Having a Voice in Redevelopment

Over the past few years, we have worked with Strategic Actions for a Just Economy on supporting long-term campaigns addressing community impact of redevelopment agency decisions – one to secure affordable housing and living wage jobs in the face of the University of Southern California’s (USC) persistent expansion into the neighborhood community, and another to reform Los Angeles redevelopment policy to work for – rather than against – the interests of low-income residents. As part of this ongoing struggle, we are now working with SAJE’s Figueroa Corridor Coalition for Economic Justice on a new campaign. The Figueroa Corridor is a 40-block strip between USC and the Staples Center. USC has decided to build a sports arena in this area and the Coalition wants to ensure that the millions of development dollars that will be spent have tangible benefits for the low-income people who live in the surrounding neighborhoods. To help the Coalition negotiate a stakeholder’s voice in future USC planning, we are researching Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) programs around the country to document “best practices” mitigating university impact upon local communities. We are also researching “Town and Gown” agreements, to document “best practices” for community/college relationships. In addition to providing research, we have been participating in campaign strategy meetings.