Monday, January 5, 2009

Poverty Law Events at AALS

From the folks at the AALS Poverty Law Section:

Section on Poverty Law: January AALS Program: "Privatization: Promise and Pitfall at the Intersection of Law, Markets and Poverty" -  January 9, 3:30 - 5:15 p.m.

This year our AALS program addresses the strategy of  harnessing "social justice capital"  to attack poverty and insure community control of development. Can mixed public/private finance, with its reliance on market mechanisms and capital investment, provide resources where government alone has failed to allocate them? The Section is continuing its practice of locating a case study in the city of the AALS conference; here, our example of community capitalism is Market Creek Plaza, the first "community development IPO," in which residents of a disinvested neighborhood in San Diego have taken charge of its redevelopment and partially financed redevelopment through buying their own equity shares. Our panelists, including the CEO of the foundation which supports Market Creek Plaza, will present their experiences as advocates with using capital investment to promote social justice ends.

Panelists: Barbara Bezdek (Maryland), Louise Howells (UDC), Jennifer Vanica (President and CEO, Jacobs Family Center for Neighborhood Innovation)

Commentator: Angela Harris (Berkeley)

Moderator: Susan Bennett (American)

Save the Slot: Program Prequel: Visit to Market Creek Plaza

We have been offered an opportunity to tour Market Creek Plaza, meet some of its shareholder residents, and discuss the history and progress of the resident - directed development.

Here's logistical information for the tour, which will last from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on January 9. We'll meet at the check-in desk at the Marriott at 8:00 a.m. so we can take the trolley ride to Market Creek Plaza. If you're driving, I've also attached driving directions to the Plaza. Also attached are the map of the Plaza, the San Diego Trolley map and important ridership information, and boarding schedules to get you back and forth from the hotel to the Plaza. Since we will have a tight schedule, we've been asked to have all participants, whether arriving by trolley or by car, arrive at the same time - 8:45 - at the Euclid trolley stop, where we'll be met by representatives from Market Creek.

Once everyone is assembled, we anticipate dividing the group into two batches with two residents and one staff member conducting each tour.  A conversation with the resident shareholders and board members of Market Creek will follow the tour.

To give you some idea of the goals, history and structure of the community ownership of Market Place,  our contact at Market Creek has provided the file of its 2007 Social & Economic Impact Report (attached) – a the link to the PolicyLink publication Market Creek Plaza: Toward Resident Ownership of Neighborhood Change:

We need a head count: so if you think you might attend, PLEASE e-mail, cc to our contact, MaryJane Garcia,,  ASAP.

Ben Barros

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