By Gen Fujioka
The following article originally appeared in The Planner's Network and is reposted here with permission from the author, Gen Fujioka (Senior Policy Advocate at the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development).
Transit-oriented development (TOD) has become a leading policy prescription for reversing America’s sprawling path of growth. The Obama administration, through its Sustainable Communities Initiative, state and local agencies and progressive think-tanks all emphasize TOD as a means to achieve housing, transportation and environmental goals, often through public-private partnerships. But as TOD has been justifiably promoted as the cleaner alternative to auto-dependent development, gaps have appeared in the discourse that understate its costs. This report seeks to fill in some of those gaps with snapshots from four communities of color that have been impacted by various stages of TOD in the cities of Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Minneapolis–Saint Paul.
Oakland -- During the past 14 months, low-income residents at an East Oakland residential building were served 2 different notices listing a number of major renovations that were scheduled to be done in their building, that never materialized.
Since the 2 notices of renovations were served to the residents in the last 14 months, the low-income renters have not received a followup notice from the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC), indicating why the renovations have not taken place as scheduled.
In another development regarding the situation, according to the City of Oakland, to date the necessary required permits have not been obtained by the non profit developer for any of the work that was scheduled to be done in the 21 unit building at 829 E. 19th St.
The Freedom Bus Project, a joint effort by the Alameda County Office of Education and AC Transit, in conjunction with West Contra Costa Unified School District and Art IS Education, displayed the official AC Transit Freedom Bus honoring all civil rights movements at the Oakland School for the Arts on March 25, 2011 at the Freedom Bus Project’s Art Exhibition and Community Celebration.
The Freedom Bus Project honors the 55th anniversary of Rosa Parks’ historic bus ride in Montgomery, Alabama. Commemorating this historic event, and all civil rights movements, the Freedom Bus Project was launched to celebrate the East Bay’s rich diversity and legacy of community activism. The project engages youth across the East Bay to learn about and express their unique visions of social justice through the arts. Project co-chair and AC Transit Board Director, Joel Young, comments, “There is a gap in education when it comes to teaching civil rights, and our goal is to bridge that gap by integrating civil rights and the arts.”
“Considering that a passenger on a public bus was the catalyst for a civil rights movement that literally swept the world, it is only fitting that AC Transit—a public bus agency—be a part of this historic educational project,” said AC Transit Interim General Manager Mary King. “As an agency, we are both honored and proud to be a part of the Freedom Bus Project effort to integrate fine arts with civil rights and public transportation.”
East Bay Transit Activists, Listener call-ins, East Bay Bike Party, Film: “Jashn-e-Azadi” AC Transit is planning to raise the bus fares again. With gas prices up and wallets tight, some bus riders don’t think this is a good idea. We also discuss the 25 year regional dividing of the transportation tax money which is going on now. Guests: Lindsey Imai of Urban Habitat (http://www.urbanhabitat.org) and Alia Theltz of ACCE Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (formerly ACORN, http://www.calorganize.org), KPFA listeners talk about the effect of the ongoing economic meltdown on their lives and in their community. Sam The Shaolin B-Boy joins an East Bay Bike Party. Here are the sights and sounds. http://eastbaybikeparty.wordpress.com/ Filmmaker, Sanjay Kak, talks about "Jashn-e-Azadi" (How We Celebrate Freedom), his film about Kasmir, arguably the most militarized country in the world (http://www.kashmirfilm.wordpress.com). Hosted by Adrienne Lauby & Leah Gardner.
The San Jose Flea Market has been a historic site filled with culture and economic opportunity for low-income residents and new immigrants. Since its initial establishment almost 50 years ago, the market has been a place where vendors can sell a variety of goods at low rent costs in areas with high foot traffic. The market serves as an entrepreneurial incubator. It fosters socioeconomic mobility for predominantly low-income, minority vendors. For low-income shoppers, it provides critical access to cheap, healthy produce and affordable household items. Additionally, it is a vibrant social space that houses community-building cultural festivals and events.
The city plans to build BART on this track of land, which can potentially displace the South Bay flea market community and its vendors. La Pulga (a two-part short film) explores the conflicts between an existing community's economic livelihood and an environmentally responsible land use plan and reveals the complexity of urban issues and social justice in a changing city. It demonstrates the need for a strong community voice in the city’s decision-making process. Urban Habitat is currently following the gentrification/displacement implications related to the San Jose BART extension and the policies necessary to combat the displacement of existing communities.
Generous funding provided by the Castellano Family Foundation
Produced by Henry Servin andAlina Kwak
Directed by Rene Picazo
March 14, 2011
Contact: Aaron Lehmer, Network Development Director, Bay Localize
(415) 613-4781, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bay Localize to Honor Prominent Community Leaders
at “Roots of Resilience” 5-Year Anniversary Gala
(Oakland, CA) — Celebrate with us on Saturday, April 2, 2011 as Bay Localize – an Oakland based project of Earth Island Institute dedicated to local sustainability - hosts its Fifth Anniversary Gala, Roots of Resilience. The event will honor community leaders, businesses, and civic pioneers who are stepping up to build a vibrant and resilient Bay Area. Highlights include Keynote Speaker Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, hip-hop headliner artists, Ashel “Seasunz” Eldridge and Jennifer Johns, and honorees of the Community Resilience Leadership Awards.
SAVE THE DATE! Saturday, April 2nd, 2011
Gala Dinner at 6:30 – locally grown, organic entree with dessert
WHERE: CA Ballroom, 1736 Franklin St., Oakland (near 19th St. BART). (Parking available)
COST: $50 Activist (limited supply) and $75 General; Group rates for Table Sponsorships
It’s True! We have FREE fast passes for youth!
Community groups are celebrating an incredible victory--FREE MUNI fast passes for low-income youth!
Thanks to, the MORE Public Transit Coalition, POWER, Chinese Progressive Association, Jamestown Community Center, the SRO Collaborative, Urban Habitat, the San Francisco Youth Commission, the MTA, Supervisor David Campos and more, low-income SFUSD students will ride MUNI free for the remainder of the school year!
Come down to 16th Street BART and fill out your BRIEF application to get your free fast pass! All you need is your student ID number and your household income...no, really, THAT'S ALL! Bus passes will be distributed through the schools, but you must APPLY to receive it.
(The deadline for the application is the Tuesday, March the 15th)
Don't miss out...and spread the word!
THURSDAY, MARCH 10
16th Street BART station
MTA / SFUSD Discount Pass Program
135 Van Ness, Room 112
San Francisco, CA 94102
You can also download the application form below.
PLEASANTON -- Pleasanton officials want residents to help plan for nearly 2,000 new homes in town, with 80 percent or more for either low- or very low income households.
As part of a court settlement with Urban Habitat -- an organization that won a suit challenging the city's voter-approved housing cap limiting the number of homes here to 29,000 -- the city agreed to provide a housing plan update to the state by August. The update includes plans to accommodate 1,992 new units, of which 1,661 must be income-restricted.
In Alameda and Contra Costa counties, low-income housing is designated for families with a maximum annual income of a $72,240 for a family of four; families making up to $45,150 qualify as very low income.
If the city fails to meet is Aug. 16 deadline, it could face additional sanctions from the court, including loss of its power to issue building permits and to zone property.
The city established a housing element update task force in October. Over the past four months, it has developed a citywide list of 17 potential sites, with a combined 108 acres of land that could accommodate at least 30 housing units per acre. The city estimates it would have to rezone 70 acres to meet its requirement.