D. Quality of Life In California’s Inner Cities
The CIS seeks comprehensive, integrated, and dynamic new approaches to stimulating business growth, homeownership and the creation of livable wage jobs for California’s distressed low-income populations and neighborhoods. The intent of the Summit – in part - is to uplift the economic and social platform of targeted neighborhoods by creating Small, Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely (SSMART) “catalysts for livable communities.” These catalysts will not only create business, homeownership and job opportunities, but will spur the process of revitalizing the soul of the community through physical beautification, crime reduction and the institutional cultivation of arts, entertainment and culture.
Despite notable gains in business start-ups, homeownership and academic progress, far too many of California’s urban residents and areas continue to be neglected and plagued by unemployment, poverty, crime, drugs, neighborhood blight and despair.
It takes little by way of imagination to begin to understand the problems created by a distressed quality of life in California’s urban neighborhoods. Abandoned, dilapidated or substandard commercial and residential buildings, along with grafitti, litter and idle gathering are simply unattractive, unsettling eyesores. But aside from the variety of social, economic and environmental ills documented by numerous studies, the chief amongst these problems are wasted resources and lost tax revenues, declining property values, the effects on community aesthetics, and generational wealth gaps.
The problems above can also have the effect of encouraging social isolation of individuals and families; effectively weakening ties to others and, hence, the sense of collectivity which is the hallmark of any thriving community. Fearful of anti-social and criminal behavior, residents are encouraged to curtail their normal social interaction. This kind of isolation may foster exactly the sort of anti-social and criminal behaviors that it initially is a response to. Finally, distressed neighborhood conditions often lead to a sense of resignation and hopelessness; interpreted by children, youth and families as a signal that no one cares - perhaps even prompting the belief that further damage to human life or property is costless.
Distressed inner city conditions, along with the modern day confluence of globalism, technological innovation, population growth, skyrocketing housing costs, traffic, pollution, devolution, budget deficits, outsourcing, etc., has created increasing pressure for California to shape a new environment for economic community. Backed by a wide body of compelling research, the CIS will respond to this confluence with specific and coordinated action: helping to create thriving neighborhoods that become important regional and environmental assets, as well as beacons of hope.
TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE
COLLECTIVE IMPACT: THE FIVE CONDITIONS FOR SUCCESS
INTRODUCTION TO THE NEEDS
Lack of Access to Capital
and Diversity Challenges
Quality of Life In
California’s Inner Cities