Lillian Henegar is director of policy and outreach for the
California Redevelopment Association. She can be reached
Greg LeRoy, founder and director of Good Jobs First, spoke at the
California Redevelopment Association (CRA) Annual Conference held
Feb. 28–March 2, 2007, in Long Beach. LeRoy is author of The
Great American Jobs Scam: Corporate Tax Dodging and the Myth of
Job Creation. In his speech, he shared several ways California’s
local governments could better drive job creation and economic
development in their communities.
Many city officials understand the link between health insurance
for kids and some of the specific issues their communities are
currently tackling, such as childhood obesity, at-risk youth,
teen pregnancy, nutrition, truancy and public safety. But
approximately 800,000 children in California do not have health
Lou Paulson is a 20-year fire captain with the Contra Costa
County Fire Department. He currently serves as president of
California Professional Firefighters, representing 30,000
rank-and-ﬁle first responders.
There is a looming retirement crisis in California and around the
country that — if left unattended — will impose untold millions
of dollars in additional costs to state and local government, and
threaten vital services such as police, fire, transportation and
In the mid-1990s, the City of Porterville was searching for
solutions to the problems in its Orange Avenue area. The avenue,
a gateway to the city’s downtown area, had become known for
drugs, crime and vagrants. Its infrastructure was substandard,
with crumbling sidewalks and no traffic signals to help
pedestrians cross the street. Decaying buildings dotted the area.
Orange Avenue was desperately in need of repair.
Home of the last Spanish Mission, the Bear Flag Rebellion and
world-class wines, the City of Sonoma has long partnered with the
Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau to sustain tourism, its number one
industry. But small businesses, which make up the majority of the
city’s economy, were on their own.
DOWNEY Puts Contaminated NASA Property to Economic Reuse
In 1999, the federal government closed the 160-acre Downey NASA
Industrial Plant. This ended 70 years of pioneering aerospace
activities that encompassed construction of the Apollo moon
modules and the nation’s space shuttle fleet. The site had
significant soil contamination and faced an uncertain future.