Safer streets. Homeownership. A pedestrian-oriented commercial retail center. Neighborhood beautification. Community involvement. Those are just some of the goals that were communicated to more than 50 key attendees by representatives of the Bronze Triangle CDC (Community Development Corporation), which represents the Grant Hill, Logan Heights and Stockton neighborhoods. The CDC-hosted field trip was held to gain support for the redevelopment of their long neglected neighborhoods. Several community leaders, including County Supervisor Greg Cox, City Councilman Ralph Inzunza and Gail Goldberg, city planner for the City of San Diego, gathered with local developers, lenders and residents to discuss how the Bronze Triangle neighborhoods could be redeveloped.
“We hosted this event to share our vision and goals for the community and to demonstrate to business and community leaders that we, as residents, are united and willing to begin the process of rebuilding our neighborhoods from within to improve the quality of our own lives,” said Gale R. Walker, board president of the Bronze Triangle CDC.
Walker kicked-off the event by presenting information on the history of the once thriving neighborhoods.
“The neighborhoods that make up the Bronze Triangle were once vibrant communities where residents and businesses thrived,” Walker said. “We truly believe that if we implement an effective plan, develop key partnerships and work closely with residents, that these neighborhoods will be viable again.”
Walker and Sanford Goodkin, an award winning columnist and real estate strategist/analyst, also previewed the CDC’s Neighborhood Strategic Plan, which outlines the needs, vision, barriers and goals for the neighborhood over the next five years. With the goal of becoming a pilot of the City of Villages, the resident-led CDC has already funded extensive research to obtain data on the neighborhoods and hosted two resident workshops in January to gain resident input in pre-paration of the plan. A mass mailing was distributed to all residents and businesses in the CDC neighborhoods. Flyers, in English and Spanish, were posted to inform and encourage all residents to attend and provide input. After two successful workshops, a detailed strategic plan was created to identify obtainable needs for the neighborhoods including affordable housing, neighborhood beautification, increased safety, commercial business opportunities, educational and community offering improvements, employment opportunities for residents, and an interconnected array of neighborhood-level programs and supportive network to promote family strengthening.
“The Bronze Triangle CDC is working with the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Making Connections Initiative to address and resolve several issues that plague some of San Diego’s most severely neglected neighborhoods,” said Walker. “We held these two workshops to solicit ideas from all residents who live in the neighborhoods and to encourage them to be key players in the planning process. We need everyone’s help to determine how best to revitalize our neighborhoods and to seek long-term solutions for affordable housing.”
After previewing the strategic plan, attendees were taken on a bus tour of the Bronze Triangle neighborhoods to see first-hand the needs of the community. Three Bronze Triangle residents who want to see positive change happen in their blighted neighborhoods conducted the tour.
“We wanted to show community leaders, buildings and bankers that our neighborhoods desperately need revitalization and that we are only blocks from the East Village and Downtown redevelopments,” said Victoria Rudin, a resident of the Bronze Triangle. “It was important for me to tell them that the residents of these neighborhoods are united and that we want to work side by side with them to accomplish our vision.”
“The Bronze Triangle is the ballpark’s neighbor,” Goodkin said. “These neighborhoods have long been neglected... they need and deserve reinvestment. The residents have taken the first step in creating a detailed plan, now we need the community partners to step up and make it happen.”