Strong Towns Podcast: Should California Bring Back Redevelopment?

The loss of more than 400 redevelopment agencies across California dealt a massive blow to cities and counties in 2012. Some redevelopment proponents have drawn a direct line between that decision by then Gov. Jerry Brown and a rise in homelessness and inequality.

GrassrootsLab’s Mike Madrid and R Street’s Steven Greenhut discussed the issue at the Southern California gathering for Strong Towns in Santa Ana in December. The central question of the debate: Should California bring back redevelopment?

“Redevelopment will come back in California,” probably soon and probably under a different name, said Madrid. While he acknowledged problems with California’s redevelopment programs, he said those issues were always fixable. It would be wise to bring the programs back with improvements.

Greenhut countered that redevelopment invited government waste and overreach and that Brown had made the right decision in dissolving the agencies – even if it was done for the wrong reasons.

No matter which side you fall on, this is a discussion that will make you think. Listen to the debate on the Strong Towns podcast here.