Building Our Future

The Right Way

The East Sacramento Improvement Association is not just another neighborhood group. Established in 1958 when Sacramento was still a sleepy backwater, it’s believed to be the city’s oldest neighborhood association.

Founded as a way to coalesce local opposition to Mercy Hospital expansion when Dwight Eisenhower was in the White House, the East Sac Improvement group is one of the city’s largest and most effective grassroots advocates. It typically gets early peeks at proposed developments within its boundaries and has re-shaped or helped kill projects it dislikes.

Zoned Out

Tucked among other news roiling our lives is a growing drumbeat about environmental justice.

President Joe Biden has promised his administration will keep it “in the center of all we do.” Health and Human Services director, former California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, spoke often about environmental justice. Becerra joined residents in San Bernardino to oppose plans to expand the airport for Amazon’s logistics needs.

Star Reborn

Desperate for something to feel good about amid the city’s boarded-up storefronts and quiet office buildings? Make your way to the 2700 block of K Street. It should lift your spirits.

The spring afternoon I went there, a crane dangled steel beams high above rooftops, workers delicately handled decorative terra cotta and an energetic Roger Hume bounced around from floor to floor. The frenetic scene belonged to one of the more complex and promising rehabilitation projects in recent Sacramento history.

Blight’s All Right

If your passion is building houses for a living, as it is for Indie Capital’s Erica Cunningham, there are easier ways to do it.

Cunningham, who got into the business after buying and rehabbing her own rundown house in Oak Park and selling it for a profit, formed Indie Capital with her husband, Nate, about 15 years ago.

Good Neighbor Policy

We humans tend to resist change, especially when we fear it may lower our property values.

For those fortunate enough to own a home in a state rapidly making it too expensive for our children to buy one, change is coming whether we like it or not. California’s economy cannot sustain itself with a residential real estate market off limits to whole generations. We have to think differently about housing.

Change, For Sure

Even for people who refuse to wear masks or treat the coronavirus as the grave public health threat it is, one thing is certain: life will not be the same anytime soon.

No one can say when COVID-19 will stop flooding our hospitals, but we know cities such as Sacramento are changing even as we struggle through the pandemic.

Disasters like earthquakes, fires and floods tend to cause reconsideration. Some close friends of mine in Sonoma County are moving to Washington state after losing their Santa Rosa home in the 2017 wildfires and being evacuated several times since from their new place a few miles north.

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