October 23, 1998

Ballpark Impacts on Neighboring Communities to be Addressed for First Time by City, Padres and Communities United

COMMUNITIES UNITED, a combination of residents, businesses and community-based organizations from neighborhoods nearest to the proposed ball park, announced that the Padres, City officials and CCDC agreed to meet with COMMUNITIES UNITED spokespeople on Monday, October 26, 1998 at noon at the Greater Golden Hill CDC, 2460 Broadway. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss possible impacts that the proposed redevelopment project will have on residents of Golden Hill, Sherman Heights, Barrio Logan, Logan Heights, Grant Hill, Centre City East, South Park, Memorial, Stockton, and Bankers Hill and identify mitigation measures.

The coalition raises serious concerns over noise, traffic, air quality, parking, facilities financing and improvements, public services, equal opportunities in employment and contracting, as well as impacts on neighborhood cohesion and affordable housing to name a few.

Greg Akili, Director of the San Diego Nonprofit Federation for Housing and Community Development proclaims the value of this meeting is to put, before the decision makers, the restoration of the Housing Trust Fund and the rebuilding of the neighboring communities and come up with solutions.

"How will life in our communities change when 35,000 to 40,000+ people drive through our communities on a regular basis and public services and facilities are not improved and/or maintained? How will our communities, residents, children and businesses deal with euphoric, drunk and/or disappointed fans when parking is an unresolved problem, when our communities are not even equipped with adequate street-lighting, covers over the storm drains, underground utilities nor the luxury of economically-prosperous commercial corridors?" asked Remigia (Remy) Bermudez, a homeowner/resident of Sherman Heights and member of the Sherman Heights Revitalization Team with extensive professional background in redevelopment, community development, housing, and economic development with the public and private sectors.

Bermudez reminds us that redevelopment was created to serve the communities, not to serve redevelopment agencies or their corporations nor to subsidize multi-million-dollar private corporations by taking from the poor and giving to the rich while ignoring the impacted neighborhoods. "We need the full cooperation and commitment of the decision makers on the proposed redevelopment project. COMMUNITIES UNITED wants to develop partnership for improved quality of life in our communities," she said.

The neighborhoods identified within COMMUNITIES UNITED's plan of action are of historical value and fabric and house thousands of working people who deserve genuine commitment and consideration from the City and the Padres. "...the least, of which, is to include such communities in the sphere of influence studies, include mitigation measures to address the negative impacts of the proposed ballpark within the Environmental Impact Report, and to distribute the wealth of the positive impacts to the neighboring communities. We want to define those considerations before November 3rd emphasized Arlene Hamlin, Executive Director of the Greater Golden Hill CDC.

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