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