Oak Park has successfully begun another year of farmers’ markets and here is the summary of a previous weeks event activities!
Traffic safety is an ongoing concern in Sacramento, and even more so in the aging original suburbs just outside of the city core. On May 24th, an as-yet-unidentified woman in a wheelchair was killed in a hit-and-run on Stockton Boulevard. Police responded to the incident that morning by closing off Stockton Boulevard between Fruitridge Road and Lawrence Drive. No vehicles were allowed to pass between that part of the roadway for awhile. The Sacramento Police Department’s Major Crimes Unit investigated the scene but no official conclusions have been made as of yet.
“Our officers responded and the female was already deceased,” said Officer Linda Matthew. “It appears that she was in the southbound lanes of Stockton Boulevard in a wheelchair.”
The roadway was reopened at around 7:30 AM but investigators were unsure as to whether the woman in the wheelchair was in the car lane or in the bicycle lane before the fatal crash. As of Thursday morning, the investigators did not have a description of the vehicle or driver.
In January 2012, a 16-year old student of West Campus High School, Michelle Murigi, was fatally hit by a vehicle while on a crosswalk at Fruitridge Road and this prompted many area residents to demand a solution from local officials. In May 2014, the City of Sacramento and the Sacramento City Unified School District installed traffic signals at 58th St and Fruitridge Road. How will local officials respond to the death of the latest victim of traffic?
“This incident has led me to believe our traffic safety isn’t as safe as some may find it,” said Harold Coleman, a resident of South Sacramento. “You have to question the driver for their actions but overall the event is shocking and horrible. Our traffic safety needs to be in check and the woman’s family deserves the justice of finding the person that killed her.”
If you have any information concerning the incident, you can call the Sacramento Police Department’s non-emergency line at (916) 264-5471.
A newly case study, From Farm to Every Fork: Rewriting the Narrative on Urban Agriculture in Sacramento by Heather Gehlert, depicts the recent historical process and development of urban agriculture in Sacramento. The study reveals that many community leaders and advocates supported urban agriculture as a tool to bring social change because they believe food, as a universal need, can be used to drive communities together. They also believe Urban Ag can help alleviate some of the problems of victims of food deserts and that since Sacramento is a considerable center for food research and policy as well as an environment for food to be grown year-round. However, those same advocates were also quick to stress that “urban agriculture is much more than a feel-good trend; it is a matter of health and social justice.”
The California Endowment, in recognition and response to healthy food advocates and their efforts in Sacramento’s southern neighborhoods, such as Lemon Hill and Oak Park, picked up urban agriculture “in 2010 as a part of its Building Healthy Communities initiative, a 10-year strategic plan to boost health in 14 of the state’s communities that not only have poor health outcomes but also have the potential to change them in ways that create a ripple effect throughout the rest of the state.”
While community leaders and advocates continued their primary agenda for an increase of neighborhood participation in urban agriculture, their efforts were also directed towards youth programs in order to generate the next generation of advocates and additionally influence urban agriculture to be more diverse and inclusive in the future. A prime example of these youth programs is the Burbank Urban Garden at Luther Burbank High School, where the club meets four days a week after school and offers elective credits, allowing students to learn about seasonality, sustainability, crop rotation, and nutrition. The club members maintain their gardening space – which consists of a greenhouse, raised beds, and 40 fruit trees – and also hold annual plant sales.
However, despite recent efforts of promoting the positive effects of urban agriculture, there appeared to be deeply-rooted stigma among young people about farm work. For some African-Americans, agricultural labor was a burden to partake in considering the historical implications of slavery in the United States. For some Mexican-Americans and Hispanic-Americans, their older generation of family members were critical of it because they wanted their children to attend college.
Nonetheless, urban agriculture is on the rise and the vision for some advocates have recently shifted from creating opportunities for urban farming to assisting people in finding those opportunities, making it profitable, and building the business that they need to sustain it. Ever since Sacramento’s policies about urban agriculture have become less strict over the years, farmers’ markets have become frequent.
For more information of the case study by Heather Gehlert, click on the following link: http://s26107.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/bmsg_tce_bhc_from_farm_to_every_fork_sacramento_case_study2018-final-mid.pdf
A housing crisis in Sacramento continues to persist as many residents of the county struggle to pay for rent. According to Yardi Matrix, a commercial real estate research and data platform, Sacramento had the highest year-over-year rent increases in the state, an average of 9.9%, from June 2016 to June 2017. As a result, many residents were evicted from their homes and some have even become homeless. The eviction rate in Sacramento is 2.16% per 100 renter homes with a total of 2,044 evictions and the poverty rate in Sacramento is 17.43%, according to Eviction Lab.
However, there’s a movement in California that’s seeking rent control. Many people believe rent control is the solution to Sacramento’s current housing crisis and activists are pushing for this measure to be on the California ballot. This ballot proposition seeks to repeal a 1995 state law called the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act and, if repealed, it will allow cities and counties to make stronger rent control policies.
Proponents of this initiative have said that they’ve collected more than 588,000 signatures from registered voters for this ballot and they only needed 365,880 signatures by June to qualify.
“With the increased number of corporate landlords, we’re seeing a lot of rent gouging take place,” said campaign spokesman Damien Goodmon. “We’ve been able to put together a very formidable and growing progressive coalition that we think will make this a simple choice to anyone who is looking to the direction that progressives would like to go.”
However, opponents of this ballot measure argued that the bill would stymie construction of new housing across the state and cause an “affordable housing freeze”.
“This ballot measure will pour gasoline on the fire of California’s affordable housing crisis,” said California Apartment Association CEO Tom Bannon. “It will do exactly the opposite of what it promises. Instead of helping Californians, it will result in an affordable housing freeze and higher costs.”
If Sacramento were to pass a soda tax like some other cities have, would young people change their drinking habits? I spoke to some Sacramento High School students to see what they thought.
A new law in California allows for 16-and-17-year-old residents to pre-register to vote. How will this change voter turnout and election results? Do young people care enough to show up to the polls? I talked to students and teachers at Sacramento Charter High School to see what they think.
On April 14th, 2018, a creek clean-up event will be held at George Sim Community Center where volunteers will gather before cleaning parts of Morrison Creek between 65th Street and Power Inn Road from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. On that same day, the Morrison Creek Revitalization Project will host a community vision meeting at Elder Creek Elementary School from 2:30 PM – 4:30 PM.
The Morrison Creek Revitalization Project is a community-lead project intending to create a safe and walkable path between Elder Creek Elementary School, Sim Park, and the George Sim Community Center along Morrison Creek. The purpose of the community vision meeting held on April 14th is to gather ideas from local residents of Morrison Creek and potentially implement them into the MCRP’s final design plan. The project group has reached out to residents, local groups, and nonprofit organizations.
“The project will be developed in a multi-phase approach and the community’s vision will decide the project that best fits the needs of those who live, work, and play in the area,” said Lauren Bisnett, an Information Officer of the California Department of Water Resources. “Once the project design is finalized, the construction grant application process will begin and construction could start as early as the fall of 2020. The project timeline and construction work could take place sometime after 2020 as well, depending on the environmental permitting process and other project requirements. Funding for the planning of this project is made possible in part by bond funds from Propositions 13, 50, and 84 in addition to funding from project partners. Funding for the construction activities may be made possible by Riverine Stewardship grants awarded by DWR. The project team will be seeking additional grants for the construction of the bike and walking paths. Project partners are helping with the outreach and with the project description. They are incurring costs as well.”
For more information, contact Esther Tracy at (916) 651-9629 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Saturday, March 24th, young people from all across the country took to the streets for their “March for our Lives” protests. Here in Sacramento, residents had their own march, and here is some footage for it.