League of Cities tips on how to cry about redevelopment raid

Thou shall not steal!

The following is courtesy of the League of Cities.

 Monday May 10th was the deadline for the 350 plus cities across our state with redevelopment agencies to send a check to Sacramento as another band aid for fixing our $20 billion budget shortfall. This court approved action will enable the state to siphon off $2.05 billion dollars in the next two years.

Make a public records request, or attend your next city council meeting, to see if the faithful followed the “talking points” text as instructed by the good guys who maintain the public troth which takes much needed funds away from police, firefighters and librarians. We know it as “tax  increment.”

“Redevelopment. Building Better Communities.


Background: On Monday, May 10, 2010, local redevelopment agencies throughout California are required to make the first of two devastating payments to county auditors to fund the $2.05 billion State raid of redevelopment funds that was authorized as part of the 2009-10 State Budget.  A Sacramento Superior Court Judge ruled on May 4 in favor of the State in response to a lawsuit by the California Redevelopment Association (CRA) which attempted to invalidate the raid.  While CRA has filed an appeal, agencies still are required to make their first payment on Monday May 10, 2010.

At the time your agency makes its payment – on Monday — CRA encourages local redevelopment agencies to notify local media in one of two ways:

1. Issue a press release (sample release below and on CRA website); or
2. Hold a formal news conference. Distribute the sample press release to media at the news conference. 

When notifying media, it’s vital that you include specific information about the lost jobs, lost economic growth and tangible local revitalization projects that will be stalled or killed as a result of state raids. We encourage you to stress the following points in your discussions with reporters:
1) Describe specific projects that will be lost, and the consequences of state raids on the local economy, jobs and your community’s quality of life. 

Ø Describe specific revitalization projects that will be delayed or eliminated. Focus on popular projects like public safety and crime reduction, infrastructure, projects for children and seniors, blight removal, affordable housing, environmental cleanup, and job creation.

Ø Focus on the economic growth and jobs message.  How many jobs will be lost? How much economic growth will be lost (both direct and indirect)? What other projects will not go forward as an indirect consequence? More details help reporters covering your issue.

Ø Focus on the human impact of state raids. How many seniors will lose affordable housing? How many children will lose access to a new community center? Will crime increase?

Ø Redevelopment agencies technically do not have so-called reserves. These funds ultimately would have been used to revitalize blight, create jobs, build affordable housing, etc. The important point is that so-called reserves are funds that will be used in the future to better your community, so you should highlight projects that would be impacted.

In terms of impacts to projects, detail existing or proposed projects that could be at risk, even if you’re still making final determinations.

About Larry Gilbert