Gov. Jerry Brown's successful effort to shut down the state's now defunct redevelopment agencies has taken another casualty: the California Redevelopment Association.
In a statement released today (pdf), CRA officials and board members announced that the organization, absent its raison d'etre, would soon begin the process of shutting down, pending a vote of its membership.
The venerable organization had led the fight to preserve redevelopment. Along with the League of California Cities, CRA drafted and promoted Prop. 22, the 2010 ballot measure that was designed to protect local funds, such as redevelopment monies. It then took on Gov. Brown and ultimately filed suit to overturn the legislation that forced agencies to shut down if they refused to make payments to the state. That legal effort turned disastrous for CRA, as the state Supreme Court rendered a ruling that eliminated the payment scheme and condemned all the state's RDA's.
Since the court rendered its decision in December, CRA has been helping agencies navigate the dissolution process.
In a letter from CRA President and Alhambra City Manager Julio Fuentes, and CRA Interim Executive Director Jim Kennedy reads, in part:
"(W)e are confronted with the unfortunate reality that the years of incredible success with redevelopment – building affordable housing, creating jobs, cleaning up and reusing contaminated sites, and revitalizing communities – have now come to an end due to a policy choice of the State of California to address its fiscal imbalance in part by dissolving redevelopment agencies. As a result, cities and counties in California will, at least for a time, have to address community revitalization needs without this incredibly powerful tool.
"With the dissolution of local redevelopment agencies as of February 1, it has become clear to the board and executive staff that the business plan for CRA is no longer sustainable. (T)he CRA Board of Directors has now concluded with great reluctance that it has no other prudent choice but to initiate the dissolution of the association."
Fuentes and Kennedy explain that the League of California Cities has already taken a leadership role in discussing the future of any "next generation" local community revitalization tool:
"The League of California Cities has already convened a Next Generation Task Force to assist in these discussions. The imperative for California's communities to continue addressing their infrastructure, affordable housing, jobs/economic development, brownfield reuse, and military base reuse challenges remains."
CP&DR will provide updates as they become available.