People Over Property: Stop CPLC Development

Phoenix City Council, Mayor Kate Gallego

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People Over Property Initiative

The People Over Property Initiative stands in opposition to Chicanos Por La Causa’s (CPLC) currently proposed property development project in South Phoenix. This project will be located off of Broadway and 6th Ave, less than a half mile away from the future South Central light rail extension. CPLC’s proposal does not center those most directly impacted by health disparity in the South Mountain Village nor will it deliver on its promise of being affordable for the communities that live there.

CPLC’s development practice reinforces the racial displacement and gentrification that has led to the re-segregation of this City. Since January, CPLC has refused to meaningfully engage the community, and at the May Village Planning Committee meeting refused an invitation by local Black led organizing efforts for additional engagement on these issues. This refusal is an act of racial violence and anti-blackness that will no longer be accepted as standard ways of doing development.


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Phoenix, Arizona

To: Phoenix City Council, Mayor Kate Gallego
From: [Your Name]

The People Over Property Initiative is a collective of local organizations, community organizers, community developers, village planning committee members, residents, and lovers of our South Phoenix Community. We recognize the generational impact of a land use and development process by a City built on racial segregation and exploitation. As we continue to face systemic racism in development today, we are guided by the following values:

(1) We center those most directly impacted by health disparity. The legacy of racism has resulted in state sanctioned early death of South Phoenix Residents through Food Apartheid, Mass Incarceration/Criminalization, and Environmental Racism

(2) We center Black Liberation and make visible the way Racism operates in the development process. In solidarity, we hold a commitment to name Anti-Black violence and move towards dismantling the beliefs behind it (racial, economic, and gender-based)

(3) We center healing and transformation in our recommendations, requests, considerations, and expectations for future development

We are in opposition to the current project proposed by Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) located off of Broadway and 6th Ave, less than a half mile away from the future South Central light rail extension. Gentrification and Displacement have been regular concerns for South Central given the transit development impact to neighboring communities. The People Over Property Initiative believes only in deeply understanding the mechanisms of structural racism, can we begin to address issues like Displacement. In a study done by LISC and ASU, bringing the light rail through the East Lake neighborhood more than doubled the housing cost in the area, and in nearby Garfield, it increased it by 61%. It also severely impacted the demographics of the area as the percentage of Latinos in East Lake went from 56% to 25%, decreasing by more than half.

“When rents reach the tipping point, when old industrial buildings flip or are razed for flimsy new ones made of glass and chipboard, when the once affordable housing is renovated into hi-end duplexes, when poor residents have to leave, the Gentrification narrative hits its limit. Gentrification has no room for the question, “Where did the displaced go?” - Jeff Chang, We Gon’ be Alright: Notes on Race & Resegregation

Resegregation tells a more complete story by addressing race and answering where the displaced go: the Suburbs, the Prisons, and Premature Death

When 59% of Black households earn less than 85040’s Area Median Income (AMI-ACS 2018 data) and the developer refuses to budge on 60% AMI to rent and 80% AMI to own, leaving 50% of Black folx unable to own and 40% unable to rent; that project is unaffordable and anti-Black and should be denied.

Black men represent 14% of the Arizona prison population yet only 4% of the State population (ACLU AZ Blueprint for Smart Justice Report). When a developer is proposing a project in a neighborhood with a 25% Black population, in the middle of a million dollar block (a city block where the state is spending in excess of a million dollars a year to incarcerate the residents), with an 81% recidivism rate, but refuses to engage local Black leadership on issues of housing accessibility for people formerly incarcerated; that developer is anti-Black and should be denied.

When 20% of the surrounding communities households are in mobile home parks and have been identified by the city as “high risk for displacement,” even noting the increased ‘exposure’ to undocumented renters in the community (Center for Neighborhood Technologies Central ETOD report), but the new affordable housing project isn’t interested in addressing this local need; that project is disconnected and anti-immigrant and should be denied.

When every person of color on the local village planning committee cites multiple issues to housing affordability and accessibility, and the village overwhelmingly votes to deny only to be circumvented by a disinterested and nearly all white planning commission; that development process is structurally racist and violent.

Every ‘People’ centered developer should be committed to engaging in the deep racial history and trauma formerly segregated communities like South Phoenix hold, especially while under the pressure of Re-Segregation. There is wisdom in the experience of those directly impacted by racial trauma, which is why it has become a clear expectation by the South Mountain Village Planning Committee that every developer engages on the issue of the formerly incarcerated experience. The housing developers that presented at the South Mountain Village before and after the CPLC project was presented, demonstrated this commitment. They listened, learned, and applied what they heard to their development proposal receiving a vote of approval by the village planning committee. Since February, CPLC has refused to meaningfully engage the community, and at the May Village Planning Committee meeting, CPLC refused an invitation by local Black led organizing efforts for additional engagement on these issues. This refusal is an act of racial violence and anti-Blackness that will no longer be accepted as standard ways of engaging the South Mountain Village

We deserve better!

We ask that you vote NO on the CPLC development at the July 1st City Council Meeting.

The People Over Property Initiative:
Mass Liberation AZ
Back Lives Matter Phoenix-Metro
Black Phoenix Organizing Collective
Poder in Action
Trans Queer Pueblo
National Lawyers Guild (AZ)
Melanin Moms
Fund for Empowerment
Shot in the Dark - Phoenix
Blue Agave Partners
Latina Giving Circle
Impact Catalyst Partners
South Mountain Services
Gonzalez Consulting Group
Tiger Mountain Foundation
Sagrado
LUCHA AZ