in Ethnic Studies from Stanford.

Please listen to her presentation at the BCLI Issues and Advocates Speakers Series, Curbing Sprawl, Protecting Health: Building Housing for the Bay Area's Most Vulnerable Residents

Marisa Raya, Regional Planner, Association of Bay Area Governments

Marisa Raya, Regional Planner, Association of Bay Area GovernmentsMarisa Raya, Regional Planner, Association of Bay Area Governments Marisa Raya is a Regional Planner for the Association of Bay Area Governments, where she works on creating regional equity policies and implementing California's sustainability and climate change legislation. She has also worked as regional planner with Metro, the regional government based in Portland, Oregon. Prior to public service, she helped develop the Program on Human Rights and Justice at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, promoting social, cultural, and economic rights through planning and development. She has a degree in Anthropology from Columbia University and a Masters in Spatial Planning from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

Please listen to her presentation at the BCLI Issues and Advocates Speakers Series, Close the Opportunity Gap: Prioritizing Schools in Planning for Sustainable Communities.

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Jeffrey Vincent, Deputy Director, Center for Cities & Schools

Jeffrey Vincent, Deputy Director, Center for Cities & SchoolsJeffrey Vincent, Deputy Director, Center for Cities & Schools Jeffrey M. Vincent, PhD is Deputy Director and cofounder of the Center for Cities & Schools (CC&S) at the University of California, Berkeley. CC&S is an action-oriented think tank, whose mission is to promote high quality education as an essential component of urban and metropolitan vitality to create equitable, healthy, and sustainable cities and schools for all. Jeff has a PhD in city and regional planning from Berkeley and a master’s degree in community and regional planning from the University of Nebraska. Prior to joining CC&S, he worked in city planning and community development related positions for more than ten years in addition to working for five years as an instructor at a Montessori farm school. Jeff’s research interests lie at the intersection of land use planning, community development, and educational improvement, with a particular focus on how school facilities serve as educational and neighborhood assets. Jeff’s work has been published in peer-reviewed journals, practitioner-oriented journals, books, and other outlets on a variety of issues, including school siting and design, housing redevelopment, state school construction policies, joint use of schools, youth engagement in redevelopment, refugee resettlement, and transit-oriented development aimed at families. He is also a researcher with Building Educational Success Together (BEST), a national collaborative providing research and resources to improve public school facilities.

Please listen to his presentation at the BCLI Issues and Advocates Speakers Series, Close the Opportunity Gap: Prioritizing Schools in Planning for Sustainable Communities.

John Avalos, City and County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Supervisor

John Avalos A third generation Mexican-American, John Avalos, was born in Wilmington, California, a predominantly Latino industrial town in the City of Los Angeles. John graduated with honors from UC Santa Barbara where he studied English Literature. Upon arriving in San Francisco in January 1989, he worked as an English teacher and cafe worker before finding his calling in the human services and community organizing fields. John followed the path of a worker and a leader to become a candidate for Supervisor. He has been a strong community member, spending the past 15 years fighting for social justice and equity at the grassroots level. He has worked as an educator and counselor with the San Francisco Conservation Corps and the Columbia Park Boys and Girls Club, where he taught high school equivalency and college prep classes. He also connected hundreds of San Francisco youth with employment, health care, and housing.

While studying for his master's in social work, John interned at the Mission Neighborhood Health Center in the adult medicine and HIV/AIDS clinic. He helped scores of people dealing with depression, domestic violence and HIV to stabilize their lives. John then worked as Community Organizer with Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth serving San Francisco youth and families, particularly in the Excelsior District. John served on advisory committees for the OMI/Excelsior Beacon Center and the Excelsior Boys and Girls Club. He also organized input on local parks and the Excelsior Library, and brought neighbors together to safeguard services like the Excelsior Clinic and protect and expand teen services in the district, like youth employment services at the Greater Mission Consortium and IT Bookman Center.

As a union organizer with the Justice for Janitors Campaign of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1877, John was instrumental in two contract campaigns helping thousands of union members win better wages and affordable health care. In early 2005, Supervisor Chris Daly invited John to work as a Legislative Aide in his office, where John opened the doors wide to ensure that the voices of San Francisco's most vulnerable communities were heard. In his role as Legislative Aide, John has focused on making City government and the budget work for the people of all the City's neighborhoods—not just the powerful and connected. His even-handed work on the City budget has drawn strong praise from Supervisors across the political spectrum, including Supervisors Sean Elsbernd and Ross Mirkarimi. John fought to make government more efficient, expanded funding for affordable housing and for vital programs like childcare, health and mental services, park restorations, and senior programs. He helped secure funding for the Geneva Office Building and in 2005 fought to keep the OMI Family Resource Center open.

John lives with his wife, Karen Zapata, a third-grade teacher in the Excelsior, and their children Rene and Emiliano.

 

Jose Corona, Executive Director, Inner City Advisors

Jose CoronaJose Corona has championed inner-city job creation efforts with a comprehensive series of community and economic development programs and partnerships. The centerpiece of Corona’s efforts has been the creation of strong and vibrant public-private partnerships with an emphasis on a shared commitment ensure the presence of sustainable, responsible inner-city companies that provide quality jobs, reinvest in the community, and contribute to the local economy. Jose’s primary focus is on effective and innovative management, the cultivation of a strong network of high-caliber consultants and advisers, and on promoting a fundamental change in the way communities invest into inner-city economic development and revitalization. This formula has led to Inner City Advisors reliably delivering high-caliber pro bono business consulting, strategic advice, practical entrepreneurial education, and smart capital to inner-city entrepreneurs.

Prior to ICA, Jose served as development director at Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that provides business technical assistance and neighborhood planning services to mostly Latino-owned small businesses. Before working in the nonprofit sector, Jose was employed in Corporate Retail Operations and Human Resources at Macy’s. Jose sits on various boards, including the Oakland Workforce Investment board, the Oakland Schools Foundation, the Board of Directors of People’s Grocery, and the YMCA of The East Bay. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from UC Davis, and Entrepreneur Management Development Certification from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. When he is not busy doing community development work, you will find him coaching and playing soccer, and learning to be a father to his son, Mateo.

 

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Leadership and Innovation in Job Creation

BCLI Wednesday Night Panel Series
Leadership and Innovation in Job Creation: New Models for Putting Low-Income Communities Back to Work
November 17, 2010

In our final panel of the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute Wednesday night series, we hear from the architects, developers, and implementers of fresh, effective approaches for quality jobs development for low-income communities -- models that deliver jobs and build community wealth in our struggling communities. In this panel, you'll hear about programs that have succeeded in empowering worker-owners to develop new green businesses, in providing sustaining funds to existing small businesses in order to encourage a vibrant urban core, and in investing in nonprofits that employ, train, and support members of our communities who have the least access to jobs, including the formerly incarcerated.

Specifically, we look at models developed by Inner City Advisors, the Cleveland Model of Evergreen Cooperatives, and REDF; and hear about exciting work in the City of Richmond for support of worker-owned cooperative businesses. Our expert panelists share the details of these programs, including opportunities and challenges for implementation and the short-term and projected results. We talk about scalability and replication, with an eye toward what local decision-makers can do to encourage these types of programs and investments in their communities.

Click on the links below to view the speakers' bios, hear the podcast of their presentation, and download handouts.

Speakers

*Jose Corona, Executive Director, Inner City Advisors
*Marilyn Langlois, Community Advocate, Office of the Mayor, City of Richmond
*India Pierce Lee, Program Director for Neighborhoods, Housing, and Community Development, The Cleveland Foundation
*Jason Trimiew, Director of Fund and Business Development, REDF

Encouraging Community Support for Affordable Housing: Lessons Learned in Pleasanton

BCLI Wednesday Night Panel Series
Encouraging Community Support for Affordable Housing: Lessons Learned in Pleasanton

Community-member attitudes about affordable housing developments can block projects that are intended to help stabilize communities. Disagreements about affordable housing development can also create divisions within communities, increase project time to completion, and even persuade developers that affordable housing projects are not feasible for communities where there is opposition. Community housing goals and needs go unmet, leaving low-income people with few housing choices and likely displacement from the communities in which they live and work.

In this panel, we share strategies for building local support for affordable housing in Bay Area communities. In particular, panelists discuss their work as affordable housing advocates in response to the city of Pleasanton's housing cap. Working with Public Advocates and local community allies, Urban Habitat challenged Pleasanton's policies and practices of excluding housing for low-income families, eventually reaching a settlement in which the city reaffirmed its commitment to nourish lively, diverse neighborhoods, while doing its share to address the Bay Area's affordable housing crisis.

Click on the links below to view the speakers' bios, hear the podcast of their presentation, and download handouts.

Speakers

* Becky Dennis, Organizer, Citizens for a Caring Community and Former Pleasanton City Councilmember
* Connie Galambos Malloy, Director of Programs, Urban Habitat
* Richard Marcantonio, Managing Attorney, Public Advocates
* Michael Rawson, Co-Director, Public Interest Law Project
* Terrell Watt, Owner, Terrell Watt Planning Consultant

Marilyn Langlois, Community Advocate, Office of Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin

Marilyn Langlois, Community Advocate, Office of Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlinMarilyn Langlois is the Community Advocate in the office of Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin. She is the point person for the mayor’s efforts to promote worker cooperatives as a strategy for worker empowerment-based economic development and job creation in Richmond. Marilyn has worked on several strategies to create jobs and revitalize the community, including strengthening Richmond’s local-hiring ordinance (an effort that was initiated by Richmond’s Human Rights and Human Relations Commission), creating the Richmond Youth Corps, participating in the East Bay Green Corridor’s efforts to bring green businesses to Richmond and the East Bay, and partnering with the Healthy Richmond initiative funded by The California Endowment. Marilyn is a founding member of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, a political organization that works to elect progressive candidates to the Richmond City Council and promote economic, social, and environmental justice in Richmond.

India Pierce Lee, Cleveland Foundation, Program Director for Neighborhoods, Housing, and Community Development

India Pierce LeeIndia Pierce Lee has 22 years of experience in community and economic development. She helps lead the foundation's revitalization efforts in Cleveland's Greater University Circle area, an initiative that includes transportation and housing assistance, education, safety, community wealth, and economic inclusion. Prior to joining the Cleveland Foundation, India served as Senior Vice President of Programs at Neighborhood Progress Inc. (NPI), where she led several joint initiatives, including the Cleveland Neighborhood Partnership Program. She was also Senior Program Director with the Northeast Ohio Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), Director of The Empowerment Zone with the City of Cleveland's department of Economic Development, and Executive Director of Mt. Pleasant NOW Development Corporation. Prior to that, she worked as an air traffic control specialist. India completed the prestigious Loeb Fellowship from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. She spent 10 months on the Harvard campus studying best practices in neighborhood revitalization, with a special interest in sustainability.India has been recognized for outstanding service to Cleveland throughout her career, including receiving a key to the City of Cleveland from former Mayor Michael R. White. She was named one of the 500 Most Influential Women in Northeast Ohio by Northern Ohio Live magazine and is both an alumnus of the Leadership Cleveland Class of 2002 and a Louis Stokes Fellow from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University. India earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Management from Cleveland’s Dyke College and holds a Master of Science degree in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University. She and her husband Peter live in Glenville and attend Evening Star Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Pastor Mark D. Ribbens.

Assessing the Redistricting Process: What It Means for Our Communities, Sept. 23, 2011

Redistricting Panel - 09.23.2011
California voters, frustrated with Sacramento’s political gridlock, twice went to the polls to divest elected officials of their authority to draw the state’s political districts. Voters granted that power instead to the citizens of California through the establishment of the 14-member, multipartisan Citizens Redistricting Commission.Barely one week after the Commission adopted 177 newly created state legislative, congressional, and Board of Equalization districts, equity-minded individuals and organizations are wondering whether this more transparent, public process will result in better representation for low-income people and communities of color.

On September 23, 2011, a panel of redistricting experts to discuss the following questions:

  • Why and how was the Citizens Redistricting Commission created?
  • How has this redistricting process differed from other processes?
  • How well were low-income people and communities of color represented?
  • What impact will the new maps have on the voice and political power of low-income people and communities of color over the next decade?
  • Should all levels of government enact similar redistricting reforms? And if so, how can processes be structured to maximize the political power of low-income people and communities of color?

Read the speakers' bios and hear the podcast of their presentation:

*Marqueece Harris-Dawson, President and CEO, Community Coalition of South Los Angeles
*Connie Galambos Malloy, Sr. Dir. of Programs, Urban Habitat and Commissioner, California Citizens Redistricting Commission
*Michelle Romero, Redistricting Fellow, The Greenlining Institute
*Paul Mitchell, Political Consultant and Owner, Redistricting Partners

Resdistricting - 09.23.11
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Marqueece Harris-Dawson, President and CEO, Community Coalition of South Los Angeles

Marqueece Harris-Dawson, President and CEO, Community Coalition of South Los AngelesMarqueece Harris-Dawson, President and CEO, Community Coalition of South Los Angeles Beginning in his teens, Marqueece has been active in the community for more than twenty years. Currently he is President and CEO of the Community Coalition, a community-based organization in South Los Angeles. Marqueece was the organization’s second Executive Director, following its founder, current California State Assembly Speaker Karen Bass. The organization is best known for leading grassroots campaigns to close over 200 liquor stores and other nuisance businesses in South Los Angeles and to win College Prep courses for all LAUSD high schools. For five years, Marqueece was the director of the Community Coalition youth project, South Central Youth Empowered Through Action. During that time, Marqueece led a campaign to expose poor conditions at South Los Angeles high schools. Student members of South Central Youth Empowered Through Action were armed with disposable cameras to document the conditions at their schools, and trained to advocate for badly needed repairs at their campuses. The students won $153 million in repairs for their schools. Following up on his work to improve conditions at South LA High Schools, Marqueece and the Community Coalition spearheaded a movement to guarantee universal access to college prep courses at every high school in Los Angeles. In addition to his work at the Community Coalition, Marqueece has extensive experience in electoral politics, and is a key participant in the progressive movement in Los Angeles. During his time completing a Bachelor’s degree at Morehouse College, Marqueece cut his activist teeth on several important community issues including ending South African Apartheid, police brutality and youth and family services. Along with a host of Board and Committee posts, Marqueece boasts several community commendations, recognitions and awards including the coveted Do Something “BRICK” Award and Liberty Hill Foundation’s Upton Sinclair Award. Marqueece recently received a certificate in non profit management from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business and is a currently an Aspen Institute Fellow for New Leaders.

Please listen to his presentation at the Bay Area Social Equity Caucus Quarterly Meeting, Assessing the Redistricting Process: What It Means for Our Communities

Connie Galambos Malloy, Senior Director of Programs, Urban Habitat

Connie MalloyConnie Galambos Malloy, Director of Programs, Urban Habitat As Director of Programs, Connie leads the organization's climate, transportation, land use and affordable housing work and advances UH's agenda on key partner coalitions. While a Program Coordinator, Connie led the Social Equity Caucus through a 10 year Evaluation and Strategic Plan, resulting in UH's launch of the State of the Region, Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute, and Speakers and Writers Bureau programs. On behalf of UH Connie has completed the Women's Foundation of California's Women's Policy Institute training, the University of Southern California's Ross Program in Real Estate, and the National Development Council's Real Estate Finance Certification. Prior to her years at Urban Habitat, Connie coordinated the Regional Sustainability Initiative at Redefining Progress. Through a fellowship from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Connie has worked with a variety of California organizations on urban planning issues, including the Earned Asset Resource Network (EARN), Unity Council, and Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE). She has also worked as a planner and funding liaison for United Way of the Inland Valleys in Riverside, CA and as a Peace Corps volunteer leading sustainable tourism development projects in Bolivia’s Amazon Basin. Connie is a founding board member of AFAAD: Adopted & Fostered Adults of the African Diaspora and has directed the Children's Program at Pact Camp, training families adopting and fostering children of different races. She previously served on the board of the California Planning Foundation, and is currently serving as Diversity Director on the California Chapter of the American Planning Association’s Northern Section board. Connie earned her M.C.P. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelors Degree in Communications & Spanish from La Sierra University.

Please listen to her presentation at the Bay Area Social Equity Caucus Quarterly Meeting Assessing the Redistricting Process: What It Means for Our Communities.

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Michelle Romero, Redistricting Fellow, The Greenlining Institute

Michelle Romero, Redistricting Fellow, The Greenlining InstituteMichelle Romero, Redistricting Fellow, The Greenlining Institute Michelle Romero is an alumna of the Greenlining Leadership Academy’s Fellowship programs, where she served as Redistricting Fellow from 2010-11. Today, as the Claiming Our Democracy Program Manager, Michelle directs Greenlining Institute’s voting rights & registration advocacy, redistricting, and ballot reform efforts. Michelle believes that an empowered, engaged citizenry is the key to effective government. She received a Bachelor of Arts in World Literature & Cultural Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2010, where she worked to focus university attention on immigrant student issues and access to higher education. She served as the Legislative Liaison for her campus, was a member of the UC Student Association’s board of directors, and was undergraduate representative to the UC-wide faculty Board on Admissions & Relations with Schools. With experience in both state-wide and national policy organizing, Michelle has expertise in grassroots and direct action organizing.

Please listen to her presentation at the Bay Area Social Equity Caucus Quarterly Meeting, Assessing the Redistricting Process: What It Means for Our Communities

Paul Mitchell, Political Consultant and Owner, Redistricting Partners

Paul Mitchell, Political Consultant and Owner, Redistricting PartnersPaul Mitchell, Political Consultant and Owner, Redistricting Partners Redistricting Partners is headed by Paul Mitchell, a Democratic political consultant in Sacramento. Mitchell has a Masters in Public Policy with a focus on urban planning and econometrics. For the past 20 years he has been involved in campaigns from San Diego to Marin, California to North Carolina. From 2004 to 2008 he was the Political Director of EdVoice, an education advocacy group based in Sacramento. In this position he directed and oversaw over $15 million in political spending. Some of his most successful work was in state legislative races where he used data and mapping to help drive successful independent expenditure efforts. Redistricting Partners brings this same focus on winning, paired with the best data and mapping. The team gathered to help you include attorneys with years of experience with political law and redistricting, GIS experts, over 40 years of legislative and community advocacy, and a partnership with one of the nation’s best political data companies. 

Please listen to his presentation at the Bay Area Social Equity Caucus Quarterly Meeting, Assessing the Redistricting Process: What It Means for Our Communities

Climate Action and Local Decision-Making: Ensuring Benefits for Low-Income Communities and Communities of Color

BCLI Wednesday Night Panel Series
Climate Action and Local Decision-Making: Ensuring Benefits for Low-Income Communities and Communities of Color

September 29, 2010

We already know that the negative effects of climate change will disproportionately impact low-income communities and communities of color. Increased investments in energy efficiency, municipal water systems, and other retrofit programs to support reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and to address additional climate change concerns can and should also carry with them benefits for low-income communities and communities of color that include job creation.

This panel explores how we can best carry out local climate work as local Energy and Climate Action Plans languish in these tough economic times. Panelist engage in a pragmatic, realistic discussion about how local climate action projects can not only be accomplished through innovative financing, but can also achieve social equity goals.

Click on the links below to view the speakers' bios, hear the podcast of their presentation, and download handouts.

Speakers
    * Vivian Chang, Director of State and Local Initiatives, Green For All
    * Tommy T. Moala, Assistant General Manager, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
    * Romel Pascual, Deputy Mayor for the Energy and the Environment, Los Angeles Mayor's Office
    * Dave Room, Clean Energy Director, Bay Localize

Handouts
   * Clean Energy Works Portland: A National Model for Energy-Efficiency Retrofits
   * Community Workforce Agreement on Standards and Community Benefits in the Clean Energy Works Portland Pilot Project
   * Community High Road Agreement: for Seattle’s Residential Retrofit Programs

 

Equitable Alternatives to AB 32's Cap-and-Trade Program, June 10, 2011

Equitable Alternatives to AB 32's Cap-and-Trade Program

In 2006, environmental justice advocates helped pass California's first-ever climate change legislation (AB 32), which requires the state to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020. The passing of AB 32 was a significant victory for environmental justice communities, and set a precedent for future federal legislation. However, in April of this year, environmental justice advocates won a federal lawsuit that brought the implementation of AB 32 to a halt, claiming that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) did not adequately evaluate alternatives to its proposed cap-and-trade program, which could disproportionally impact low-income communities and communities of color.

On June 10, 2011, environmental justice advocates, decision makers, and policy experts from throughout the Bay Area discussed AB 32, the lawsuit that halted its implementation, and identified equitable alternatives to CARB's cap-and-trade program. Chione Flegal, Senior Associate at PolicyLink and member of the CARB's Environmental Justice Advisory Committee (EJAC) shared the concerns and recommendations raised by the EJAC; Adrienne Bloch, Staff Attorney at Communities for a Better Environment and one of the lead attorneys in the aforementioned lawsuit provided an overview of the case and the opportunities it is providing environmental justice advocates; and Bob Allen, Director of Transportation Justice for Urban Habitat presented on challenges and opportunities of conducting an equity analysis. Other advocates from throughout the Bay Area were also on hand to provide updates on their environmental justice work as well.

Read the speakers' bios and hear the podcast of their presentation:

*Chione Flegal, Senior Associate, PolicyLink
*Adrienne Bloch, Staff Attorney, Communities for a Better Environment
*Bob Allen, Director of Transportation Justice, Urban Habitat

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Chione Flegal, Senior Associate, PolicyLink

Chione Flegal, Senior Associate, PolicyLinkChione Flegal, Senior Associate, PolicyLink Chione works to ensure that infrastructure policy promotes social, economic, and environmental equity. She leads PolicyLink efforts to address infrastructure disparities in low-income unincorporated communities in California’s San Joaquin Valley and to promote equitable solutions to climate change. Prior to joining PolicyLink, Flegal managed Latino Issues Forum’s Sustainable Development program and directed the organization’s environmental health and justice work. Flegal advises the California Air Resources Board on the implementation of climate policy by serving on the AB 32 Environmental Justice Advisory Committee. She holds a Masters in City Planning and a BS in environmental science, policy, and management from the University of California, Berkeley.

Please listen to her presentation at the Bay Area Social Equity Caucus Quarterly Meeting, Equitable Alternatives to AB 32's Cap-and-Trade Program.

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Adrienne Bloch, Senior Staff Attorney, Communities for a Better Environment

Adrienne Bloch, Senior Staff Attorney, Communities for a Better EnvironmentAdrienne Bloch, Senior Staff Attorney, Communities for a Better Environment Adrienne Bloch is the senior staff attorney at Communities for a Better Environment, an environmental health and justice organization located in Oakland and Huntington Park, California. CBE works with communities in low income communities and communities of color on leadership development, education, organizing strategies, and provides scientific and policy research, and legal assistance in CBE campaigns. CBE believes in building community power to help achieve the basic human right to clean air, clean water, and clean land and public space. Adrienne consults as part of CBE campaign teams, brings lawsuits using federal and state environmental statutes, and acts as in-house counsel for the organization. She also engages in regional and statewide policy issues including climate change and cumulative impacts. Adrienne graduated from Oberlin College and from University of California Hastings School of Law with an international law concentration.

Please listen to her presentation at the Bay Area Social Equity Caucus Quarterly Meeting, Equitable Alternatives to AB 32's Cap-and-Trade Program.

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Bob Allen, Director of Transportation and Housing Programs, Urban Habitat

Bob Allen, Director of Transportation and Housing ProgramsBob Allen, Director of Transportation and Housing Programs, Urban HabitatHis background and experience include community planning and policy work both in the United States and overseas with international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). While at UH, Bob led the successful 2008 Campaign to help pass a regional measure, Measure VV, which raised funds to keep bus passes affordable for seniors, youth, and disabled riders. Currently, Bob is leading UH’s efforts on federal and state transportation advocacy. Bob received both his Bachelors Degree in Political Science and History and his Masters in Public Administration from Rutgers University.

Please listen to his presentation at the Bay Area Social Equity Caucus Quarterly Meeting, Equitable Alternatives to AB 32's Cap-and-Trade Program.

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Dave Room, Clean Energy Director, Bay Localize

Dave RoomDave Room co-founded Bay Localize, a public benefit organization that inspires and supports Bay Area residents in building resilient communities, and coordinates the Local Clean Energy Alliance. He was instrumental in the start up phase of Post Carbon Institute, playing a key role in donor cultivation, the End of Suburbia screening campaign, and engagement with local groups. He was also a frequent interviewer on Global Public Media. Dave's most important identifier is Melia's Papa. On stage, Melia's Papa uses storytelling and solo performance theater (The Monkey Trap) to awaken and activate mainstream audiences, people of color, and youth. Dave is leading efforts to use new media and social media for social change and political advocacy. Dave coined the term "Energy Preparedness" and was on the Oil Independent Oakland by 2020 task force. He has B.S in Electrical Engineering with a Power Systems focus and a M.S. in Engineering-Economic Systems from Stanford University.
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Vivian Chang, Director of State and Local Initiatives, Green For All

Vivian ChangVivian Chang, Director of State and Local Initiatives at Green For All , has a background in urban planning and more than 15 years of experience with community organizing and policy advocacy. Prior to joining Green For All, Vivian served as the Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network, a nationally recognized environmental justice organization focused on building leadership in Asian immigrant and refugee communities. As a well-recognized experienced organizer in the Asian community, Ms. Chang has spoken on numerous panels as well as in media outlets including KPFA (the Bay Area’s Pacifica network radio station), National Public Radio, the most popular Chinese ethnic media outlets including Sing Tao and Channel 26 KTSF. She holds a master's degree in Urban Planning from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) with a concentration in regional economic and community development. Vivian is a recipient of the 2007 Gerbode Fellowship and Oakland’s 2009 Woman of the Year award.
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Jeanette Dinwiddie-Moore, Dinwiddie and Associates, Owner

Jeanette Dinwiddie-Moore, Dinwiddie and Associates, OwnerThroughout her 30 years in the planning profession, Jeanette Dinwiddie-Moore has been a tireless, committed, and passionate advocate for good community planning, particularly for the disenfranchised and communities of color whose needs are too often neither heard nor considered. She has effectively advocated for improvements within the profession to ensure that the planning decision making process is inclusive of those individuals and their needs. The first seven years of Ms. Dinwiddie-Moore's professional career were spent working for non-profit corporations and the City of Berkeley on housing and community development programs. She has also served as a mentor and advisor to many planners of color, is the primary author of California’s Membership Inclusion Plan, has served on the APACA Board for over six years (including the position of Vice President of Administration), and is well known in California and nationally for her strong advocacy on diversity issues. She has been Principal and owner of Dinwiddie and Associates since 1981.

Preserving Affordable Housing and Preventing Displacement in the Current Budget, March 25, 2011

Preserving Affordable Housing and Preventing Displacement in the Current Budget

In January of 2011, a small group of advocates, policy experts and decision-makers came together during Urban Habitat’s third annual “State of the Region” event to identify how to equitably implement transit-oriented development (TOD) projects throughout the Bay Area without displacing low-income communities of color. The preservation and continued building of affordable housing near existing or planned transit was identified as a critical step in preventing displacement. However, with much of the funding and many of the tools Bay Area cities rely on to incentivize the construction and preservation of affordable housing near transit in jeopardy, our regional anti-displacement work and affordable housing goals will become even harder to achieve.  

During this event, Mark Evanoff, Redevelopment Manager for Union City; Brian Cheu, Director of Community Development for San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee; Michelle Byrd, Deputy Director of Housing and Community Development for the City of Oakland; and Evelyn Stivers, Field Director for the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California discussed the potential impact local, state, and federal budget deficits could have on affordable housing and TOD and the policy options and strategies advocates could utilize to ensure the funding and tools used to incentivize the construction and preservation of affordable housing are preserved.

Read the speaker's bio and hear the podcast of their presentation:

*Mark Evanoff, Redevelopment Manager for Union City
*Brian Cheu, Director of Community Development for San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee
*Michelle Byrd, Deputy Director of Housing and Community Development for the City of Oakland
*Evelyn Stivers, Field Director for the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California

Mark Evanoff, Redevelopment Manager, Union City

Mark Evanoff, Redevelopment Manager, Union CityMark Evanoff, Redevelopment Manager, Union CityMark Evanoff has been the Redevelopment Agency Manager for the City of Union City for twelve years. During that time Mark oversaw the conversion of the Tropics Mobile Home Park to a non-profit housing organization that stabilized rents for 545 households and created a rental assistance fund for very low and extremely low income residents. Mark also managed the development of the Mission Gateway apartments with 120 affordable units, and the remediation and development of the former 60-acre Pacific States Steel Corporation property. Mark is currently managing the development of the Union City Station District that involved the purchase and remediation of a 30-acre former PG&E pipe yard, reconfiguration of the BART Station to make the station accessible to pedestrians and buses, the construction of 593 housing units, and the pending construction of 900 residential. Mark worked for ten years as the East Bay Field Director for Greenbelt Alliance where he was instrumental in getting Measure AA, an East Bay Regional Park District $225 million bond measure on the ballot in 1988.

Please listen to his presentation at the Bay Area Social Equity Caucus Quarterly Meeting, Preserving Affordable Housing and Preventing Displacement in the Current Budget Crisis.

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Brian Cheu, Director of Community Development, San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing

Brian Cheu, Director of Community Development, San Francisco Mayor’s Office of HousingBrian Cheu, Director of Community Development, San Francisco Mayor’s Office of HousingBrian Cheu is currently the Director of Community Development for the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Housing, where he oversees programs focusing on economic advancement, homelessness, homeownership and tenant counseling, capital improvements for community facilities, down payment assistance, and inclusionary housing. Before coming to the Mayor’s Office, Brian served as executive director for three different community based organizations in San Francisco. Brian has also worked at the S.F. Human Rights Commission enforcing the city’s civil rights ordinances, and began his career as an attorney with the law firm of Morrison & Foerster.

Please listen to his presentation at the Bay Area Social Equity Caucus Quarterly Meeting, Preserving Affordable Housing and Preventing Displacement in the Current Budget Crisis.

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Michelle Byrd, Deputy Director of Housing and Community Development, City of Oakland

Michelle Byrd, Deputy Director of Housing and Community Development, City of OaklandMichelle Byrd, Deputy Director of Housing and Community Development, City of Oakland Michelle Byrd is currently the Deputy Director of Housing and Community Development (HCD) for the City of Oakland. As Deputy Director of HCD, Ms. Byrd is responsible for the overall management of HCD which is responsible for the creation and preservation of decent affordable housing; funding organizations that provide economic development, public facilities, infrastructure, and social services for low and moderate income communities; managing HUD grant programs, developing housing policy and information, and administering the Rent Arbitration Ordinance. Ms. Byrd previously held the position of Manager of the Community Development Block Grant Program for the City of Oakland for seven years. In this position she was responsible for the overall management of the CDBG Program which is approximately 10 million dollars in the City of Oakland used to rebuild and revitalize depressed areas and sustain neighborhoods with full access to life-enhancing services. Michele holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from California State, Hayward and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from University of California, Davis.

Please listen to her presentation at the Bay Area Social Equity Caucus Quarterly Meeting, Preserving Affordable Housing and Preventing Displacement in the Current Budget Crisis. 

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Evelyn “Evvy” Stivers, Field Director, Non-Profit Housing of Northern California

Evelyn “Evvy” Stivers, Field Director, Non-Profit Housing of Northern CaliforniaEvelyn “Evvy” Stivers, Field Director, Non-Profit Housing of Northern CaliforniaEvelyn “Evvy” Stivers has rejoined Non-Profit Housing of Northern California to coordinate regional initiatives including the Zone for Homes campaign and the Great Communities Collaborative as their new Field Director. She also works with housing and land use advocates, including NPH’s nine-county network, to advocate for affordable housing, carry out research and issue analysis, develop new advocacy tools, and provide technical assistance and organizing training. Evelyn is an experienced political organizer who has worked on campaigns at the local, state and national level. She prefers work at the local level though, where the impact is the most immediate. She spent the last six months working on political campaigns for local government offices. Prior to that she spent six months on an incredible travel adventure. She and her partner purchased a boat in Brisbane, Australia and explored the Great Barrier reef.

Please listen to her presentation at the Bay Area Social Equity Caucus Quarterly Meeting, Preserving Affordable Housing and Preventing Displacement in the Current Budget Crisis. 

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Tommy T. Moala, Assistant General Manager, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

Tommy MoalaTommy T. Moala is Assistant General Manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Wastewater Enterprise, which protects public health and safety through the collective treatment of raw sewage and stormwater runoff. Tommy oversees operations, equipment and facilities maintenance, structural design, and governmental compliance for the City’s three innovative wastewater treatment plants, 900-mile long sewer system and network of wastewater pumping stations. Tommy began his 20-year career with the SFPUC as a Stationary Engineer, moving up steadily through the ranks. A team recipient of the National Protection Agency O & M award and the National Association of Clean Water Agency award, Tommy has also received Mayor Gavin Newsom’s Public Managerial Excellence award and the SFPUC’s O’Shaughnessy award for organizing the SFPUC Emergency Response Team dispatched to Hurricane Katrina.
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Fernando Marti, Director of Community Planning, Asian Neighborhood Design

Fernando Marti

Fernando Martí has been the Director of Community Planning at Asian Neighborhood Design since 2004. Fernando’s work at AND includes community-based plans for San Francisco's Eastern Neighborhoods; affordable housing and community economic development policies; and urban design for the Mission BART Plazas and the Chinatown Central Subway Station. He is also a licensed architect, recently completing the renovation of a 21-unit Chinatown building as SF’s first community land trust cooperative. He has over 15 years of experience working on custom green homes, affordable multifamily residential, and structures for spiritual communities. Fernando is the recipient of the Frederick P. Rose Architectural Fellowship, and teaches design studios at U.C. Berkeley and USF. He works with local community organizing efforts as a board member of PODER and of the Center for Political Education. Fernando was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and has made the Bay Area his home since 1990.

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SB 375: Six Wins for Social Equity, December 17, 2010



In January of this year, a small group of advocates, policy experts and decision makers came together during the Second Annual Bay Area Social Equity Caucus (SEC) State of the Region event to identify and discuss the core equity issues associated with SB 375. During this event we identified what was at stake for low-income communities and communities of color in the planning processes of SB 375 and how we could potentially use SB 375 to shape development in the communities we represent in an equitable way. Please join us for the upcoming Social Equity Caucus Quarterly Meeting as we reconvene this group and include new voices from those working on SB 375 in the Bay Area.

This meeting will be useful for advocates and decision makers from all sectors, including community groups, labor groups, and city and local electeds, staff, and commissioners from around the Bay, and will include plenty of time for sharing and discussion. We ask that you come prepared to talk about your own work related to SB 375 or with questions about how to ensure that the ongoing SB 375 planning process takes into account the interests of the communities you represent.

Read the speaker's bio and hear the podcast of their presentation:


* Connie Galambos Malloy, Director of Programs, Urban Habitat
* Colin Miller, Climate Policy and Research Coordinator, Urban Habitat
* Lindsay Imai, Transportation and Housing Program Associate, Urban Habitat
* Richard Marcantonio, Managing Attorney, Public Advocates
* Robin Salsburg, Senior Staff Attorney, Public Health Law & Policy

Connie Galambos Malloy, Director of Programs, Urban Habitat

Connie MalloyConnie Galambos Malloy, Director of Programs, Urban Habitat As Director of Programs, Connie leads the organization's climate, transportation, land use and affordable housing work and advances UH's agenda on key partner coalitions. While a Program Coordinator, Connie led the Social Equity Caucus through a 10 year Evaluation and Strategic Plan, resulting in UH's launch of the State of the Region, Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute, and Speakers and Writers Bureau programs. On behalf of UH Connie has completed the Women's Foundation of California's Women's Policy Institute training, the University of Southern California's Ross Program in Real Estate, and the National Development Council's Real Estate Finance Certification. Prior to her years at Urban Habitat, Connie coordinated the Regional Sustainability Initiative at Redefining Progress. Through a fellowship from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Connie has worked with a variety of California organizations on urban planning issues, including the Earned Asset Resource Network (EARN), Unity Council, and Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE). She has also worked as a planner and funding liaison for United Way of the Inland Valleys in Riverside, CA and as a Peace Corps volunteer leading sustainable tourism development projects in Bolivia’s Amazon Basin. Connie is a founding board member of AFAAD: Adopted & Fostered Adults of the African Diaspora and has directed the Children's Program at Pact Camp, training families adopting and fostering children of different races. She previously served on the board of the California Planning Foundation, and is currently serving as Diversity Director on the California Chapter of the American Planning Association’s Northern Section board. Connie earned her M.C.P. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelors Degree in Communications & Spanish from La Sierra University.

Please listen to her presentation at the Bay Area Social Equity Caucus Quarterly Meeting SB 375 Discussion Panel.

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Richard Marcantonio, Managing Attorney, Public Advocates

Richard MarcantonioRichard Marcantonio, Managing Attorney, Public Advocates Richard A. Marcantonio (Managing Attorney) received his A.B. from Princeton University in 1982 and graduated cum laude and Order of the Coif from New York University School of Law in 1987. After clerking for the Hon. Robert L. Carter, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York, Richard practiced civil and appellate litigation for five years at the Howard, Rice law firm in San Francisco. He then served as director of litigation at Legal Aid of the North Bay for nine years, specializing in housing issues in Marin and Napa Counties. Richard was lead counsel for intervenors in Home Builders Association of Northern California v. City of Napa, 90 Cal. App. 4th 188 (2001), cert. denied 535 U.S. 954 (2002), which established the validity of “inclusionary zoning.” He was also lead counsel in Marin Family Action v. Town of Corte Madera, a challenge to the housing element of the Town of Corte Madera, and in a suit against a Napa slumlord for equitable relief and damages on behalf of nearly 500 Napa farmworkers and families. Richard joined Public Advocates as a managing attorney in June 2003, where he works on civil rights issues, primarily in the areas of affordable housing, transportation equity and insurance redlining. He has served as lead counsel for the plaintiffs in a number of affordable housing cases, including Osorio v. City of Pittsburg, Fonseca v. City of Gilroy, 148 Cal. App. 4th 1174 (2007), and Urban Habitat Program v. City of Pleasanton, 164 Cal. App. 4th 1561 (2008). In the area of transportation justice, he is currently co-counsel in Darensburg v. Metropolitan Transportation Commission, 611 F. Supp. 2nd 994 (N.D. Cal. 2009), a pending federal civil rights class action on behalf of minority bus riders who have seen service cut as a result of inadequate funding, and represented the Los Angeles Bus Riders Union in Labor/Community Strategy Center v. Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, 564 F.3d 1115 (9th Cir. 2009). He is also co-counsel in Willams v. City of Antioch, a challenge to discriminatory policing of African-American families who participate in the federal Section 8 housing subsidy program.

Please listen to his presentation at the Bay Area Social Equity Caucus Quarterly Meeting SB 375 Discussion Panel.

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Robin Salsburg, Senior Staff Attorney, Public Health Law & Policy

Robin SalsburgRobin Salsburg, Senior Staff Attorney, Public Health Law & Policy Robin Salsburg is a senior staff attorney specializing in current and emerging legal issues involving exposure to secondhand smoke. She is also developing PHLP's climate change and health program. Prior to joining PHLP, Robin was an environmental law fellow with Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, where she represented community groups and government agencies in land use and environmental litigation. Robin also served as a legal research attorney in the Law and Motion Department of the San Francisco Superior Court. Before becoming an attorney, Robin spent more than a decade implementing environmentally sustainable waste reduction programs including recycling and composting. Robin is a graduate of Stanford University and graduated summa cum laude from Golden Gate University School of Law, where she received certificates of distinction in public interest and environmental law.

Please listen to her presentation at the Bay Area Social Equity Caucus Quarterly Meeting SB 375 Discussion Panel.

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Lindsay Imai, Transportation and Housing Program Associate, Urban Habitat

Lindsay ImaiLindsay Imai, Transportation and Housing Program Associate, Urban Habitat As part of the Transportation Justice and Housing Program, Lindsay works to increase funding for bus and other public transit systems serving low-income neighborhoods through research, policy analysis, advocacy, coalition building, community organizing support and media activism. Before joining Urban Habitat, Lindsay worked as a program manager with Citibank; as a program manager and Academy Fellow with the Greenlining Institute focusing on affordable housing and community reinvestment; and as a community organizer toreform public schools in Queens, NY. Lindsay completed a Master of Arts degree in Public Administration in June 2006 from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University with a focus on non-profit management and urban policy. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Ethnic Studies from Stanford University.

Please listen to her presentation at the Bay Area Social Equity Caucus Quarterly Meeting SB 375 Discussion Panel.

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Colin Miller, Climate Policy and Research Coordinator, Urban Habitat

Colin MillerColin Miller, Climate Policy and Research Coordinator, Urban Habitat Colin coordinates the organization’s climate justice work, which includes policy research and analysis, advocacy and education, and program planning and implementation. He was a former fellow in the Green Assets Program at The Greenlining Institute and has worked on a variety of climate issues, including working to develop a new solar financing model to benefit low-income renters; advocating on issues around sustainable communities and global warming; and coordinating grassroots efforts around green community revitalization and green jobs. Most recently, he testified before the California PUC against Proposition 16 and its negative impact on low-income communities of color. Colin is a graduate of Stanford University.

Please listen to his presentation at the Bay Area Social Equity Caucus Quarterly Meeting SB 375 Discussion Panel.

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Malcolm Yeung, Public Policy Manager, Chinatown Community Development Center

Malcolm Yeung advocates for regulatory reform aimed at building and strengthening low-income immigrant communities, particularly in the areas of tenants rights, land use and affordable housing, and transportation. Malcolm previously practiced as a community lawyer at the Asian Law Caucus at the Asian Law Caucus where he married legal advocacy with grassroots organizing. While at the Asian Law Caucus, Malcolm represented the residents the “Fong Building” in an anti-displacement fight, leading to the formation of San Francisco’s first Land Trust/Limited Equity Housing Cooperative. Malcolm also represented low-income immigrant tenants throughout San Francisco in eviction defense and fair housing actions, advocated and appeared before the California Public Utilities Commission, and advocated on behalf of low-income youth victims of hate crimes. Malcolm graduated from Berkeley Law in 2001 where he served as Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Asian American Law Journal (formerly Asian Law Journal).
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State of the Region Speakers

2008 State of the Region Speakers

 


Carl Anthony

Founder, Earth House Center

Carl Anthony is founder of the Earth House Leadership Center (EHLC) in Oakland, CA. The mission of EHLC is to promote multiracial and multiclass leadership for sustainable metropolitan regions nationwide. Prior to his current position he was Acting Director of the Community and Resource Development Unit at the Ford Foundation, where he directed the Foundation’s Sustainable Metropolitan Communities Initiative and the Regional Equity Demonstration. Carl funded the national Conversation on Regional Equity (CORE), a dialogue of national policy analysts and advocates for new metropolitan racial justice strategies. His work at Ford is documented in a new book Breakthrough Communities: Sustainability and Justice in the Next American Metropolis, edited by Paloma Pavel, Ph.D. to be published by MIT Press in spring 2009. Prior to joining the Foundation he was Co-Chair of the Bay Area Alliance for Sustainable Communities (BAASC). BAASC is a multi stake holder collaborative bringing together business leadership, environmental groups, social advocacy groups, labor, faith based organizations, elected and other public officials to build a consensus on how the region of 6.5 million, and over 100 jurisdictions, should grow. He was Founder and was, for 12 years, Executive Director of the Urban Habitat Program. With a colleague, Luke Cole at the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, he founded and published the Race, Poverty and the Environment Journal, the only environmental justice periodical in the United States.

From 1991 through 1997, Anthony was President of Earth Island Institute, an international environmental organization to protect and conserve the global biosphere. Congressman Ron Dellums appointed Carl Anthony Chair and Principal Administrative Officer of the East Bay Conversion and Reinvestment Commission in 1993. The Commission was charged with overseeing a National Pilot Project to guide the closure of 500 military bases in the US, to re-envision the role of the National Laboratories, and to implement the conversion of 5 military bases in Alameda County. He has taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture and Planning, and the University of California Colleges of Environmental Design and Natural Resources. He has been an Advisor to the Stanford University Law School on issues of environmental justice. Anthony has a professional degree in architecture from Columbia University. In 1996, he was appointed Fellow at the Institute of Politics, John F. Kennedy School of Government, and Harvard University.



Judith Bell

President, PolicyLink

At PolicyLink, Judith Bell oversees policy development, strategic planning, program implementation, and policy campaign strategy and leads projects focused on equitable development, such as the fair distribution of affordable housing, equity in public investment, and community strategies to improve health. Bell is a regular speaker, trainer, and consultant on advocacy strategy. Her work at PolicyLink includes access to healthy foods, transportation, and infrastructure investment. In addition, Bell leads PolicyLink work with the Healthy Eating Active Living Convergence Partnership, a multi-foundation initiative to support equity-focused efforts to advance policy and environmental changes for healthy people and healthy places. Previously, Bell directed the West Coast office of Consumers Union, where she engaged in efforts to improve the quality of life for all consumers, particularly in access to health care.

Keith Carson
Supervisor Keith Carson
Alameda County Board of Supervisors, District 5

Keith Carson was elected to the Board of Supervisors in 1992, on a platform dedicated to inclusive and accessible government. He represents the 5th District which includes: Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Piedmont and large portions of Oakland, namely West Oakland, North Oakland (Rockridge and Montclair), and portions of the Fruitvale/ Dimond Districts. Supervisor Carson works to bring together people who have a wealth of talent and creative resources to address our shared problems within the numerous areas including access to health care, ending poverty, homelessness, crime, improving business retention, and addressing the scarcity of jobs in our communities.

Supervisor Carson is Chair of the Alameda County East Bay Economic Development Alliance (East Bay EDA) and is a member of the Alameda County Employees’ Retirement Association (ACERA). Supervisor Carson serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the National Association of Counties (NACo), and the California State Association of counties (CSAC) – a 58 county statewide supervisors organization; he is also a member of the Alameda County Transportation Improvement Authority (ACTIA), and a member of the Alameda County Waste Management Authority. Keith serves as Chair of the Finance Committee for the Bay Area World Trade Center (BAWTC) and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Bay Area Council Institute.


Juliet Ellis
Executive Director, Urban Habitat

Juliet Ellis is Executive Director of Urban Habitat, a regional environmental justice organization. Urban Habitat works in partnership with low-income communities and communities of color to advance social, economic, and environmental justice in the Bay Area region. Through advocacy and the promotion of equitable policies, leadership development, research, and participation in strategic coalitions, Urban Habitat helps to build a democratic society in which all communities have the power to influence and benefit from the decisions impacting their neighborhoods. Prior to becoming Director for UH, Juliet was the Associate Program Officer for Neighborhood and Community Development at The San Francisco Foundation. She was responsible for all aspects of grantmaking in the areas of workforce development, housing, homelessness, economic development, community development, and neighborhood planning.

Juliet has served on numerous regional and local boards and committees, including the Oakland Homeless and Low-Income Taskforce, the San Francisco Asset Building Initiative, the Alameda Continuum of Care Council, and the Alameda County Public Health Disparities Taskforce. She currently serves on the Board and Steering Committee of the Transportation and Land Use Coalition, the David Brower Center, The San Francisco School of Volunteers and the Partnership for Working Families. Juliet was also recently appointed to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), a department of the City and County of San Francisco that provides water, wastewater, and municipal power services to San Francisco and supplies water to 1.6 million additional customers within three Bay Area counties.


Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins
Executive Director, Working Partnerships USA
Executive Officer, South Bay Labor Council

Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins is Executive Director of Working Partnerships USA, a nationally recognized regional public policy institute. As the leading policy innovator in Silicon Valley's high-tech economy, Ms. Ellis-Lamkins has been named by San Jose Magazine as one of the 100 most powerful people in Silicon Valley and among the "40 to watch under 40" by the San Jose Business Journal, as well as being recognized by City Flight Magazine as one of the ten most influential African-Americans in the Bay Area.
Under Ms. Ellis-Lamkins’ leadership, the nation’s first county-based universal children’s health insurance program has expanded coverage to over 144,000 children and been replicated in 34 counties across the state. As a founder of Team San José, Ms. Ellis-Lamkins pioneered a new model for public/private management of convention center and cultural venues. She led the fight to create the nation's first comprehensive city-level Community Benefits Policy. Ms. Ellis-Lamkins is a founder and chair of the Partnership for Working Families, a national coalition to bring the principles of good jobs and community benefits to local economic development. Ms. Ellis-Lamkins also serves as the executive officer of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, representing more than 110,000 working families in Santa Clara and San Benito Counties.


Ericka Erickson
Associate Director, Grassroots Leadership Network of Marin

Ericka Omena Erickson, MPA, the Associate Director of Grassroots Leadership Network of Marin, facilitates underrepresented communities political empowerment through civic engagement and leadership development programs, such as the Grassroots Leadership Academy. Her professional background includes more than 15 years of national and international experience in the areas of social marketing, adult education, and organizational development. A native of Brazil, Ericka enjoys being a catalyst for inspiring, educational, and powerful intercultural interactions.


Connie Galambos Malloy
Bay Area Social Equity Caucus, Urban Habitat

Connie Galambos Malloy oversees the work of the Bay Area Social Equity Caucus at Urban Habitat. Prior to her current role, Connie coordinated the Regional Sustainability Initiative at Redefining Progress. Through a fellowship from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Connie has worked with a variety of California organizations on urban planning issues, including the Earned Asset Resource Network (EARN), Unity Council, and Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE). She has also worked as a planner and funding liaison for United Way of the Inland Valleys in Riverside, CA and as a Peace Corps volunteer leading sustainable tourism development projects in Bolivia’s Amazon Basin.

Connie is founding board member of AFAAD: Adopted & Fostered Adults of the African Diaspora and directs the Summer Camp Children’s Program for families adopting and fostering across color lines at Pact, An Adoption Alliance. She previously served on the board of the California Planning Foundation, and is currently serving as Diversity Director on the California Chapter of the American Planning Association’s Northern Section board. Connie earned her M.C.P. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelors Degree in Communications & Spanish from La Sierra University.


Angela Johnson Meszaros

Director of Policy and General Counsel, California Environmental Rights Alliance
Special Advisor to South Coast Air Quality Management District Governing Board Member Joseph K. Lyou, Ph.D.


Ms. Angela Johnson Meszaros serves as Director of Policy and General Counsel for the California Environmental Rights Alliance. She also serves as Special Advisor to South Coast Air Quality Management District Governing Board Member Joseph K. Lyou, Ph.D. Angela Johnson Meszaros has nearly 15 years of experience working with communities and organizations on environmental justice issues in the Los Angeles region. During this time, Angela has used a range of tools to enhance the health, safety, and quality of life of low-income communities of color negatively impacted by environmental hazards including: litigation in federal and state court; filing regulatory challenges; lobbying state legislators; providing community legal education; providing community technical assistance in campaign development, strategic planning, fundraising, document analysis, and regulatory agency operations; testifying before relevant committees, boards and commissions; serving on agency policy workgroups; engaging in media advocacy; and mediating negotiations with a wide range of stakeholders.

Angela is currently co-chair of the Environmental Justice Advisory Committee on the Implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32); a member of the Land Use Subgroup of the California Climate Action Team; the Chair of the Board of the Economic Roundtable, a non-profit organization that conducts research and implements programs that contribute to the economic self-sufficiency of individuals and communities; and a member of the California State Bar. Angela holds both a degree in philosophy and a law degree from the University of Southern California.


Manuel Pastor
Professor of Geography and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California
Director of the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) at USC’s Center for Sustainable Cities


Founding director of the Center for Justice, Tolerance, and Community at the University of California, Santa Cruz, Pastor holds an economics Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His research has generally focused on issues of environmental justice, regional inclusion, and the economic and social conditions facing low-income urban communities. His most recent book, co-authored with Chris Benner and Laura Leete, is Staircases or Treadmills: Labor Market Intermediaries and Economic Opportunity in a Changing Economy (Russell Sage, 2007). Prior volumes include Searching for the Uncommon Common Ground: New Dimensions on Race in America (W.W. Norton, 2002; co-authored with Angela Glover Blackwell and Stewart Kwoh) and Regions That Work: How Cities and Suburbs Can Grow Together (University of Minnesota Press, 2000; co-authored with Peter Dreier, Eugene Grigsby, and Marta Lopez-Garza). He served as a member of the Commission on Regions appointed by California’s Speaker of the State Assembly, and in January 2002 was awarded a Civic Entrepreneur of the Year award from the California Center for Regional Leadership.

The Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) is a new research unit headed by Manuel Pastor and part of the Center for Sustainable Cities. PERE’s work is rooted in the new three R’s: rigor, relevance and reach. PERE conducts high-quality research in focus areas that is relevant to public policy concerns and that reaches to those directly affected communities that most need to be engaged in the discussion. In general, PERE seeks and supports direct collaborations with community-based organizations in research and other activities, forging a new model of how university and community can work together.


Steven Pitts
Labor Policy Specialist, UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education

Steven Pitts came to the Labor Center in August of 2001 from Houston, Texas. Steven received his Ph.D. in economics with an emphasis on urban economics from the University of Houston in 1994. His M.A. is also from the University of Houston and he holds an B.A. from Harvard University. For the 15 years prior to his arrival at the Labor Center, Steven taught economics at the Houston Community College and, for five years, he was an adjunct lecturer in the African American Studies Program at the University of Houston. At the Labor Center, Steven focuses on alternative strategies for worker organizing, and economic development and social policy with an emphasis on labor–community alliances. Areas of expertise include African American Workers, Alternative Strategies for Worker Organizing, & Union Leadership Development.


Jim Wunderman
President & Chief Executive Officer, Bay Area Council

Jim Wunderman serves as the president and chief executive officer of the Bay Area Council, a business-backed public policy organization in the San Francisco-Oakland-Silicon Valley Bay Area. Led by its CEO members, the Bay Area Council is the strong, united voice of more than 275 of the largest Bay Area employers, representing more than 500,000 workers, or one of every six private sector employees. Since becoming CEO in 2004, Wunderman has led the 64-year-old public policy organization to become one of the most influential, effective institutions of its kind. Under Wunderman’s leadership, the Council has grown significantly in membership, revenue and profile, and has developed a global competitiveness strategy for the Bay Area that serves as a model for other regions. Some of the core elements of the global competitiveness strategy are to develop world-class infrastructure, a second-to-none education system, and to enact a smart growth plan that will stand in an era of climate change and economic pressures.

2008 Indicators Report - The New Demography

The New Demography

The Bay Area often believes itself to be a multicultural paradise – and in many ways it is, particularly in the fluidity of inter-group relations, the vibrant stew of youth culture, and the rich appreciation of immigrant cultures.  But the Bay Area is actually whiter than the rest of California, having become a majority-minority region years after Southern California crossed that threshold.   Still, the Bay is generally like California as a whole – it is becoming more diverse, with the exception of San Francisco.

The Bay Area is also relatively segregated:  while the typical measures of racial segregation have been declining in most metropolitan areas in the U.S., the relative segregation of whites increased slightly in the Bay Area between 1980 and 2008.  On the other hand, the segregation of Blacks and Latinos has declined sharply as they find themselves sharing common, and often distressed, turf (Figure 1).  The result has been sometimes uneasy – but the possibility for alliance around common issues is striking.

Figure 1. Change in Black-Latino Segregation by Sub-Region in the Bay Area, 1980-2008.

Geography has mattered in other ways as well.  Defying both regional and state trends, San Francisco is now actually whiter than it was in 2000, reflecting the influx of young professionals (and increasingly including their children – the share of children that are white in San Francisco jumped from 24 percent to 32 percent just between 2000 and 2007).  The pattern is not just racial but economic: in the last five years only 9 percent of those relocating to or within in the Bay Area made over $150,000 as compared to a full 21 percent of those who moved into San Francisco, specifically (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Household Income Distribution of Households that Moved in within the last 4-5 Years in San Francisco (2007 dollars), 1990-2007.


So home prices and rent in these urban core areas have jumped.  The resulting pressure has been particularly acute for low-income African Americans.  Blacks have been streaming out of the Bay Area for a while (to places like Sacramento and Stockton), but between 1990 and 2007, the black share of the population dropped by nearly 6 percent in San Francisco and 3 percent in the East Bay, outpacing the 2 percent decline for the Bay as a whole. And the decline for black kids was even sharper: while 20 percent of San Francisco’s youth in 1990, they were only 9 percent in 2007. Only places like Vallejo and Napa in the North Bay have seen growth in African Americans (Map 1).  

Map 1. Percent Non-Hispanic Black in the Bay Area, 1990 and 2008.

  a. 1990                                                                    b. 2008

Latinos and Asians have spread throughout the region, but with slightly different patterns, a fact that has increased their regional segregation index. Between 1990 and 2008, both groups raised their numbers in the Bay; Asian/ Pacific Islander immigrants are in greater number in the Bay Area than anywhere else in the state. They have tended to see their numbers increase in the more urban areas while Latinos saw increases in rural areas as well.  

And their children will shape our future:  31 percent of those under 18 in the Bay Area are Latino and 20 percent are Asian. Seven percent of youth are mixed race – higher than in California as a whole and reflective of the Bay’s characteristic openness– while African Americans comprise 7 percent and whites 35 percent.  

And while that might lead to a celebration of our diverse future, there are reasons for concern.  In particular, both Latinos and African Americans face the challenge of undereducation:  less than half of college-age Latinos (37 percent) and African Americans (48 percent) are in school compared to over half of whites (56 percent) and Asians (69 percent) (Figure 3).  

Figure 3. Percent of the 18-24 year old Population Enrolled in School by Race/Ethnicity, 1990-2007.

The contradictions of gentrification and the lack of workforce preparation suggest that the prized diversity of the Bay Area could be lost to economic pressures.  This would seem to call for public leadership – and there are many valiant efforts and many individuals of good will.  Unfortunately, our elected leaders do not always reflect their constituency.   A particular challenge in voicing these concerns and developing appropriate policy: the city councils in the region are often less diverse than the communities of color they represent.

So there you have it: an ethnic mix without that much mixing, a set of gentrification pressures forcing many African American families out of San Francisco and the East Bay, a startling gap in school enrollment and workforce preparation for young adults, and a political system that has a long way to go in having its diversity match its residents.  If the Bay Area wants to make sure that our multicultural milieu continues to work for the region rather than against it, we will need to come up with ways to retain long-time residents, integrate new immigrants, train our youth, and prepare new leadership.

 

2008 Indicators Report - The New Economy

The New Economy

While the Bay Area has been blessed with a much higher median household income than the state, it has also seen income inequality on the rise since 1990.  The ratio of household income between those at the 90th percentile, the rich, and those at the 10th percentile, the poor, has been rising in every subregion – especially in San Francisco where this measure of inequality has nearly doubled between 1990 and 2007.  

And it is not just a relative measure: since 1990, the income of the poorest in the Bay shrunk while the income of the richest swelled. Real (or inflation-adjusted) income for those at the 10th percentile in the region actually fell by 2 percent between 1990 while those at the 90th percentile saw a 28 percent gain, numbers pulled up by particularly sharp rich-poor divergences in San Francisco and the South Bay (Figure 4).  In the meantime, elsewhere in the state, those at the bottom actually made small gains and those at the top saw increases, to be sure, but only 16 percent.  Depending on which set of measures one uses – for example, taking other decile breaks for comparison – the Bay Area is now competing with Los Angeles for the title of the main driver of inequality in the state.

Figure 4. Percent Change in Real Household Income by Household Income Percentile, 1989-2007.
It is hardly a race any region wants to win, especially when the racial dimension steps into the room.  Not only do black and brown households crowd the bottom in terms of household income by race/ethnicity but they are the only groups who saw their median household income decline between 1990 and 2007.  While growth for Latinos has been negative, at least income levels for native and immigrant Latinos in the Bay actually exceeds those of their counterparts at the state level (though still far below whites).  For blacks, growth has been negative and black median household income in the Bay is actually lower than in California as a whole.

What explains the pattern?  Latinos and African-Americans alike need better and more work (Figure 5).  On the one hand, unemployment is an issue, especially for Black men – the unemployment rate for Blacks is twice that for Latinos and nearly three times that for whites.  On the other hand, working poverty is an issue, especially for Latino immigrants but also for African Americans.  In the rest of the country, the pattern seems to be that black poverty is driven by joblessness and Latino poverty by low wages at work – but Blacks in the Bay, more than in the nation, are working poor – attached to the labor force but without work that pays a living wage.  There is a clear opportunity here: the common struggle of working poverty offers an opportunity to build strong alliances around improving workforce conditions.

Figure 5. Demographic Composition of the Working Poor in the Bay Area and in California, 2007.
Employment standards need to prohibit the race to the bottom.  Community groups have done a heroic job of setting the bar higher for how the private sector should give the community its dues-- working for community benefits agreements, advocating for living wages, and supporting the unionization of workers.  But missing from the regiment is the assurance that communities and individuals are job-ready.

Many know that the future of the workforce is disjointed –  growing occupations do not match the skills of the current workforce (Figure 6).  What is less explored is the implication for racial inequality. In San Mateo County, for example, 38 percent of the new jobs projected for the next ten years will require a B.A. or above.  While more than 50 percent of whites and around 60 percent of Asians fit that description, the comparable share of African Americans is only 21 percent, for U.S.-born Latinos 26 percent, and for immigrant Latinos 10 percent.  All this while the payoff for a college degree is getting higher – while a college graduate earned 80 percent more than a high school dropout in 1990, by 2007 that premium rose to120 percent.

Figure 6. Educational Requirements for New Jobs and Levels of Educational Attainment by Race/Ethnicity in the Bay Area (Population 25+), 2007.
This is a recipe for widening the race gap.  And we know it is not the right strategy to downscale the high-paying jobs because it is high-skill and high-tech employment that allows the region to weather economic downturns.  Instead, let’s bring up the bottom; upscale the training and make sure we get it to those most in need.

And they need it now, particularly in light of continued pressures on housing expenses.  Housing expenses are eating up a larger share for disadvantaged populations: Latinos are 19 percent of the renters but 26 percent of those considered severely rent-burdened; African Americans are 11 percent of the renters but 16 percent of those who are severely rent-burdened.

Tired of rent burden, many families of color sought to catch their part of the American Dream with home purchases in recent years.  Now, they are being hit hard by the housing crisis (Map 2).  It has been widespread – our analysis of the data suggests that there have been over 42,000 foreclosures in the last three years.  And the consequence for a racial wealth gap is severe: when we ranked the zip codes in the Bay Area by the rate of foreclosure, we found that those areas in the lowest foreclosure quintile were 62 percent white; those in the highest foreclosure quintile were 72 percent people of color.

Map 2. Total Number of Foreclosures by Zip Code between October 2005 and October 2008.
With widening income gaps, mismatch between education and job creation, and the immediate threat of losing one’s home – it is hard to find a light at the end of this tunnel.  But the fascinating and hopeful aspect comes from the creativity of community and business organizations as they look for a path to a truly sustainable and equitable region.  And they have often found themselves looking to the new environmental challenges and the opportunities they present.

2008 Indicators Report - The New Environment

The New Environment

As much as the Bay Area prides itself on diversity, it celebrates its role as the environmental conscience of California and the nation.  There is indeed a record deserving of praise, including dynamic political leaders who have fought for higher state and national standards, remarkable efforts by organizations and governments to protect open space, and a general sense pervading the populace that recycling, mass transit, and compact living really is the wave of the future.

But the area is also plagued by urban environmental inequities often overlooked by enthusiasts of the natural environment. Neighborhoods with the least toxic emissions from nearby industry are about 56 percent white; those with the most toxic emissions are nearly 66 percent people of color.  The Bay Area essentially faces a “Tale of Two Corridors:” the communities bordering I- 280 up the peninsula have a low risk of air-related cancer and other illness while those bordering I-880 up the East Bay have well-documented toxic risks and higher rates of asthma (Map 3).  

Map 3. National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) Estimated Excess Cancer Risk by Census Tract, 1999.


And climate risk is imminent as well: research shows that when temperature rises, low-income communities of color are the least prepared in terms of air conditioning, transit, and other resources to beat the heat.  The San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC) has analyzed the threat of potential sea-level rises and identified the following at-risk low-income communities: Canal Zone in Marin County, San Pablo, parts of Richmond, Vallejo, West Pittsburg, parts of Pittsburg, and Alviso near San Jose.  

Ironically, those to bear the consequences are not those who have caused the most harm.
Analysis (and now state policy) suggests that the principles of Smart Growth – denser housing, closer proximity to transit, and neighborhood-centered retail – can reduce reliance on cars and reduce the overall carbon load from fossil fuels.  While the Bay Area is moving slowly in this direction, the communities of color are already denser – the densest fifth of the Bay’s neighborhoods are more than two-thirds people of color while the least dense fifth are two-thirds white people.  People of color are also carrying more of the weight of climate protection in terms of transit: they use public transit at far higher rates (60 percent) than do whites (Figure 7).  

These minority transit users are not always rewarded for their good behavior.  Minority riders tend to ride buses more than rail and Public Advocates has argued that riders of BART get nearly twice the subsidy of AC Transit riders in the East Bay.  
Their analysis suggests that operators that serve a larger minority population struggle to break even more than other operators.  For a society that is supposed to value markets, we seem to have the incentives all wrong.

Figure 7. Demographic Composition of Private versus Public Transit to Work Commuters, 2007.
So we need to change – but we also need to get change right.  An emerging challenge is the affect of policy regulations on the jobs of minority workers and minority communities.

It’s true that communities of color are the most susceptible to climate change risk and thus would have a great deal to gain from effective mitigation.  However, workers of color are disproportionately employed in industries that heavily emit carbon and will likely face cutbacks.  These industries are more unionized and pay higher wages, and so new policies that might help their neighborhoods, could hurt their wallets. We need to have adjustment and assistance plans in mind, particularly because the state’s economic models seem to underestimate the degree of adjustment that will occur.

Another problem emerges from the cap-and-trade approach likely to be taken by the State to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  Cap-and-trade is inherently unequal: the cap affects and benefits everyone but the trade by definition produces uneven reductions (or else why would you trade with someone else?).  Geographically disparate declines in carbon might not be an issue.  But uneven shifts in associated particulate matter and air toxins, known as co-pollutants, would have local and adverse health impacts.  No one has been able to perfectly predict impacts, but what we do know, based on the current pattern of environmental inequity in the Bay, leads us to be concerned about possible racial and class disparities in protecting health.

But there is a silver lining that could eclipse the cross-cutting environmental challenges.  The Bay Area, after all, is well-situated to benefit from a new, greener economy and society.  We have venture capital and a workforce ready to go if we can ensure training and placement pipelines. We have a healthy level of public transit use and more riders in line if only we can get the incentives steered back to the low-income riders who need it most.  We have the sort of compact living associated with Smart Growth and more to come if only we establish standards to keep long-time and low-income residents in place, holding back gentrification.

We’ve got problems but we’ve also got solutions. The question is where and who will lead.

2008 Indicators Report - The New Opportunities

The New Opportunities

Our assessment of regional equity – or better put, inequity, in the Bay Area, suggests a series of key questions. These questions – and some answers we suggest – include:

How do we maintain diversity and prevent displacement?
Diversity is at risk of being displaced by the pressures of gentrification, but social movements have grown and we now have the tools to stand our ground more effectively.   Our strategies include land trusts, inclusionary zoning, and affordable housing mandates – all of which should be couched in a larger, regionalist agenda of equitable Smart Growth.   Fortunately, the Bay Area has many of the organizers who have been focused on this work, and intermediaries like PolicyLink who have policy toolboxes at their disposal.  Efforts like those in Richmond around the General Plan revision are key to protecting long-term residents and insuring that their stake in local revival is rewarded with a secure place in the neighborhood.

How do we prepare new leadership to step up to the decision-making plate?
California has long pointed to where the nation is headed: a majority-minority country where those holding the highest offices in the land will include folks from communities of color.  Thinking nationally but acting locally, we need to be doing the leadership and policy development training that will be necessary for all leaders hoping to cope with the new demography, new economy, and new environment.  Urban Habitat and Working Partnerships are already engaging upcoming leaders in committing to racial justice and equality, committing to multiethnic and multiracial equality, making cross-sector linkages, and becoming lifelong learners.   Leadership institutes like these that work through a regionalist lens deserve our support on the road to a more equitable Bay Area.

How do we improve job quality, job creation, and job readiness for low-income communities of color?
The Bay Area has been host to pioneering work around community benefits strategies.  Holding developments accountable to the community is important, as is the underlying attempt to change widespread inequity through policy rather than proceeding battle by battle, development by development.  But it’s more than securing a part of a growing pie – it’s figuring out how to make the economy grow and prepare people for the new jobs.  Equity advocates should develop strategies based on new economic sectors, particularly in the green economy, and see where partnerships are possible with business and others.  On the job readiness side, we need to upgrade secondary and post-secondary education to train youth, support community colleges and others who provide retraining of adults in growing job sectors, and fashion effective reentry programs for those who are leaving prison and often returning to distressed communities. Finally, there’s not a worker to spare – stopping the abuses of ICE raids and securing a path to legalization is not just part of our justice agenda but part of our economic agenda.

How do we address the problem of foreclosures and housing stability in the region?

Solutions and salves for the foreclosure crisis are not springing up at the rate anyone would like.  But policy wonks and organizing friends from the south present new opportunities.  In the San Fernando Valley, a local church in coordination with One-LA is organizing 500 Latino immigrant families to negotiate with a bank, collectively, since individual efforts were getting them nowhere.  And taking a cue from the policy people, they could ask for loan modifications that extend the length of their mortgages, keep rates down, and keep families in their homes. In the longer-run, we need to increase the housing stock across the Bay Area.  Land banking is a unique opportunity for government:  the Emergency Assistance Act includes (unspecified) ways for how government can gather land from foreclosed and abandoned properties.  This might be an opportunity to combine properties and re-build with more homes per acre, increasing housing stock and affordability.

How do we resolve the transportation inequities that lead to underutilization of the system?
If we want to resolve what appears to be an unjust distribution of transportation resources, we must think regionally.  In Myron Orfield’s early analysis What If We Shared? – one of the first activities of what eventually became the Social Equity Caucus – we learned that transportation dollars have in recent history gone to the fringe, not the core.   Not much has changed but there are two opportunities.  One, the new state bill, SB 375, offers opportunities to steer transportation funding to urban core (read bus services) because it gives preferential treatment to smart growth transportation and land use planning. The second opportunity: we appear to be on the verge of a new White House Office of Urban Policy that will be thinking metro and including a place for community organizers and grassroots voices.  This might be a favorable place to bring demands for funds that will keep fiscally solvent the bus services that carry more than their share of low-income riders.  In any case, we need to craft a new model for transportation funding that is financially just, encourages the ridership of those who actually use the system, and creates the opportunities for connecting to employment.

How do we prepare the region to fully meet the new environmental challenges and opportunities of a greener Bay and a greener economy?
Although AB 32 looks like it will be implemented on shaky legs of cap and trade, there will be opportunities to improve it.  In five years, the reauthorization will open a door to present the uneven affects of co-pollutants in already toxic neighborhoods, if there are any, and to upgrade emission control strategies.  In the meantime, SB 375’s requirement to plan for cutting carbon emission may favor environmentally sound growth most feasible in the urban core – and national level efforts are likely to favor the creation of jobs shoring up and greening our infrastructure. While green jobs have always had at their heart opening opportunities for the long-time unemployed, the recent surge in joblessness might result in openings being taken by incumbent workers, instead.  Displaced workers deserve a shot but so do others; to help this, training facilities like high schools and community colleges with green programs should be located in low-income neighborhoods, and workforce developers and green investors must begin working together.

These are just the outlines of answers and an agenda to have a more inclusive, prosperous and sustainable Bay Area.  The intricacies of the new Bay Area will require a complex understanding of the problems and will necessitate painstaking efforts to get the right solutions.  But one thing to us is clear: you can’t get there without making equity central to the mission.

This was the basic idea that led to the creation of the Social Equity Caucus (SEC) ten years ago – that the region was where the action was, that inclusion was key to metropolitan success, and that to do this you needed the organized voice and policy ideas of those social justice advocates closest to the ground.  On this tenth anniversary of the SEC, that voice is still needed and it is our hope that this document and the data that we presented on December 15 will be of assistance to advocates as they chart their path for the next decade.


Affordable Housing Tour in San Leandro

San Leandro residents, elected officials, including the Mayor, developers, labor representatives and other stakeholders visit Lion Creek Crossing affordable housing development in Oakland as part of a Great Communities Collaborative tour featuring transit-oriented development in the East Bay.

Greenbelt Alliance and Urban Habitat, partners in the Great Communities Collaborative, took close to 50 residents, elected officials, community groups and other stakeholders from San Leandro on a tour featuring Transit Oriented Development in Oakland, Hayward and Union City. The purpose of the tour was to inspire good development that yields housing, labor, environmental, safety and economic benefits for the city, residents, workers and its employers.

We received some press coverage in the Daily Review.

Legacy Gallery Name: 
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Bertha Lewis Keynote Address SOR 2012

Berth Lewis Keynote from Urban Habitat on Vimeo.

On April 26, Urban Habitat hosted 120 Bay Area leaders for the annual State of the Region Conference at The California Endowment’s Oakland Conference Center. Social justice advocates came together to talk about equity, how to problem-solve, act, and organize.

Urban Habitat President and CEO Allen Fernandez Smith kicked off the event by celebrating the achievements of the more than 80 organizations in attendance, while outlining the important work being done in the region and all that still needs to be done moving forward.

Panel sessions explored the challenges in more depth, ranging across the board, from local and regional planning issues that affect low-income communities and people of color to the changing geography of race and class, the dissolution of redevelopment agencies, and regional agency reform. Workshops were offered to help social justice advocates build capacity to develop the tools they need to win regional campaigns, fund regional advocacy work, and build stronger inside-outside relationships with progressive decision-makers.

Keynote speakers Mitchell J. Silver, president of the American Planning Association, and Bertha Lewis, president and founder of The Black Institute, delivered exhilarating and passionate calls to action as they spoke about the changing demographic in the United States and how to ensure that low-income people and people of color have the infrastructure and policies in place to support their success.

To read and listen to an exclusive interview with Bertha Lewis or read the transcript of this speech please visit Radio RP&E: New Political Spaces.


New Political Spaces | Vol. 19, No. 1 – 2012 | Credits

Climate Change Panel

Local Decision Making in the Statewide Effort to Address Climate Change:
Where Do Low-Income Communities and Communities of Color Fit In?

with speakers:
Tara Marchant, Program Manager, Greenlining Institute
Rafael Aguilera, Principal and Green Consultant, The Verde Group
Nidia Bautista, Policy Director, Coalition for Clean Air
Evelyn Rangel-Media, Green-Collar Jobs Campaign Policy Director, Ella Baker Center

The first Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute Wednesday night panel, held on September23, was a lively discussion on the potential consequences and opportunities in addressing climate change through the implementation of AB 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, and the economic and social costs/benefits to communities, especially low-income communities and communities of color. Panelist outlined the nuts and bolts of the complex climate change legislation from role of the California Air Resource Board, options for how resources could be distributed, and the implications of a new green economy. Scroll down to download the presentations from the event by clicking on the image or link.

California stands as a leader with a strong commitment to combat global warming with the passage of AB 32, The Global Warming Solutions Act, authored by California Assembly members Fran Pavley and Fabian Nunez, which requires California to reduce Green House Gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2020. The implementation of AB 32 is set to commence in January of 2012. Other legislation currently under discussion in Sacramento (such as AB 1405 and SB 31) differentiates the mechanisms that may price carbon and distribute revenue in the implementation of AB 32. Our economic downturn creates both the best and worst moment for change.

Tara Marchant outlined how communities can influence policy and benefit from the implementation of AB 32. To reach 1990 emission levels, AB 32 institutes a series of GHG reduction mandates on vehicles, power plants, agriculture and buildings and communities have access to programs such as the weatherization and retrofitting of homes, appliance exchange out programs and new jobs through the emerging green economy. Specific language in AB32 ensures that communities have input in the implementation process and that disadvantaged communities will benefit from public and private investments.

Rafael Aguilar discussed the market mechanism clause of AB 32 and the numerous options for carbon pricing and revenue distribution that the California Air Resource Board is considering. The goal of carbon pricing is to protect consumers by increasing cost for polluters. Unfortunately, higher prices for energy companies will trickle down to the communities that are already burdened with high energy cost. One of the revenue distribution options could offset higher consumer costs through direct rebates and ultimately lead to energy cost savings for the most impacted communities.

Evelyn Rangel-Media and Nidia Bautista talked about supporting legislation that provides an alternative revenue distribution plan that would provide community benefits to low-income communities and neighborhoods most impacted by climate change and global warming. The Carbon Trust Fund, also known as SB 31, would provide guidance to CARB that would lead to additional GHG reduction though the investment of a percentage of carbon pricing revenue into 1) the
administration of the Carbon Trust Funds, 2) renewable energy and energy efficiency, specifically in disadvantaged communities, 3) new technology and 4) green job development and training that will offer pathways out of poverty. AB 1405, the Community Benefit Fund, is complementary to SB31 and will identify specific neighbors to receive investment based on how they are impacted by climate change and global warming
Greenlining Institute AB 32 Presentation

Delegation Members

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   Jaime Alvarado
   Somos Mayfair
   Executive Director



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 Boona Cheema
  
 Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS)   
 Executive Director 



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  Elvira Solanes
   
  Womens Initiative  
  Financial Services Associate

 

 %alt

  Fredericka Bryant   
  Ma'at Youth Academy   
  Environmental Educator   

 

 
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  Ericka Erickson  
 
  Marin Grassroots Leadership Network   
  Community Education Coordinator

 

 

 

Urban Habitat Staff:

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Connie Galambos  
Social Equity Caucus Coordinator

 

 

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  Diana Abellera   
  Leadership Institute Coordinator    

 


 %alt

 

  Jess Clarke   
  Race, Poverty & the Environment Editor

 

Hope in the Horizontal

by Jess Clarke

The U.S. Social forum brought together 10,000 activists from organizations across the United States in an experiment in movement building and popular education unlike any in recent memory.  Picking up where the anti-globalization coalitions of the 1990s left off, the assembled forces had the sort of momentum that was building just before the Seattle WTO protests in 1999.  But today,  the political agenda is far broader and the isolation by issue is less extreme. While still lacking in crucial elements of a successful social change movement, (including participation from organized workers and practicing people of faith)  this assemblage may hold the seeds for the development of a radical movement in the United States—but not any time soon.

The forum's aspirations were from a pragmatic political point of view quite minimalist. "More than a networking bonanza, more than a reaction to war and repression," the website proclaims, "The USSF will provide space to build relationships, learn from each other's experiences, share our analysis of the problems our communities face, and bring renewed insight and inspiration. It will help develop leadership and develop consciousness, vision, and strategy needed to realize another world."  

There were no plans to launch a national campaign against a corporate target, no nascent development of an electoral party capable of challenging the current party duopoly, no national program for economic disruption of key war industries as a material contribution to peace.

But from an educators point of view the forum was centered on all the key ingredients of a participatory educational experience: relationships, learning, analysis, insight, and inspiration to develop leadership, consciousness and vision. At the core of this process was the workshop exchange.  Over 1000 workshops were presented, almost all by forum registrants who also attended other folks workshops. Every major thematic in today's social movements was represented from immigrant rights to gender liberation.  Trainings in media making, messaging, organizing basics, economic analysis, undoing racism, health care access, reparations the list is exhaustive.

Were this massive horizontal exchange of information, strategy and skills training to have been conducted on a fee driven basis it would have had an economic value of millions of dollars.  The people participating were mostly under 40, many in their 20s.  A substantial number of people were of color and the conference had a visible and audible presence from the queer and trans communities. All of  the eight workshops I attended were worthwhile, some were overenrolled, some were less than perfectly organized but my impression from talking with many delegates was that the presentations and dialogues were more often than not hitting the mark and making the connections.  The logistical success of this workshop extravaganza was noted by many many people and particularly appreciated by those who had gone to World Social Forums where disorganizations reigned.

None the less Logistical and political missteps were clearly visible, the media justice center was crammed into backstage dressing rooms behind a labyrinth of halls and stairways made inaccessible to even the alternative media, much less the masses.  Security screeners kept many poor folks and Atlanta residents from coming into the civic center.  Swank hotels held the meetings hostage to erratic elevator service, and community venues were often so far offsite that only someone with an automobile and a local guide could have made it to any two theater workshops in a row but overall one result was clear:

People learned from one another.

That's significant. If they learned anything close to what the presenters alleged to have been teaching, these thousands of young people are in an excellent position to return home to their own communities with the confidence that in hundreds of cities, towns and counties across this country other people like them are struggling to solve the challenges of winning economic and social justice for all.  And they should have a fistful of business cards, scribbled contact names, email addresses and cell phone numbers tapped into their mobiles to be able talk to those allies when they are ready to launch their own national tour.

On the other hand, the attempts to "build a movement" through the plenary sessions which were promoted as dialogues fell quickly into the abyss of something that might be aphoristically called "red television".  In front of an audience of thousands, shivering in the concert style over-air conditioned hall of the Atlanta Civic Center, small figures seated at conference style desks in front of a huge red backdrop exchanged rhetorical insights and sound bites to thunderous and repeated applause.  

The almost pep rally fervor followed by semi-scripted two minute soundbites from the floor hardly called for much heavy mental lifting and left no real room for dialogue.  On the last day of the conference, this theatrical part of the operation fell though into bickering over time limits, disrespecting elders and gripes and laments about stage access.  The final act pulled back the red curtain to reveal a movement that still lacks the essentials capacity to work together against the common opponent and oppressor, global capital.

I am heartened by the fact that there was no false attempt to impose a national strategy at this gathering.  I am delighted that I never heard participation in the democrats  2008 election campaign promoted as a central means of winning social justice  ( I do admit I avoided anyone who looked like they might say that .) I reveled in the absence of celebrity speakers and national entertainers that so infest the left gatherings in the bay area.  Yet it did seem a sign of our weakness that there was no attempt made to unify around even the most simple action steps to end the U.S. war, challenge privatization or defend immigrant rights.


Small groups with local agendas seeking national allies, visibility and connections staged mini-demonstrations just through their uniform visual presence in printed t shirts featuring their groups demands.  Domestic workers managed to pull together a national network. Immigrant rights groups stages some national press conferences and built on their already nascent national networks. Climate change organizers strengthened their training and outreach capacities.  National networks took advantage of the occasion to hold training or decision making meetings of their own.

It seems, as the radical minority within the United States that feels the necessity to build another world, we are going to have to think small.  It is abundantly clear that skin-deep united fronts controlled by white liberals that are afraid to say the word capitalism are not going to transform this society. We are going to need to look in our own wallets, in out own psychic closets. in our own close-knit networks that have enough quivering energy to bridge to close-knit networks not our own, in order to survive and transform the fragmented, alienating and harsh conditions of capitalism in the Americas.  We are going to need friends who can keep our backs as the struggles intensify and the stakes are raised. And we are going to need allies that arise from places, cultures and spiritualities not our own.

Then working together, across the chasms of identity, sexuality, class, race and region, we are going to have to identify the leverage points where we can disrupt business as usual, win political and social space for experiments in equality and practice a warrior form of peace.

It seemed at this conference I felt the stirring of such ideas.. But this is a young movement that will have to find a new path through battlegrounds littered with the shards of sectarian politics, infiltrators and co-optation of the past.

Something deeply practical and deeply  dangerous needs to be done. I sure hope these kids figure out what it is. When they do, I plan to follow their lead.


B, Jess Clarke is an advanced cynic who still finds room for hope in a species doomed to create a global catastrophe.


Immigrant Rights Movement

by Jaime Alvarado 

Like many people that attended the US Social Forum in Atlanta, I was excited by all that I was witnessing and part of; thousands of activists and believers sharing, debating, learning, teaching, fortifying ourselves for the long but beautiful struggle.  Like so many others, I was also pulled back home, my thoughts with the people in my community, the allies in the immigrant rights movement and all those that were continuing to organize for a just and humane immigration reform.   Our own team at Somos Mayfair in San Jose was in the midst of actions to ensure that our community's voices were part of the debate.  Part of me wanted to be home, to be with our team and our community. 

We were all still at the USSF on the day that the news broke about the collapse of the Senate debate.  Rightly so, many, maybe most, breathed a collective sigh of relief that a bad, dangerous bill had been defeated.  I agreed with this assessment but in spite of my analysis I felt as though we had all been kicked in the stomach.  I thought of the many people at home, in my neighborhood that marched, that dared to publicly admit that they are here without papers, I thought of the families that filled the streets after the marches.  The streets filled with families returning home together, proud and hopeful, a whole community filling the streets until late at night, daring to come out of the shadows, making the streets of San Jose a beautiful display of all that is possible. 

I know the struggle for immigrants' rights moves forward and that no one in the world is more resilient that the millions of immigrants that each day persevere through relentless challenges.  The collapse of the Senate bill will be one more challenge that our community will survive.  Nonetheless, in that moment, I felt we all needed to acknowledge the need for us to collectively mourn, to acknowledge the dashed hopes of literally millions of immigrants who allowed themselves to believe in the collective power of all of us, and to believe in the possibility of legal immigration status for themselves and their families.  Yet in what I saw at the USSF, we didn't take that moment to mourn. 

Since we've returned from the US Social Forum, we have all moved forward.  While I don't think most of us believe fully in the possibility of justice for immigrants within the existing political an economic framework of the United States and international capital, we move forward.  As we move forward, we begin by taking the time to acknowledge our individual and collective anger and disappointment.  We acknowledge the need to press forward with a new approach, one that preserves the beauty and power of the immigrants' rights movement's successes of the past two years while committing to build the missing pieces of a movement that will be durable and unstoppable.  Those missing pieces include all the liberal, progressive and radical critics that found fault and reason to wait on the sidelines.  They include first and second-generation immigrants from places other than Mexico and Central America.  They include the millions of native-born Americans that are sympathetic but largely unmoved to take action.  And most of all, the biggest missing piece is an overarching strategic framework for a progressive movement that dares to expand beyond the predictable pockets of sanctuary in which most of us live.  The biggest promise of the USSF is in the creation of such a framework.  This work remains to be done.

See also:  NNIRR  Migrant Diaries blog on the forum

Indigenous Voices

Voices We Heard From The Heart Of Mother Earth:
Spoken To you from my Accountability

by boona cheema

It don’t take a day to recognize sun
It don’t take a mountain climb to feel the earth
It don’t take but a tear to feel the water
It don’t take but a birds wing to feel the air
It don’t take nothing to commit to accountability

There is a place on the great waters of the  Copper River in Alaska which the native people’s have named the Center of the Universe, as I heard the powerful sounds of hope, lineage stories of struggles and genocide, the militarization of the islands, the pollution of the waters, the ravaging of the earth, stripped of all rights my spirit moved from the that center to the once impenetrable wall of the United States Department of  INJUSTICE informed and in partnership with the peoples at the Indigenous Plenary of the USSocial forum..  This wall must be penetrated, torn down, stripped of its hypocricy, its lies, its broken treaties, its ongoing behaviors and actions which create, suffering, death and eventual disappearance of all that we hold sacred.

Allies of the indigenous people’s were called upon to hold ourselves accountable for our role in the continued struggle for the return of  the sun, earth and all that is in it, water and air to the right full owners and better stewards so all our seven generations have a place they can call home.

As a new immigrant I have blood on my hands when in my struggles for my people I have not stood as straight or walked as tall reached out as  to the indigenous people of this land II could have and now must , support and help and forward their struggles at this most critical time for my past actions hold myself accountable and have blood on my hands.

Some of the words of the powerful speakers:

“ Indigeous rights are the foundation of human rights  and we have to come to term with that” said Julie fisher of the Western Shoshone Defence Project”

“It is an amazing testament to the resilience that indigenous peoples are still here” Ikaki Hussey  Aloha Anina Society

“There is a path towards peace..It will take all of us standing TOGETHER Enei Begaye of the Black Mesa Co-Alition,

The call to accountability was made: Let us hear it deeply.

 

 

 

Local Hire Campaigns: Fall Quarterly - September 10, 2010

Local Hire Campaigns: What's Happening
Right Now in the Bay Area

Local hire requirements in public and private projects can be a powerful means by which advocates and city and county governmental decision makers can work together to put local residents to work and influence socioeconomic equity.

In January of this year, a small group of advocates and decision makers came together during the Second Annual Social Equity Caucus State of the Region to share best practices, updates, and new strategies for winning strong local hire agreements and making sure that those agreements are effectively implemented, resourced, and supported.

This meeting is useful for advocates and decision makers from all sectors, including community groups, labor groups, and city and local electeds, staff, and commissioners from around the Bay. Many shared about their work related to local hire and others asked questions about how to move local hire campaigns for the communities they represent.

Read the speaker's bio and hear the podcast of their presentation:

* Juliet Ellis, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission and Executive Director of Urban Habitat, PUC and Urban Habitat
*
Joshua Arce, Executive Director, Brightline Defense Project
* John Brauer, Executive Director, The Workforce Collaborative
* Bernida Reagan, Director of Community and Client Relations, Merriwether Williams Insurance Services


MTC Stalls Adoption of EJ Principles

MTC Stalls Adoption of EJ Principles

Earlier this month, the MTC’s Minority Citizens Advisory Committee (MCAC) proposed Environmental Justice Principles before the MTC’s Legislation Committee. The MTC’s Legislation Committee decided to further postpone the adoption and thus, the implementation of the EJ principles. The MCAC has been working for the past year and a half on drafting their proposed set of EJ principles. The effort began as a result of MCAC’s work in reviewing the methodology used in the MTC’s Equity Analysis of the Transportation 2030 Alternatives. The MCAC adopted these principles late in 2004, and voted to submit them to the Commission for its consideration and approval more than a year ago. At that time, however, the Commissioners refused, claiming that the principles wrongly implied that MTC’s distribution of funding was discriminatory. The TJWG will continue to support the MCAC in their efforts to incorporate EJ considerations into all of the MTC’s planning, decision-making, funding and operations.

See below for TJWG letter to MCAC on EJ principles:

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Popular Education

Connecting Movements through Education

by Diana Abellera

The Mecca of popular education, the US Social Forum allowed practitioners to share techniques, challenges, and opportunities that different movements are utilizing internally to build leadership and overcome oppression. Building a movement requires people power. Building people power involves connecting individuals to –isms.  Connecting individuals to –isms opens the door to liberation, and here we have the essence of popular education.

The most effective workshop I experienced at the US Social Forum followed this path. Oakland based non-profit Leadership Excellence held a workshop entitled, “Engaging Black Youth.”  The organization’s curriculum framework debunks internalized and interpersonal oppression as a critical piece of individual leadership development.  Participants continue to work on overcoming systemic oppression through sustained support and training.  In two hours, we got a snippet of how this plays out.  First, a presentation broke down commercial hip hop roots in sexism, racism, and capitalism.  Analyzing mainstream videos and lyrics allowed participants to think critically about the underlying messages black children and youth are exposed to daily. We then processed the difference between who we are and what we do: oftentimes our actions are reactions to emotions driven by our environment, but essentially we are free and open to what awaits us in the world.  All of these exercises set us up for a 15 minute activity that would flip our worlds upside down.

While most participants engaged in the presentations and analysis with Executive Director Dereca Blackmon, a handful of women and a handful of men stepped outside to prepare for an activity called the “Walk Through.”  During this section five women lined up on the stage, while five men waited outside the room behind a closed door.  One at a time, the men were released and instructed to slowly walk on the floor in front of the women.  Conjuring up raw emotions and harsh words that had been inflicted upon them in the past, the women verbally attacked each man in the same way they had been treated by other black men. 

“I guess you’ll do… I’ll put a bag over your face.” 

“I didn’t think you really meant no.” 

“That can’t be my baby; we only had sex once… I mean twice.” 

A hard, cold stare accompanied the abrasive sentences.  After all of the men walked the line, we listened to both sexes’ thoughts and reactions to the exercise.  Emotions flooded the room from both the participants and the audience members.  Anger, apologies, tears, and promises to change emerged.  We could have processed what had just occurred for days.             

Understanding that Leadership Excellence’s primary principle acknowledges that leadership needs to come from within the community, I initially hesitated to attend.   However, I’m glad that I went as I found a way to actually achieve the purpose of the US Social Forum.  As a space designed to connect movements, the Forum offered us an invaluable opportunity to learn from each other and see how all of the pieces fit together.   We as a movement need groups like Leadership Excellence at the core of our work to guide individuals and work with them to build strength to truly tackle the systems that we all are fighting.  

Other pop ed resources:

Project South- published curriculum including Critical Classroom, It Ain’t Just about a Vote, Today’s Globalization, etc.- Atlanta, GA

Brecht Forum- New York, NY

Massachusetts Global Action Center- Boston, MA

Center for Political Education- San Francsico, CA

School of Unity and Liberation (SOUL)- Oakland, CA
Global Justice Center- Mexico

Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory- New York, NY

Environmental Justice and Climate Change

Selected workshops on Popular Education

--Critical Classroom: Education for Liberation & Movement Building
--Popular Education for Movement Building: Consciousness, Vision & Strategy
--Popular Education for Social & Economic Transformation: Case Stories from Around the Globe
--The Coalition of Immokalee Workers: Fighting for Fair Food
--Educating for Another World: Political Organizing and Movement Strategies

Excel worksheet below with times and locations. 

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Romel Pascual, Deputy Mayor for the Energy and the Environment, Los Angeles Mayor's Office

Romel PascualRomel Pascual serves as the Deputy Mayor of Environment, Los Angeles Mayor’s Office, where he is responsible for developing and implementing the Mayor’s environmental and energy agenda. He is a senior adviser on all environmental priorities for the mayor, including climate change, environmental justice, green economy, open space, brownfields redevelopment, and sustainability. Prior to coming to the Mayor’s office, Romel served as California’s first Assistant Secretary for Environmental Justice from 2000 to 2004, and as the Regional Coordinator of EPA Region 9’s Environmental Justice Program. Romel’s involvement with environmental issues began in community organizations and grassroots leadership. He has worked with Urban Habitat and with the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN) and has served on several environmental organization boards. He holds a master's degree in City and Regional Planning from U.C. Berkeley.
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SB375 Panel

Transportation, Land Use, Housing and SB 375

with speakers:
Bob Allen, Director of Transportation, Urban Habitat
Amanda Eaken, Land Use Policy Analyst, Natural Resources Defense Council
Ann C. Chan, Director of California Programs, Center for Clean Air Policy
Evelyn Stivers, Field Director, Non-Profit Housing Association

The second Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute Wednesday night panel shed light on the relationship between transportation, land use, housing, and climate change and the opportunities that SB 375 may offer in advancing regional equity as it meets its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. SB 375 is one of the many new legislative bills, including AB32, the Waxman-Marky Bill, and the federal transportation reauthorization bill, that have the potential to address climate change and provide funding opportunities for public transportation. Scroll down to download the presentation and materials from the event by clicking on the links or click the image.

The California Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act (SB 375) links regional transportation planning processes to land use planning in an effort to meet the greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets created through AB 32. The goal of this legislation is to develop regional plans that encourage compact development served by high quality public transit and reduce the need to drive. SB 375 relies primarily on transportation funding incentives and improved planning processes to achieve its goals, and works with processes already established by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), and the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA). It also relies on the recommendations of the Regional Targets Advisory Committee (RTAC) for setting emissions reduction targets.

Amanda Eaken, one of the writers of SB 375, provided an overview the bill. Major components of SB 375 are the addition of the Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS) element, consistency requirements to the Regional Transportation Plans (RTP) completed by Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) to secure transportation funding, and new CEQA exemptions. The SCS element outlines how regions will meet GHG reduction targets through land use and transportation planning that support compact, transit-oriented development. In addition to creating the SCS element, SB 375 aligns and requires consistency between RTPs, regional housing allocations, and uses CEQA to deter sprawl and support development projects that will meet the goals of the SCS.

According to Eaken, SB 375 includes co-benefits that will positively impact communities as a result of SB 375. Compact development patterns will result in taxpayer savings through reduced infrastructure cost, farmland and habitat protections through the reduction of sprawl, improved public health as people live in more walkable communities, and fuel and water savings.  

Ann C. Chan discussed some of the health and equity implications of SB 375. She noted that there has not been significant analysis of the equity concerns of SB 375.  While there will be health benefits as a result of lower GHG emissions, equity concerns exist around the potential for displacement and gentrification and housing and transit price increases. A major concern is that the new CEQA exemptions could be used to undermine advocacy efforts in low-income communities and communities of color.

Bob Allen outlined the current Regional Transportation Planning process, which has created an unequal transportation system that disenfranchises low-income communities, and the opportunities for SB 375 to support a more equitable transportation system. Equity groups have not been successful having their priority projects included in the RTP, and too often committed projects fail to adequately benefit transit dependent populations. Although MPOs set ambitious goals around creating a transportation plan that address the transit needs of all communities and positively affect climate change, SB 375 will create a system that forces MPOs to follow through and support a transportation system that reduces GHG emissions and provides safe, reliable transit service for all communities. SB 375 has the potential to bring in new funding sources for public transportation and create a connection between transportation justice and sustainability.

Evelyn Stivers emphasized that affordable housing is the key to creating and maintaining strong communities. Currently, local jurisdictions are guided by the RHNA and housing element in general plans to map how cities will create the full income spectrum of housing based on growth projections and decide where affordable housing will be located and how much to build. Affordable housing advocates are not clear exactly on how SB 375 will impact the distribution of affordable housing throughout the region. While SB375 promotes higher-density development, high density does not automatically correlate with the creation of more affordable housing. In many case the families that need affordable housing also rely on public transportation, and the implementation of SB 375 could create land speculation around transit areas and increase land prices that would displace affordable housing developments that are less transit accessible.

All of the panelists agreed that SB 375 has the potential to dramatically shape development in the region, but most were unsure of the direct impacts on low-income communities and communities of color. As of now, both regional and local decision makers and equity advocates are trying to better understand what SB 375 means for the communities that they serve.

 

 

State of the Region 2011

[1] SOR 2011 C. 2011 Scott BraleyOn Wednesday, January 12, 2011, Urban Habitat and the Bay Area Social Equity Caucus (SEC) hosted its third annual State of the Region event at the David Brower Center in Berkeley, California. The purpose of the event was to convene a wide range of decision-makers, policy experts, academics, and leaders from foundations, labor groups and community-based organizations throughout the Bay Area to identify effective solutions to some of the most pressing regional issues affecting Bay Area low-income communities and communities of color, and to foster the strategic partnerships needed to advance equity in the region. [2] SOR 2011 C. 2011 Scott BraleyOver 100 people participated in this year’s event, which focused on the following four topics: mitigating climate change and retaining community wealth through community choice aggregation networks; leveraging regional transportation investments to create local quality jobs; preventing displacement in transit-oriented communities; and utilizing land-use policy and coalition-building to increase the amount of affordable housing. Some presenters who spoke at the event included Paul Fenn, President of Local Power Inc. and author of California’s Community Choice Aggregation legislation; Claudia Hudson, President of The Amalgamated Transit Union 192; Richard Marcantonio, Managing Attorney at Public Advocates; Carlos Romero, mayor of East Palo Alto; and Leslie Moody, Executive Director of The Partnership for Working Families. Keynote speaker Dr. Anthony Iton, Senior Vice President for Healthy Communities at The California Endowment, discussed the intersection of race, poverty, and health in the Bay Area. 

For more detailed information about the issues addressed at the event or for audio recordings of the keynote address and breakout session presentations, please click on one of the links below:

* Tony Iton - Keynote Speech
* Community Choice Aggregation
* Transportation Investments and Job Creation
* Zoning and Affordable Housing
* Preventing Displacement in Transit-Oriented Communities

Tony Iton Keynote Speech - State of the Region 2011

[3] SOR 2011 C. 2011 Scott BraleyAnthony Iton, Healthy Communities at The California Endowment, Senior Vice PresidentAnthony Iton is Senior Vice President for Healthy Communities at The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation whose mission is to expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians. Prior to his current role at the California Endowment, Dr. Iton served for seven years as the Alameda County Public Health Department Director and Health Officer, where he oversaw an agency with a budget of $112 million with a focus on preventing communicable disease outbreaks, reducing the burden of chronic disease and obesity, and managing the county’s preparedness for biological terrorism. Dr. Iton’s primary interest is the health of disadvantaged populations and the contributions of race, class, wealth, education, geography, and employment to health status. He has asserted that in every public health area of endeavor, public health practitioners must recognize that they are confronted with the enduring consequences of structural poverty, institutional racism, and other forms of systemic injustice.He further asserts that the only sustainable approach to eliminating health inequities is through the design of intensive, multi-sectoral, place-based interventions that are specifically designed to identify existing assets and build social, political and economic power among a critical mass of community residents in historically under-resourced communities. In the fall of 2009, Dr. Iton moved to The California Endowment to help oversee the organization’s 10-Year, Multimillion-Dollar Statewide Commitment to Advance Policies and Forge Partnerships to Build Healthy Communities and a Healthy California.
 
Dr. Iton received his medical degree at Johns Hopkins Medical School and subsequently trained in internal medicine and preventive medicine at New York Hospital, Yale, and Berkeley and is board certified in both specialties. Dr. Iton has also received a law degree and a Master’s of Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley, and is a member of the California Bar. He has worked as an HIV disability rights attorney at the Berkeley Community Law Center, a health care policy analyst with Consumers Union West Coast Regional Office, and as a physician and advocate for the homeless at the San Francisco Public Health Department.  His experience practicing both medicine and law independently has enabled him to blend both disciplines in the day-to-day practice of public health and in responding to recent public health emergencies, such as SARS and anthrax.

Awards include the Champion of Children Award from the United Way; the National Association of City and County Health Officials Award of Excellence for the use of information technology in public health; the 2009 Clean Air Award from Breathe California; and the HeartSaver Award from the American Heart Association. In 2006, he was awarded the prestigious Milton and Ruth Roemer Prize for Creative Public Health Work, awarded by the American Public Health Association to a US local health official in recognition of outstanding creative and innovative public health work.  In February 2010, Dr. Iton was recognized by the California Legislative Black Caucus with the Black History Month Legends Award and presented on the floor of the California State Assembly with a resolution memorializing his life's work and achievements.

He serves on the board of directors of the Public Health Institute, the Public Health Trust, the Prevention Institute, Jobs for the Future, and formerly served in various leadership roles at the Health Officers Association of California, the California Conference of Local Health Officers, and the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

Community Choice Aggregation

[4] SOR 2011 C. 2011 Scott BraleyElectricity use is the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the Bay Area. Therefore, improving energy efficiency and transitioning to cleaner sources of energy can help mitigate the inequitable effects of climate change and pollution in the Bay Area. Community Choice Aggregation or CCA—a system which allows cities and counties in California to aggregate the buying power of individuals in order to secure alternative energy supply contracts—is one tool that can help achieve these objectives. Advocates claim that a CCA, if structured properly, can reduce green house gas emissions and pollution in the region and create quality jobs locally by retaining the billions of dollars Bay Area residents spend on electricity every year. In this session, we brought together elected officials, government staff, energy policy experts, labor groups and environmental justice advocates from around the region to examine the potential benefits of CCA, the challenges communities face in creating such networks, and the strategies low-income communities and communities of color can utilize to overcome them.

Presenter Bios
[4] Paul Fenn - SOR 2011 C. 2011 Scott Braley
Paul Fenn is CEO of Local Power Inc., an energy services bureau helping America's cities and counties accelerate the deployment of competitively-priced, utility-scale, privately-operated clean energy projects. Fenn is the author of California's 2002 Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) law (AB 117), which allows cities to develop local, utility-scale clean energy infrastructure, financed with tax-free municipal bonds. Fenn was co-author and consultant on similar Community Choice energy laws in Massachusetts, Ohio, New Jersey and Rhode Island. Most recently, Fenn was primary author of San Francisco's Community Choice Draft Implementation Plan and H Bond Program, which established a framework to provide competitive energy supply for 360 megawatts of solar, wind, efficiency and conservation technologies to make San Francisco 51% clean-powered by 2017.
[6] Shawn Marshall - SOR 2011 C. 2011 Scott Braley
Shawn Marshall was elected to the Mill Valley City Council in 2005 and served as the City’s mayor in 2008. Prior to her term on the Council, Shawn worked as a consultant to the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C., and as a community investment advisor and public affairs manager at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Shawn is president of the League of California Cities North Bay Division, which represents the interests of 31 bay area cities in Sacramento. She is incoming vice-chair of Marin County Council of Mayors and Council members (MCCMC) and serves on MCCMC’s Legislative Committee as well. She is an alternate executive board member of the Association of Bay Area Governments and was recently appointed vice chair of Marin’s newest joint powers agency, Marin Energy Authority. Shawn was born and raised in Southern Marin and is a graduate of the University of California at Davis and a Class 36 graduate of the Environmental Forum’s Sustainable Earth program.

[7] John Rizzo - SOR 2011 C. 2011 Scott BraleyJohn Rizzo is a technology writer and author, and currently serves as the Vice President of the San Francisco Community College District Board of Trustees, where he chairs the Board's Facilities, Infrastructure, and Technology Committee and serves as a member of the Budget Committee. Rizzo is a leader of several environmental initiatives, including a District-wide Sustainability Plan that sets green standards District operations and building projects, including one of San Francisco’s first LEED Gold-certified green buildings. Rizzo also led an effort to create a green-jobs training program for disadvantaged communities and at-risk youth. In 2008, John won a commendation from the San Francisco Board of Supervisors for his work in environmental advocacy in keeping fossil fuel power plants out of low-income neighborhoods and for promoting clean energy technologies. John is former chair of the Sierra Club’s Bay Area chapter, currently serves on the chapter’s Executive Board, and is the political chair. For over ten years, John was a commissioner on the Golden Gate Park Concourse Authority. Rizzo holds a bachelor of science degree in engineering from Rutgers University.

[8] Joshua Arce - SOR 2011 C. 2011 Scott BraleyJoshua Arce is the Executive Director of Brightline Defense Project, an advocacy organization that promotes sustainability and opportunity in traditionally underserved communities. Brightline’s key areas of focus are in advancing environmental justice, ensuring job creation and retention, and advocating for the development of fair, affordable, and sustainable housing. Josh has done a lot of work on local hire in San Francisco and recently co-published the report “The Failure of Good Faith: Local Hiring Policy Analysis and Recommendations for San Francisco,” which documents San Francisco’s failure in meeting its goal of 50% local resident hiring on public works projects paid for by the City. Josh is an attorney by training and holds a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. He received a B.A. degree in Political Science from U.C.L.A.

 

Recommended readings:

* Community Power: Decentralized Renewable Energy in California by Al Weinrub
* Marin Clean Energy Briefing Booklet

Transportation Investments and Job Creation

[8] SOR 2011 C. 2011 Scott BraleyBecause transportation investments have proven to be an effective method of creating quality jobs, government agencies have historically used such investments as an economic development tool. In this session, we brought together elected officials, government staff, policy experts, labor leaders, and transportation justice advocates from around the region to identify which transportation investments have the largest potential for creating quality jobs in the Bay Area, which communities would most likely benefit from these investments, and what strategies we could employ to win equitable transportation funding decisions.

Presenter Bios
Andreas Cluver is secretary-treasurer for the Alameda County Building Trades Council, and has been working for the labor movement for the last 12 years as a business representative for the building trades.Andreas Cluver - SOR 2011 C. 2011 Scott Braley Prior to his work with the labor movement, Cluver worked with community groups and the City of Oakland as a compliance officer to ensure that Oakland residents had access to the good union apprenticeships and jobs generated by public works projects.  Cluver also worked with local community groups to strengthen community participation in the planning process, and helped to develop policies that would ensure that downtown development would benefit all of Oakland’s neighborhoods.  Cluver worked as a consultant evaluating job training programs designed to assist farm and dislocated workers.  Finally, Cluver spent time in Mozambique working as a project manager overseeing the construction of schools, health posts, and roads in the war-torn country. Claudia Hudson - SOR 2011 C. 2011 Scott Braley Cluver holds a masters in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.  Prior to getting his degree, Cluver worked many years as a stage carpenter and electrician in various cities around the Country.

Claudia Hudson is a bus driver and the president of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 192, which represents AC Transit workers.  Hudson is a leader both in the Bay Area and nationally in the movement to build stronger partnerships between labor, transit riders, and community based organizations fighting for greater transportation equity.Bob Allen - SOR 2011 C. 2011 Scott Braley
 
Bob Allen is director of the Transportation Justice Program for Urban Habitat. Allen’s background and experience include community planning and policy work both in the United States and overseas with international non-governmental organizations. While at UH, Allen led the successful 2008 campaign to help pass a regional measure, Measure VV, which raised funds to keep bus passes affordable for seniors, youth, and disabled riders.  Currently, Allen is leading UH’s efforts on federal and state transportation advocacy.  Allen received both his bachelors degree in Political Science and History and his masters in Public Administration from Rutgers University.

Leslie Moody - SOR 2011 C. 2011 Scott BraleyLeslie Moody is executive director of the Partnership for Working Families, a national organization dedicated to building power and transforming the economy and environment for workers and communities. Moody helped found The Partnership and has served as executive director since 2007.  Prior to this national role, Moody spent 15 years changing Colorado’s organizing and political landscape, including a decade as the first woman president of the Denver Area Labor Federation, AFL-CIO.  Her union and community leadership helped build a unified movement which transformed the state political alignment, raised the minimum wage, and elected a new era of leaders at all levels of government.  Moody co-founded the Front Range Economic Strategy Center (FRESC), and co-chaired the successful community benefits campaign at the Cherokee-Gates brownfield redevelopment. Committed to building a diverse and effective movement, Moody has helped train thousands of union, community and student organizers, led organizing and policy campaigns impacting tens of thousands of low-wage workers, and helped block millions of dollars in public subsidy to Wal-Mart and other low-road employers.

Zoning and Affordable Housing

Requiring cities to zone for affordable housing in job and transit-rich communities can be an effective strategy for ensuring that the region’s affordable housing needs are met. In this session, we brought together affordable housing advocates and developers, elected officials, government staff and land-use policy experts from around the region to assess the magnitude of the problem and to identify strategies and policy tools at the local and regional level to help advocates ensure that each city zones for its fair share of the region’s affordable housing needs.

Richard A. Marcantionio - SOR 2011 C. 2011 Scott BraleyPRESENTER BIOS
Richard A. Marcantonio is managing attorney at the nonprofit law firm and advocacy organization, Public Advocates, where he works on civil rights issues in the areas of affordable housing, transportation equity, and insurance redlining. Marcantonio received his A.B. from Princeton University and graduated cum laude from New York University School of Law. After clerking for the Hon. Robert L. Carter, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York, Marcantonio practiced civil and appellate litigation for five years at the Howard, Rice law firm in San Francisco.  Marcantonio then served as director of litigation at Legal Aid of the North Bay for nine years, specializing in housing issues in Marin and Napa Counties.  Richard has served as lead counsel in a number of housing law suits, including Urban Habitat Program v. City of Pleasanton.
[Shamus Roller- SOR 2011 C. 2011 Scott Braley
Shamus Roller is executive director of the Sacramento Housing Alliance (SHA), which is in its 21st year promoting affordable housing and increased opportunities for low income people and the homeless.  In 2007, the SHA, Legal Services of Northern California, the Environmental Council of Sacramento and other organizations launched the Coalition on Regional Equity (CORE), a coalition building, organizing and policy advocacy project made up of over 20 organizations and individuals working strategically to improve the pattern of development and investment in the Sacramento region.  Roller’s previous work includes managing street outreach programs for homeless youth in Portland, Oregon and San Francisco, directing a meditation and yoga program for youth in juvenile halls, and working as a civil rights attorney. Roller is a graduate of Reed College in Portland, Oregon and the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.

Vu-Bang- SOR 2011 C. 2011 Scott BraleyVu-Bang Nguyen is the land-use program coordinator for Urban Habitat, and began his journey into the world of land use planning after studying Architecture at the University of California (UC) – Berkeley, with an emphasis on City and Regional Planning and Design in the Third World, while also working for the City Planning Departments of San Jose, Oakland and Berkeley, CA.  He continued his studies at UC - Berkeley and completed a masters in City and Regional Planning with an emphasis on Community Development and Land Use Planning.  His research included working with the San Jose Redevelopment Agency on increasing community engagement in the City’s Strong Neighborhoods Initiative, especially among San Jose’s Vietnamese American population.  After City Planning positions for the City of Berkeley and Town of Los Gatos, Vu-Bang switched to the private development side as a project manager for a real estate development company in San Jose, CA.  He is Urban Habitat's site coordinator for the Great Communities Collaborative, working in several planning efforts throughout the Bay Area including Sunnyvale and East Palo Alto.  Vu-Bang is a member of the American Planning Adhi Nagraj- SOR 2011 C. 2011 Scott BraleyAssociation (APA), and the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).

Adhi Nagraj is currently a project manager at Mid-Peninsula Housing Coalition where he is developing affordable housing projects across the Bay Area. Nagraj worked previously at the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation as a project manager, building housing for the formerly homeless and seniors.  An attorney by training, Nagraj was an associate attorney at Farella, Braun & Martel in San Francisco and Meyers Nave in Oakland. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Oakland’s Youth Uprising, the Restoration Association for Improving the Landmark 16th Street Station in West Oakland, and the Oakland Housing Authority.

Preventing Displacement In Transit-Oriented Communities

[5] SOR 2011 C. 2011 Scott BraleyWhile transit-oriented development or TOD offers many economic and environmental benefits for low-income communities and communities of color, TOD also has the potential to displace those very same communities. In this session, we brought together elected officials, government staff, transit and housing policy experts, and community organizers from around the region to examine what local and regional policies can prevent the displacement of low-income communities and communities of color, and to identify the strategies and policies that have the greatest potential to succeed in the Bay Area.

Stephanie Pollack - SOR 2011 C. 2011 Scott BraleyPresenter Bios
Stephanie Pollack is associate director of the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University, where she oversees the Center's research agenda in the areas of transportation policy, transit-oriented development, sustainability, and equitable development.  Pollack is also on the core faculty for the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, where she teaches courses in law and housing and transportation policy.  Pollack previously co-chaired Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick's 2006 transition working group on transportation, and served on Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino's Climate Action Leadership Committee in 2009-10.  Pollack currently serves on the boards of Boston Society of Architects, Charles River Watershed Association, Health Resources in Action, and MoveMass.  Before coming to Northeastern, Pollack was a senior executive and attorney at the Conservation Law Foundation, and was a partner in the strategic environmental consulting firm BlueWave Strategies LLC.  Pollack received both a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a B.S. in Public Policy from M.I.T., and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

Jaron Browne - SOR 2011 C. 2011 Scott BraleyJaron Browne is the Bayview Organizing Project organizer for People Organized to Win Employment Rights (POWER), a membership organization made up of low-income African American and Latino workers and tenants in San Francisco.  Browne joined POWER's staff in July of 2002, and is helping to build a campaign for community-driven, accountable and sustainable development among low-income homeowners and public housing residents.  Browne is also an active member of POWER's leadership development projects, and a co-author of Towards Land, Work, and Power.  Browne was a co-author for the recent report by the Right to the City Alliance titled We Call These Projects Home, and has been a contributing writer for Urban Habitat’s journal, Race, Poverty & the Environment.  Before joining POWER, Browne did organizing and campaign research against racism in the criminal justice system with the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. Browne was trained as an organizer in Los Angeles at the Labor/Community Strategy Center's National School for Strategic Organizing.

JCarlos Romero- SOR 2011 C. 2011 Scott BraleyCarlos Romero is Mayor of East Palo Alto, and serves as the chair of the city council’s Housing and Economic Development committees and vice-chair of the East Palo Alto Redevelopment Agency. Prior to his election to city council, Romero chaired the East Palo Alto Planning Commission and was chair of city’s Rent Stabilization Board. Professionally, Romero is a housing development and land-use consultant for non-profit and community based organizations.  Over the past 20 years, Romero has been involved in every aspect of developing and operating community housing development organizations as a founder, board member, project manager, and executive director.  Prior to consulting, Romero headed the Mission Housing Development Corporation, a San Francisco community-based, affordable housing organization, where he oversaw housing and mixed-use development activity. In addition to his affordable housing development skills, Romero has extensive experience as a community organizer in low-income neighborhoods.  He has worked on numerous grassroots organ¬izing campaigns ranging from the incorpo¬ra¬tion of East Palo Alto to citizenship and civic participation trainings for immigrants.  In 1988, Romero co-founded EPA CAN DO, a community-based housing development organization that has developed over 250 affordable housing units.  Romero completed his undergraduate studies in international relations and economics at Stanford University, and was a Fannie Mae Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government.

Recommended readings:
* Maintaining Diversity in America's Transit-Rich Neighborhoods: Tools for Equitable Neighborhood

Transit Workers Stage Mock Funeral

Transit FuneralOAKLAND, CA (KGO) -- A group of public transit advocates held a mock funeral this morning for services that have been lost because of budget cuts. 

The Transit Riders for Public Transportation sponsored the rally outside of Oakland City Hall. Members of the group want Congress to give local transit agencies greater flexibility on how they spend the money they receive from Washington.

A change in the law would allow money earmarked for capital improvement projects would instead pay for operating existing buses and trains.

"These transit services are vital in getting families to work. These services are necessary to get students to school. These services are important in helping families shop and play," said Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia.

The bill is co-sponsored by two Bay Area lawmakers East Bay Democrats Barbara Lee and Jerry McNerney.

Transportation Justice Briefing, June 11, 2010

According to the latest figures, the Obama administration has paid out only about $378 billion of the $792 billion stimulus. Given the administration's interest in advancing civil rights during its tenure, an opportunity presents itself. For our next Social Equity Caucus quarterly meeting, we will consider the use of civil rights framing in shaping federal funding investments in low-income communities and communities of color. We will highlight recent examples of how civil rights framing has influenced federal investments, including Urban Habitat's successful blocking of stimulus funds for the Oakland Airport Connector project and PolicyLink's equitable economic recovery engagement in Minnesota.

Our emphasis is on the ways that advancing civil rights claims can result in stronger federal investments in our most burdened communities; therefore, this meeting will be useful for advocates from all sectors, including community groups, labor groups, and city and local electeds, staff, and commissioners from around the Bay. Stakeholders and decision makers with an interest in transit justice are particularly encouraged to attend, but community advocates from across all issues areas impacted by federal investment will find the information shared in this meeting relevant to their campaigns.


Read the speaker's bio and hear the podcast of their presentation:

    * Bob Allen, Director of Transportation and Housing, Urban Habitat
    * Shireen Malekafzali, Senior Associate, PolicyLink
    * Guillermo Mayer, Senior Staff Attorney, Public Advocates

Power Point versions of the presentations: Transportation as a Civil Right - Bob Allen, Director of Transportation and Housing, Urban Habitat

Equitable Recovery in Minnesota: Transportation - Shireen Malekafzali, Senior Associate, PolicyLink

The Oakland Airport Connector: A Civil Rights and Transportation Justice Campaign - Guillermo Mayer, Senior Staff Attorney, Public Advocates

 

Bob Allen, Director of Transportation and Housing Programs, Urban Habitat

Bob Allen, Director of Transportation and Housing ProgramsBob Allen, Director of Transportation and Housing Programs, Urban HabitatHis background and experience include community planning and policy work both in the United States and overseas with international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). While at UH, Bob led the successful 2008 Campaign to help pass a regional measure, Measure VV, which raised funds to keep bus passes affordable for seniors, youth, and disabled riders. Currently, Bob is leading UH’s efforts on federal and state transportation advocacy. Bob received both his Bachelors Degree in Political Science and History and his Masters in Public Administration from Rutgers University.

Listen to his presentation to the Bay Area Social Equity Caucus about the Oakland Airport Connector

Guillermo Mayer, Senior Staff Attorney, Public Advocates

Guillermo Mayer, Senior Staff Attorney, Public AdvocatesGuillermo Mayer, Senior Staff Attorney, Public Advocates Guillermo Mayer graduated from the UCLA School of Law in 2004 with concentrations in Critical Race Theory and Public Interest Law & Policy. As a law student, Guillermo helped immigrant workers in Los Angeles file wage claims against abusive downtown employers, and co-authored a paper cited by the California Legislature in passing wage-protection legislation for car wash workers. He was also selected as a 2001-2003 fellow by the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans, and served as a summer law clerk for the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles and for Hadsell & Stormer, Inc., a public interest law firm in Pasadena. Prior to attending law school, Guillermo worked in the California Senate, first as legislative aide for former Senator Hilda Solis, and subsequently as legislative director for former Senator Tom Hayden. At Public Advocates, Guillermo focuses on transit equity litigation and advocacy.

 Listen to his presentation to the Bay Area Social Equity Caucus about the Oakland Airport Connector

Shireen Malekafzali, Senior Associate, PolicyLink

Shireen Malekafzali, Senior Associate, PolicyLinkShireen Malekafzali, Senior Associate, PolicyLinkShireen Malekafzali brings together urban planning, transportation, and community design in innovative ways to create healthier environments. Through the PolicyLink Center for Health and Place, she researches and promotes new strategies to advance healthy environments particularly in low income communities and communities of color. She previously worked with the San Francisco Department of Public Health and has taught environmental health and research methods at San Francisco State University.

Listen to her presentation to the Bay Area Social Equity Caucus on federal stimulus funding and job equity in Minnesota.

War and Militarism

by Connie Galambos

My first day at the U.S. Social Forum I suffered from sensory overload: thousands of perspiring activists on overdrive for their respective causes, pounding the Atlanta pavement in a march of solidarity, many along the way sidetracked (myself included) in desperate need of water.  The mantra “this is not just another conference” had done little to prepare me for the progressive pandemonium that ensued, and it took quick escapes every night to decompress about the past day’s adventures and prepare for the ones ahead.  While some of the nuances of the tents, tables, sessions, and plenaries on the USSF agenda were new to me, the themes were certainly predictable: human exploitation, natural resource privatization and depletion on a massive scale.

Through all the chaos, the experience clarified for me that despite that the United States cannot afford the hundreds of billions of dollars on the war and still address the issues that we as Social Equity Caucus members care about.  The war overseas is intricately connected to the battles we face at home: the random accident or sickness with potential to plunge us into poverty, the dismal education and violence killing our youth, the rampant corporate corruption resulting in the loss of our environmental resources, quality jobs, and security. ..

Our issues all converge in war, yet I was disappointed to note very few folks in Atlanta telling that story.  Even at the USSF, white folks struggled to narrow the frame of war to strictly an environmental issue, simplifying their work by not collaborating with the communities of color on the front lines abroad and at home; simultaneously, shades of brown were split up into issue-based sessions on how to addresses the multiple crises we face – war not included. 

My consciousness-raising about war’s connection to everything we care about at the Social Equity Caucus was so powerful that I struggled with where to best engage during that week, finding few spots that busted the typical binary decisions I faced growing up…as a light-skinned person of color from the global south adopted by a white middle-class family in the U.S., I do enjoy access to both sides of the proverbial coin and am regularly navigating between these disparate spheres of influence.  I waver between inspiration for and exhaustion from trying to build bridges between connections so obvious they leave me speechless!   According to my lived experience, there is no race, class, ethnicity, sexual preference, or geographic community where I truly fit in.  And Atlanta was a moment in which it was clear that even outside the Bay Area folks like me are more than just a ‘trend’, but emblematic of this rapidly changing – dare I say postmodern – world in which we operate.

I speak for my peers in expressing a tremendous amount of respect for the ground work done by generations before me to get us to this point: thank you for ushering in an era of massive social change, and for building strong institutions to carry that torch!  Generations X and Y are now surrounded by those legacies, struggling to define our identities and roles in the larger movement’s evolution.  We’re more passionate than ever about the issues, but the structures we’re inheriting don’t always fit and we’re rarely entrusted with the power to influence them in a meaningful way, let alone revolutionize them.  We’re negotiating program parameters, job descriptions, organizational charts, policy manuals, and funding mechanisms we didn’t have a role in creating, and quite frankly we sometimes feel trapped.  As a result, when opportunities arise for us in higher levels management roles, we often remain hesitant at best – preferring to supplement our incomes with the autonomy of consulting on the side, or ultimately to create our own organizations – that will inevitably compete with existing ones for less and less collective resources.

Consider but a few of the unspoken challenges faced by the best-intentioned folks who want to nurture youth, people of color and women to take over organizational and movement leadership.  How is staff with unprecedented amounts of student debt and a real estate market out of their reach considered when pay scales are established?  How are single parents and those balancing elder care supported to live a balanced life?    How are newer voices helping not just to support, but to influence the direction of the work?  The answer is that they usually aren’t, and we’re coping the best we can in the short term…recognizing this will not sustain us or the movement in the long-term.

It’s intimidating to put this critique out there, and acknowledge my own discontent with the system I’m in some ways benefiting from.  But I do so in an effort to keep myself honest and to encourage intergenerational dialogue that echoes long after this summer’s Social Forum in Atlanta.  We all have to be willing to take the risks to question ourselves and the way we do this thing we call activism – professionalized to the point of being a form of business.  As I come back to the office to work on fine-tuning the Social Equity Caucus, I’m pushing myself to think in that manner - how can we as a coalition work together in a way that speaks to our hearts and souls, and ultimately puts us out of this business?

Yes on the Measure VV Event

Source: 

Over 50 students, parents, bus riders, and people representing community and faith organizations gathered at the busiest bus hub in Oakland to spread the word about Measure VV and why it needs to pass in this November’s election. The group held a rally and then gave information out directlIMG_2104 by uhflickr.y to bus riders.

If passed by voters in November, Measure VV will fill the gap in AC Transit’s operating budget – preventing service hikes and major budget cuts. If Measure VV doesn’t pass, then the consequences could be devastating to AC Transit’s over 200,000 daily riders- many of whom have no other transportation option and include youth, seniors, working people, and people with disabilities.

Listen to KPFA Wendall Harper's report on the event click Here or listen to KCBS' Bob Melrose click Here

Superintendent of Alameda County Office of Education started off the group of speakers, which included a youth, a parent and a bus rider. They each articulated the importance of Measure VV – ensuring youth can get to school, enabling seniors and people with disabilities to remain independent, reducing traffic and air pollution. They also discussed how AC Transit’s budget shortfall is both the result of state budget cuts and rising fuel costs, along with chronic unfair and unequal underfunding compared to primarily-commuter rail systems like BART and Caltrain.

Claudine Tong, member oIMG_2101 by uhflickr.f Genesis and parent of children at Skyline High School, shared her frustration with AC Transit and how AC Transit doesn’t provide enough service as it is. “We can’t afford for service to be reduced or fares to go up.”

Organizations represented included: Berkeley Center for Independent Living, Building Opportunities for Self Sufficiency, Californians for Justice, Genesis, Kids First Oakland, Oakland Rising, Parent Leadership Action Network, Transportation and Land Use Coalition, Urban Habitat, West Oakland Youth Standing Empowered and the Youth Transportation Coalition.

After the press conference, which was covered by KCBS, KPFA and the Ming Pao Daily, the demonstrators spread out across the intersection of 14th and Broadway, some flyering at bus stops and holding up signs and others boarding AC Transit buses to flyer and talk with bus riders. Approximately 400-500 flyers were given out to people waiting for the bu.

DSC_0155 by uhflickr.

If you are interested in getting involved to help promote Measure VV, we’ll be doorknocking the next two Saturdays and phonebanking almost every Wed and Thursday evening with Oakland Rising until the Election. Genesis, a faith-based coalition, will be holding a forum on transportation inequities on Sunday October 26th. To get involved, please call us or email us at: 510-844-1191 or 510-839-3716 or Lindsay@urbanhabitat.org or bob@urbanhabitat.org.

 

 

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Audio icon KPFA.mp31.8 MB

Youth

by Fredericka Bryant

Overall the USSF youth workshops clearly prove that the youth movement is growing stronger because of the passionate youth activist fight for Social Justice, Environmental Justice, Reproductive rights, and Criminal Justice issues. More youth are getting involved in the legislative process to gain a voice in government. More youth groups are tackling social justice issues through the arts: Poetry, theater, music, dance, and digital story telling.

Most youth workshops were geared towards methods for promoting awareness, to get more youth to get involved  and to connect up and push an agenda for effective messaging.

At most of youth workshops I participated youth spoke about common issues in low-income communities of color such as violence increase, lack of education, decrease in youth jobs, not enough recreation centers, too much discussion around abstinence and not enough advocacy around safe sex and how to use a condom. These issues are important because they keep manifesting for years with no justice. The only way to fight these symptoms of a lazy government is the youth movement because this will be an ongoing fight for equality.

Workshop profiles:

Youth Power: Creating Change through Effective Political Participation

The purpose of this workshop was to show youth how to get their demands met by pressuring the political process through local government and state legislature.

REJN (Regional Economic Justice Network) sponsored Yo-ti (Youth Organizing Training Institute) so that the youth could help lead the workshop.

The workshop was lead by youth and adults from the organization.

In the workshop everyone had to share concerns about their community and ideas on how to make our communities a better place and craft a political agenda and demand based on your community. The workshop used popular education format, including music, small group discussion, role plays, and interactive presentations.

In the beginning of the workshop one of the adult speakers gave an overview about political participation stating that it’s about, “Pulling resources together and getting some benefit from decisions made in the political system.”

The executive Director gave a very brief overview of US history letting everyone in the workshop know that all the forms of power in the political system are methods to getting people out of our political system especially people of color such as voter restriction laws.

After speaking and hearing loads of information from the youth and adults leading the workshop we broke up into small groups to answer three questions in report back.

Question:

What issue of concern do you have in your community?

What would like to see done about the issue?

Why is youth voice important?

 

The most common issues youth shared were:

Not enough recreation centers enters in their communities

Violence rate constantly raising

High drop out rates

Teen STD rate rising

To much discussion on absentness and not enough focus on getting teens aware of using protection

Transportation Issues, not enough bus routes and timing advantage

Drop out rates raising due to state examination to exit high school killing momentum to continue school-Internalized Oppression

Affordable housing was a major concern connecting to gentrification

Reproductive Justice Rights among young women

Too many youth being tracked into prison system

 

Most of the youth in the workshop were from the south and Midwestern states.

I think most low-income communities of color can I identify with all of these problems because Cities like Oakland, Richmond and East Palo Alto have the same issues.

 

After discussing these issues we posted them upon a wall in different categories like such as Criminal Justice, Environmental Justice, Health, Education, Negative Media, and ECT. Then we discussed them as a group and told facilitators different Strategies to getting our demands met.

Ways to get your demands met:

Form a relationship with your local government

Write letters to your state legislature

Bring representatives on tours in your home town

Get community of youth involved by doing grassroots lobbying

Have elect official that will create a change in your community

After all of the discussion on how to get your demands met, we broke back up into groups in choice a category that we could apply a 15 minutes skit to with any scenario. I chose environment of course and we continue to brainstorm ideas for the play that we were going to put on for four representatives coming from Mississippi, unfortunely I didn’t get to finish the play the next day because I didn’t feel like I could gain anything more from that workshop and acting really isn’t my thing.

Note: When dealing with city officials or legislatures there should be a common language, clear objectives, foundation, and community participation on board.

If you would like to know more about this workshop tactics, strategies or just more about the organization here is the contact information:

Main website www.rejn.org, Email: serejn@rejn.org

Or Contact the Executive Director Ms. Leah Wise.

 

 

Right to the city: Building a national movement against displacement and gentrification.

Organization: Tenants and workers united.

Workshop Description: This workshop focused on gentrification which was defined by facilitators as, “Money is invested, neighborhoods improved, richer people move in and poor people get displaced-Homeless.”

They gave a brief breakdown on the stages of gentrification and how they take place in our communities:

    Strong Public Sector- identifying all of the things that constitute a sustainable        

    Community which is having good schools, infrastructure, and revitalizing the

    Community. All of these things take away from federal money which prevents      

    Our infrastructure from strengthen or gain power to fucture as a sustainable   

    Community.

Criminalizations of poverty-Youth hanging on the corner are being punished because there isn’t money being invested into school programs that provide service and recreation to the youth.

Industrial sector- exported jobs to get cheaper labor benefiting corporate to reap from the system of modern day slavery.

Privatization- Pushing us out to the next town to get things that should be provided in our communities and globalizing everything instead of letting communities of color benefit from local economy.
Shrinking middle class- gaps are now being growing between the poor and The rich.
 

      Forces behind gentrification- neo- liberalism which is the exploitation of our

      Nations people and our shared environment by wealthier and more powerful

      Nations can grow but not the people.

 

      Activity- Identifying How the 19th Century Developed:

      Quick History- Oppressive form of creating profit. Public housing was built as 

      Technology was advanced they figured they could now out source jobs out

       Side of the USA.

       How did out sourcing impact workers?

       Workers lost there jobs and capitalist started to benefit from cheap labor.

 

      Exploited relationships between global south (slavery) and north (Europeans

      Western nations that oppressed people).

 

      South: Sole natural resources and people to build and develop infrastructure

      In southern societies.

      North: Raw materials were brought which created factory jobs, steel and text

      During the 1920 worker movement, gaining secure rights, 40hour pay,

      Minimum wage working condition, ECT.

 

      Our countries are now identified as,” Global Cities meaning media firms, law

      Firms and realastate, needing people of color to service global cities.

 

      Neo-Liberalism is now the dominate force in our cities.

      How do we manage to stop capitalism? Fighting together for change and

      Putting forward a vision.

 

     Notes: Last we discussed work sheets on rights that your city is entitled to as       

     Spectators of the earth.

     

     Notes: Most people in this workshop were from New York, Washington D.C.

     And San Francisco Asian Community.

 

Promoting Black Environment though and Action. Organization: AfroEco.

 

     Workshop Description: This workshop talked about the different problems

     Impacting the black community and the decrease of African Americans in the      

     Agriculture due to their lost of connection to land. Everyone introduced them   

     Selves and there Connection to the land.

     

     Workshop Exercise: The facilitator drew a large foot and asked everyone to

     Shout out problems (Feet on our backs) in the black community.

Air pollution

Asthma

Not enough recycling

Dumping trash in other communities

Prison system

Bio-Tech Industry

 

     Black radical tradition-relationship to the land.

 

   Workshop Discussion: Support litigation and looking at what else can be done  To stop the genocide of blacks in farming.

 

    Another workshop Exercise: what our future looks like

Globalization

Capitalism

African American hatred toward farming because of lost connection to the land due to slavery.

Strains from the land

Food Justice Connection

Agro business globally, neo-liberalism

Black urban planning.

Stocks that can’t reproduce so that we produce genetic and motility consumed things.

Group vision ten years from now:

Community gardens ran by youth

De-urbanization

School lunches

Local Energy Production

Using Less Paper

Hybrid Cars

Education Partnership

Pass down generation

Own your own waste and don’t dump in other cities

Connection between communities, resources, coalitions and alliances.

89% of the county slum

End.

 

 

Building power from the ground up: Statewide strategies to achieve Environment Justice.

Organization: Tenants and workers united.

 

Workshop Description: How the community is impacting public policy. Three different organizations spoke about their own personal EJ victories and gave advice on how to tackle your own EJ in your community.

 

Groups: CBE, Environmental Health Coalition and ACE, and Apen.

 

These groups discussed and told stories of meetings with representatives, Victories and getting recommendation put into policy.

 

Apen- Talked gave an overview defining Environmental Justice and what it means to grassroots network. Also getting environmental Justice drafted into policy.

 

ACE- Youth from their organization presented the background information on who they are and the victories they have accomplished within the last past year. The youth mostly advocate for Transit Justice (transit equality) and Lawyer services to youth who don’t know the laws.

Students from ACE defined Environmental Justice as, “Getting equality for your community.” Ace talked about the toxic tours the give in there community. Reap (Building membership in Boston) is also in partnership with ace working with almost 93 different group on campaigns such as poverty, homelessness, and EJ n Boston.

Victories: Getting youth jobs in Boston to decrease the violence rate. Ace have 4 different bills right now that are in the legislative process and another bill that geared towards making all trucks get retrofitting to stop diesel emissions with consequence of being fined if you have a truck that isn’t retrofitted after a certain amount of time.

 

Group Discussion: How do you get people to our in push for legislation?

Create local opp. With representatives

Pilot projects in local communities

Stable infrastructure in your organization

Bring state representative to your hometown

Connect with member based organizations

Multi-issue group, every yr. They pick one or two issues

Financial practice of stability

Lobbying as a form of direct action

 

Long term strategy & tactic (Key, Money):

 

-Youth doing surveys and listening to people

- Community Workshop

- Providing Resources

- Community Btw. Lobby, Legislation and local support

- Work with radical groups

- Leadership training (Speak the language of policy)

- Having the bite (Represent a lot of the voter)

- Legislation training, identifying supportive legislative

- Legal groups

-Join sustainable coalitions

 

 

 

 

Bob Allen, Director of Transportation and Housing, Urban Habitat

Bob AllenAt UH, Bob led the successful 2008 Campaign to help pass a regional measure, Measure VV, which raised funds to keep bus passes affordable for seniors, youth, and disabled riders. Currently, Bob is leading UH’s efforts on federal and state transportation advocacy. His background and experience include community planning and policy work both in the United States and overseas with international Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). Bob received both his bachelor's degree in Political Science and History and his master's in Public Administration from Rutgers University.

 

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Jason Trimiew, Director of Fund and Business Development, REDF

TrimiewJason Trimiew is REDF’s director of fund and business development. In this capacity, Jason oversees REDF’s fundraising efforts and is also responsible for REDF’s strategy to assist social enterprises with strategic business development. Jason recently led REDF’s successful application to the new Social Innovation Fund which resulted in a $3 million grant to expand REDF’s work in California. REDF was one of eleven inaugural grantees and the only California-based organization to receive a SIF grant. Prior to joining REDF, Jason spent five years as a fund development professional for various human services agencies with operations in the U.S. and internationally. Most recently, Jason was responsible for corporate and foundation fundraising for one of the Bay Area’s largest social service and youth development organizations, Catholic Charities CYO. He also spent two years living and working in East Africa on microfinance-related projects. Jason has a master’s degree in International and Development Economics from the University of San Francisco and a BA in Business Administration. He serves on the Bayview Hunters Point Project Area Committee, is a Full Circle Fund Community Fellow and recently joined the Board of Directors of Bay Area Blacks in Philanthropy. Jason and his wife, Danielle, live in San Francisco.

 

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Lisa Johnson, Administrative Coordinator, PolicyLink

Lisa M. 
Stevenson-Johnson, Administrative Coordinator, PolicyLink
Lisa M. Johnson provides administrative support to the human resources team and the CEO of PolicyLink. Previously, Johnson supported and conducted research for the Louisiana team and specifically assisted on projects related to affordable housing and civic engagement. She has an extensive background in philanthropic programmatic initiatives, event and conference planning, and executive administrative support. She is also an alumna of the 2009 BCLI cohort.


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Becky Dennis, Organizer, Citizens for a Caring Community and Former Pleasanton City Councilmember

Becky DennisBecky Dennis and her husband, Murray, have lived in Pleasanton since 1988. Becky was elected to Pleasanton's City Council in 1993 after co-chairing a successful campaign to support implementation of the East Bay Regional Park District's master plan for expansion of Pleasanton Ridge Regional Park. As a Council member, she supported the approval of a several successful affordable housing projects for both families and seniors. She retired from the Council in 2002, after serving the maximum number of terms allowed in Pleasanton. Becky continues to advocate for affordable housing in Pleasanton as an organizer for Citizens for a Caring Community, and represents CFCC as an ad hoc member of the Hacienda Redevelopment Task Force. She also chairs Pleasanton's Kottinger Place (housing for very low-income seniors) Redevelopment Task Force, and serves on the boards of Senior Support and Pleasanton Gardens, nonprofits that provide services and housing for very low income seniors.
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Connie Galambos Malloy, Senior Director of Programs, Urban Habitat

Connie Malloy As Senior Director of Programs, Connie leads the organization's climate, transportation, land use and affordable housing work and advances UH's agenda on key partner coalitions. While a Program Coordinator, Connie led the Social Equity Caucus through a 10 year Evaluation and Strategic Plan, resulting in UH's launch of the State of the Region, Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute, and Speakers and Writers Bureau programs. On behalf of UH Connie has completed the Women's Foundation of California's Women's Policy Institute training, the University of Southern California's Ross Program in Real Estate, and the National Development Council's Real Estate Finance Certification. Prior to her years at Urban Habitat, Connie coordinated the Regional Sustainability Initiative at Redefining Progress. Through a fellowship from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Connie has worked with a variety of California organizations on urban planning issues, including the Earned Asset Resource Network (EARN), Unity Council, and Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE). She has also worked as a planner and funding liaison for United Way of the Inland Valleys in Riverside, CA and as a Peace Corps volunteer leading sustainable tourism development projects in Bolivia’s Amazon Basin. Connie is a founding board member of AFAAD: Adopted & Fostered Adults of the African Diaspora and has directed the Children's Program at Pact Camp, training families adopting and fostering children of different races. She previously served on the board of the California Planning Foundation, and is currently serving as Diversity Director on the California Chapter of the American Planning Association’s Northern Section board. Connie earned her MCP in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley and a bachelor's degree in Communications & Spanish from La Sierra University.


Carmen Rojas, Grants Officer, Mitchell Kapor Foundation

Carmen Rojas, 2009 BCLI Cohort Carmen Rojas, PhD, is a Grants Officer at the Mitchell Kapor Foundation. Carmen has spent the last ten years working as an activist, organizer, and researcher for some of the leading environmental and economic justice organizations in the region, including Urban Habitat and the Lower San Antonio (Oakland) collaborative. Carmen has a BA degree in Politics from the UC Santa Cruz and a doctorate in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley. She is also a 2009 BCLI alumna.


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Richard Marcantonio, Managing Attorney, Public Advocates

Richard MarcantonioRichard A. Marcantonio (Managing Attorney) received his A.B. from Princeton University in 1982 and graduated cum laude and Order of the Coif from New York University School of Law in 1987. After clerking for the Hon. Robert L. Carter, U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of New York, Richard practiced civil and appellate litigation for five years at the Howard, Rice law firm in San Francisco. He then served as director of litigation at Legal Aid of the North Bay for nine years, specializing in housing issues in Marin and Napa Counties. Richard was lead counsel for intervenors in Home Builders Association of Northern California v. City of Napa, 90 Cal. App. 4th 188 (2001), cert. denied 535 U.S. 954 (2002), which established the validity of “inclusionary zoning.” He was also lead counsel in Marin Family Action v. Town of Corte Madera, a challenge to the housing element of the Town of Corte Madera, and in a suit against a Napa slumlord for equitable relief and damages on behalf of nearly 500 Napa farmworkers and families. Richard joined Public Advocates as a managing attorney in June 2003, where he works on civil rights issues, primarily in the areas of affordable housing, transportation equity and insurance redlining. He has served as lead counsel for the plaintiffs in a number of affordable housing cases, including Osorio v. City of Pittsburg, Fonseca v. City of Gilroy, 148 Cal. App. 4th 1174 (2007), and Urban Habitat Program v. City of Pleasanton, 164 Cal. App. 4th 1561 (2008). In the area of transportation justice, he is currently co-counsel in Darensburg v. Metropolitan Transportation Commission, 611 F. Supp. 2nd 994 (N.D. Cal. 2009), a pending federal civil rights class action on behalf of minority bus riders who have seen service cut as a result of inadequate funding, and represented the Los Angeles Bus Riders Union in Labor/Community Strategy Center v. Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority, 564 F.3d 1115 (9th Cir. 2009). He is also co-counsel in Willams v. City of Antioch, a challenge to discriminatory policing of African-American families who participate in the federal Section 8 housing subsidy program.


Terrell Watt, Owner, Terrell Watt Planning Consultants

Terrell Watt, Owner, Terrell Watt Planning ConsultantTerrell Watt has been the owner of Terrell Watt Planning Consultants since 1989, a firm specializing in planning and implementing projects that promote resource conservation and sustainable development patterns which are significant to the region. Terrell is an expert in general and specific planning, open space and agricultural land conservation and environmental compliance. Her role also includes facilitation, public outreach, and negotiation. Terrell has a wide variety of clients throughout California including non-profit organizations, government agencies and foundations. In 2005, on behalf of Friends of Harbors, Beaches and Parks and its environmental coalition she negotiated $243.5 million in an Orange County transportation measure to comprehensively mitigate for habitat impacts due to freeway projects. Prior to forming her own consulting group, Terrell was the staff planning expert with the environmental and land use law firm Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger.
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Tax and Fiscal Reform, September 2009

Report Back - Fall 09 CA Tax and Fiscal Reform MeetingThe California fiscal crisis continues to wreak havoc on low-income communities and communities of color. The Bay Area Social Equity Caucus' Fall Quarterly Meeting, co-hosted with Alliance for Justice, brought together more than 60 individuals from non-profit, private, government, labor and philanthropic sectors to discuss the local and regional impacts of the current state budget crisis and to strategize around engaging underrepresented communities in the movement for reform. 

Participants learned about the current statewide efforts moving tax and fiscal reform and how their organizations could connect local work to larger statewide campaigns. Panelist presented different strategies to fix California's broken system ranging from the grassroots movements being led by California Alliance and California Partnership, the legislative efforts from California Forward, and the Bay Area Council's call for a Constitutional Convention.

If you weren’t able to attend meeting or would like more information about tax reform efforts throughout the State, the resources from the day are available at the bottom of the page.

Speaker Bios

Panelists at Fall 09 CA Tax and Fiscal Reform MeetingAlonso Gonzalez is the Public Relations Bureau Director for Repair California.  After the publication of an opinion piece in the San Francisco Chronicle calling for a Constitutional Convention, a movement was born. Repair California is proposing two State ballot measures: The first measure gives Californians the right to call a Constitutional Convention, and the second measure will call a Convention and set the process. Town hall meetings are being held across the State to listen to what Californians want to see come out of a Constitutional Convention. Based on feedback from the town hall meetings, the Repair California website and other concerned citizens, initiative language for the two measures will be finalized and submitted to the Attorney General on September 25, 2009.  The Convention would be held in 2011, and the suggested reforms would be placed on the ballot in November of 2012 for the approval of the voters.

Dennis Quirin Speaking at Fall 09 CA Tax and Fiscal Reform MeetingDennis Quirin is the Coalitions Director at California Forward. California Forward’s mission is to improve the quality of life for all Californians by creating more responsive, representative and cost-effective government. California Forward’s vision is a California where: 1) Government is closer to the people. Local governments can solve problems in ways that work for diverse communities and regional economies. 2) Fiscal systems are reliable, efficient and focused on results. Tax policies and budget practices must be aligned to the new structure and fortified to ensure value and public trust. At all levels of government this should include: 3) State leaders are held accountable for making improvements, and voters are empowered to understand and exercise their role in a strong democracy.

Nancy Berlin is the Director of California Partnership. California Partnership is a statewide coalition of community groups organizing to expand and protect the safety net for low-income Californians and advocating for programs and policies that reduce and end poverty.  California Partnership develops leaders to fight for the services communities need and deserve and to build networks to increase collective strength.  

Karla Zombro is the Strategic Initiatives Coordinator for CA Alliance/SCOPE-LA. The long-term goal of the California Alliance is the development of a progressive state alliance of organizations representing key issue sectors and strategic geographic regions of California, with agreement on a strategic state public policy agenda, and the collective power to win systemic reform. From its inception in 2003, the Alliance’s core power building principle has been a commitment to grassroots organizing and bottom-up base building among constituencies who suffer from social and economic injustices.  In March of this year the Alliance voted to make systemic tax and fiscal policy reform, centered on undoing the major reactionary elements of Proposition 13, its strategic public policy agenda.

The Alliance is currently comprised of 11 member organizations representing 4 strategic areas of the state: the San Francisco Bay Area, South Bay/Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, and San Diego.  Constituencies represented by alliance organizations include poor and working communities, African American, Latino, Asian and Pacific Islander communities, immigrants, women, youth, people on public assistance, seniors, and low-income workers. 


Resources
Courtesy of Alliance for Justice
Organization Resources
Website
Advocacy and Leadership Center - Resources on crafting advocacy campaigns
- Tech Tools for advocacy
 http://tools.iscvt.org/advocacy/start
 Alliance for Justice - Technical assistance on legal rules governing advocacy
- Factsheets and publications
- Tools to help evaluate capacity for advocacy

www.afj.org

www.advocacyevaluation.org
http://advocacydigest.blogspot.com/

 

Ballot Initiative Strategy Center  
- Resources for qualifying a measure for the ballot
 www.ballot.org
Bay Area Social Equity Caucus - Trainings and Leadership Institutes for member organizations
- Policy briefings
 www.urbanhabitat.org/sec
Fenton Communications - Publication called “Now Hear This: The 9 Laws of Successful Advocacy Communication”  www.fenton.com/FENTON_IndustryGuide_NowHearThis.pdf
Midwest Academy - How to tips for meetings with legislators and direct action organizing  http://www.midwestacademy.com/reading-room
The Spin Project - Publication called “Loud and Clear in an Election Year” http://spinproject.org
http://spinproject.org/article.php?id=94
 Spitfire Strategies - Publications called “Just Enough Planning Guide” and “Activation Point Guide”

www.justenoughplanning.org

www.activationpoint.org