Why did we need to create a 501c3 – why create a new organization? We are hoping to get a contract – a community benefits agreement (CBA) with UC Davis and its investors/developers. An entity will need to sign on behalf of the community. Without a formal organization for our coalition, there is no legal entity that represents all our organizations that can sign such a document. Also, we need an organization that will last through time that will make sure the commitments made in a CBA are carried out. The Sacramento Investment Without Displacement organization can serve this purpose as well as take action in future years to enforce the CBA and negotiate CBAs linked to development projects in other neighborhoods of Sacramento.
What are you asking my organization to do? We invite your organization to become a member of Sacramento Investment Without Displacement. To apply, fill out our Application that you can get by emailing Info.SacIWD@gmail.com. For some organizations, your board will want to vote on this. First year (inaugural) membership fees for 2020-21 are being waived.
Who created the organizational documents for SacIWD?Legal Services of Northern California (LSNC) served as pro bono (no fee) legal counsel for the purposes of preparing the Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws. We are appreciative of their time and expertise.
Didn’t several organizations try to get a Community Benefits Agreement from the developer of the new KINGS arena? What happened with that effort? Several organizations did try to work together to get a CBA to benefit the community and mitigate the anticipated negative impacts of the new arena. This effort did not succeed. The Arena developers agreed to a few programs, but many larger issues did not get negotiated. Those involved in this effort have evaluated it and believe that the failure was in part due to the absence of a legal entity empowered by the various organizations to act as the negotiator and empowered to sign a contract with the developers.
Would this new entity only be used for the Aggie Square effort? We will first work together through this entity on the Aggie Square effort. As other large development projects are proposed in Sacramento, Sac IWD’s board and members can decide on a project by project basis where we will work with residents on negotiating community benefits agreements with developers.
Who serves on the board of the new entity? How is the board selected? SacIWD is a new organization, incorporated in 2020. The organizations who made up the initial membership will nominate and elect the individuals who sit as the inaugural board of directors. The individuals sitting on the board should include resident leaders and others who have expertise in the issues that are affected by large development projects. The membership can add board members later, including if we take on new development projects in the future and expand to include new neighborhoods. We are proposing an initial board made up of individuals selected by organizations that advocate for: Oak Park, Tahoe Park, Fruitridge Manor, affordable housing, food security, health access, good jobs and workforce training, equitable transportation, environmental justice, opportunities for youth, neighborhood businesses, public schools, and UC Davis students. Join today and your organization will have a vote in Board elections.
What strategies will we use to get UC Davis’ attention and to get them to negotiate with us through this new entity? We develop strategies as a collective group. Each of our organizations bring unique strengths and can build on these strengths as we develop our strategies. These strengths include community organizing skills, political connections, deep ties to affected neighborhoods, media sophistication, research skills, storytelling abilities, etc.
What leverage do we really have with a powerful institution like UC Davis? UC Davis is taxpayer funded and wants to be seen as acting in the public interest. UC Davis Med Center is a health institution and wants to be seen as acting in a manner that supports public health. This public persona is a powerful motivator for a public institution. Also, UC Med Center will need some support from the City of Sacramento—sewer services, local public funds and support in expanding the impact of Aggie Square into other areas of the City, including further down Stockton Blvd. Our local elected officials can be powerful allies in our efforts if we can make an effective collective case that this is their role.
What about the existing Aggie Square Community Outrach Committee created by UC Davis Med Center?Aren’t residents and community groups already represented on that? There are a few neighborhood and community organizations that have a seat on the Aggie Square Community Outreach Committee. However, that Committee is not a place for residents and community groups to have real input into the development and they have not been given a negotiation role. The Committee is not a legal entity, and as such, cannot sign an agreement with UC Davis Med Center and its investor/developers. Also, people who serve on that committee have indicated that the UC Davis is not discussing with community members the likely negative impacts of Aggie Square on the surrounding neighborhoods and existing communities.
What will be the time requirement for our organization? If your organization wants to be active in ensuring that Aggie Square development and build out results in benefits to our communities and builds the health of existing residents, you will want to be active in this effort. You can be active by sending a representative(s) to our monthly meetings and/or meetings of our working committees, although regular attendance is not a requirement of membership. We encourage your organization to nominate individuals to the board of directors.( Individuals serving on the board serve in an individual capacity and are not designees of organizations.)
What programs, policies and mitigations are we seeking from Aggie Square developers?In general, we want Aggie Square investment to result in a healthier environment, an expansion of health and transportation access and good jobs for existing residents, expanded opportunities for youth and for neighborhood businesses, more resources for schools and neighborhood institutions, and more housing opportunities for all income levels. You may email Info.SacIWD for our Aggie Square: Proposed Mitigations document. These proposals will continue to be developed as we obtain input from more residents and as we meet together in planning and strategy sessions.
Who will be doing the negotiating with UC Davis? The board of the new entity will designate a negotiation team. Our operating agreement for the involved organizations assets that member organizations allow this team to negotiate on our collective behalf and that individual organizations do not negotiate separately. Our power is in our numbers—in our collective work together.
What is the timing? UC Davis Med Center has already issued an RFP for the first phase of development at Aggie Square and selected a development team. They expect to begin development in 2021. The full buildout of Aggie Square will take place over several phases and many years.
For more information on Aggie Square, please go to our website at SIWD.org or email Info.SacIWD@gmail.com.