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Urban Justice

Urban planning, housing, transportation, the privatization of public space and the criminalization of people of color and poor people.

REDI Document Archive

The Richmond Equitable Development Initiative (REDI) ran a multi year campaign aimed at influencing Richmond decision-makersto adop equity principles in planning processes on  focus areas which include, equitable land use and planning, quality jobs and workforce training, affordable, safe and reliable public transit, greater community ownership and creating a healthy environment.

Research and policy the coalition produced to support its projects and campaigns are listed in reverse chronological order:

The Color of Election 2000: A Look at the Resurgence of Electoral Racism

 

What if there was an election, and nobody won?

Thank you, Florida, for exposing as fraud the much-vaunted sanctity of the vote in this country and placing electoral reform back on the country’s agenda. Reports out of Florida show that people of color cast a disproportionate number of disqualified votes. On election day, black and Haitian voters were harassed by police, their names removed from the rolls, and their ballots left uncounted by outdated machines. Thirty-five years after passage of the Voting Rights Act, racist violations of election law are rampant and should be pursued to justice in Florida and elsewhere.

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Transforming a Movement

 

Rarely do people get the opportunity to participate in historic events. But each of the 300 African, Latino, Native and Asian Americans from all 50 states who gathered for the first National People of Color Environmental Leadership Summit in late October must have left with a sense that the atmosphere in which environmental issues are debated and resolved is changed for good. And for the better.

Joined by delegates from Puerto Rim, Canada, Central and South America, and the Marshall Islands, those present at the October 24-27 meeting in Washington, DC, set in a motion a process of redefining environmental issues in their own terms. People of color gathered not in reaction to the environmental movement, but rather to reaffirm their traditional connection to and respect for the natural world, and to speak for themselves on some of the most critical issues of our times.

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The Color of California Water Politics

Water is a resource which all human beings need for survival. Presently in California, water is a precious and increasingly scarce resource because of environmental, economic, social and political factors. There is intense competition for access to water, which raises a range of related issues, from water quantity to water quality, from water use to how much water costs. Yet entire communities of people in California, namely people of color and low-income people, have no voice in the debate or in policy-making over water resources in the state. This is unacceptable. There is something fundamentally and morally wrong about excluding entire communities of people from the discussion and decision-making process involving water, a resource which is a critical need for all people.

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Discovering Columbus: Re-Reading the Past

Most of my students have trouble with the idea that a book – especially a textbook – can lie. That's why I start my U.S. history class by stealing a student's purse.

As the year opens, my students may not know when the Civil War was fought or what James Madison or Frederick Douglass did; but they know that a brave fellow named Christopher Columbus discovered America. Indeed, this bit of historical lore may be the only knowledge class members share in common.

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Struggles Unite Native Peoples

The following is from an interview with chief Bill Redwing Tayac of the Piscataway people, conducted by Phil Tajitsu Nash. In it, Chief Tayac stresses the unity of native peoples throughout the Americas and outlines some of thei rmany struggles, in particular the fight to maintain their land.

My name is Billy Redwing Tayac. I am the hereditary chief of the Piscataway people, who are indigenous to Maryland, Washington, D.C., and northern Virginia. Our present ceremonial ground and spiritual and political center is located in what is called Port Tobacco, in Maryland. Over the years, I have worked for the reclamation of Indian people. We have so many people who have lost their way, who don't know anything about their traditions or religion. This work involves "de-Angloization," or bringing our people back to the earth, back to being Indian people. It is hard to be an Indian in any city because we are separated from the earth by concrete. We can'? feel the power of the earth, the wind, the trees.

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Metro Rail, Social Justice, and Urban Form

The recent Los Angeles uprising is not the inchoate and criminal cry of a statistically minor underclass that could not climb the ladder of the American dream. It is rather a defining moment in American history, an event which, for those who choose to see, breaks through our denial of the increasing disparity between the haves and the have-nots. "Fixing" the underclass by "rebuilding Los Angeles" misses the point completely. The foundation of any true "rebuilding" of Los Angeles is the economic, social and psychological empowerment of all its people.

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