Alameda County, CA March 7, 2000 Election
Smart Voter

Economic Development & Revitalization

By Vince Reyes

Candidate for Supervisor; County of Alameda; District 4

This information is provided by the candidate
Economic development in both suburban and rural areas of the county is happening without a master plan to control it. We need to coordinate development and revitalization efforts from a regional perspective.
The Board of Supervisors needs to take responsibility to work with it's own Planning Department and local planning jurisdictions to help understand and guide a regional approach to planning and land use issues.

Economic development in the valley is putting outward pressure on urban sprawl. I believe the Board's responsibility is to create a situation where growth is reasonable, occurs with community input, preserves open space, has minimal impact on transportation, and that negative environmental impacts are mitigated.

The areas of Ashland and Cherryland need to be addressed. These areas, some parts of which are considered low-income, as well as other urgan areas that require special attention since they have historically not been the first choice for development projects. I would take the responsibility to create economic development plans for these areas that tie them to the County's Welare to Work plans. That is, job creation, training and retention services for residents would become a high priority. The county could creatively use CalWORKS dollars to bolster social and health care services in these areas to benefit the population.

Over the past two years as the Social Services Resource Development Director, I was charged with creating community partnerships between the county and low-income neighborhoods to create jobs and to provide safety net services. We were successful in funding a number of organizations who now conduct job training and placement, handle referrals to health and mental health care institutions, provide domestic violence servicers and substance abuse programs. This type of county / community partnership helps to empower communities to develop their own ideas and plans for economic development.

Also, a discussion of economic development needs to include the need for affordable housing. I am an advocate for affordable housing -- when done properly and located in the appropriate place. This means quality housing, located in areas close to transportation and resident services. Community input is a necessary component to fit affordable housing successfully into the surrounding community.

I have been on the Board of East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation for 10 years. During my tenure, EBALDC has built hundreds of units of housing. Because of this experience, I understand the need to work with banks, private foundations and lending institutions to get the job done. I am in contact with non-profit housing developers and socially conscious private developers who I trust would be sensitive to community needs and are experts in assemblinhg financial packages for affordable housing projects.

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