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McCarter Switching Station

Building an Empowered Community

A SPECIAL PRESENTATION FOR:


National Environmental Justice Conference and Training Program
March 9, 2016

The Mission of Our Movement


The Urban League of Essex County is a non-profit community-based
organization whose mission is to assist African Americans and other
disadvantaged urban residents in the achievement of social and
economic self-sufficiency.

Urban League of Essex County


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The Urban League of Essex County (ULEC)


ULECs strategy is geared specifically
towards serving the Essex County
community.
Our goals are:
Economic self-sufficiency for adults
Social and educational equality for
youth
Safe communities and
neighborhoods
Civic involvement and responsibility

Founded in 1917
Service Area: Essex County, New
Jersey
50 full-time, 25 part-time
employees
CEO: Vivian Cox Fraser
10 Board members
Total operating budget of
$4,000,000

Racial inclusion

Urban League of Essex County


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Programs and Services


ULEC accomplishes its mission through its programs and advocacy efforts.

Early Childhood
& After School
Programs

Employment and
Career
Counseling & Job
Placement
Community
Development

Social and Econmic


Self-Sufficiency
Teen Mentoring,
Tutoring & College
Prep

Social Enterprise
and Job Creation
Financial Literacy &
Foreclosure
Assistance

Urban League of Essex County


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Impactful Programs

Urban League of Essex County


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Focus on Transforming a Community

Fairmount is one of the most distressed


neighborhoods in Newark and isNEIGHBORHOOD
a TARGET
microcosm of the challenges in the City
and other urban areas.

11,000 Residents
4,200 Children
Urban League of Essex County
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The Fairmount Strategic Plan


The Plan identified five major goals:
1. Promoting Jobs and Economic
Opportunity;
2. Strengthening the Community,
Neighborhood and Families;
3. Reducing Crime and Improving Public
Safety;
4. Improving Educational Opportunities; and
5. Enhancing Quality of Life through Land
Use and Recreation
Over 1,000 residents participated
in the development of the
Fairmount Strategic Plan
Urban League of Essex County
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Tough Challenges in Fairmount


48% of children in
Fairmount live in poverty
Nearly 70% of all children
live in a single parent
household
23.9% housing vacancy
rate is nearly twice as high
as the national average of
13.1%
Highest estimated
percentage of subprime
loans and total mortgages in
foreclosure with almost 50
for every 1,000 owneroccupied units going into
foreclosure
Urban League of Essex County
Unemployment is
27.9%
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Children of Fairmount
Compared to other children in the city and state, the average
child in Fairmount is more likely to
live in poverty;
experience or witness violence and crime;
live in a one-parent home;
live in substandard housing and walk past abandoned
homes on the way to school;
not have a clean, safe, environment in which to play
And less likely to
read or write at grade level;
have health insurance;
pass state assessment tests in language arts,
mathematics, and science;
have access to 21st century technology at home;
be prepared for college and career.
Urban League of Essex County
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Land Use Impacts the Quality of Life in Fairmount

Urban League of Essex County


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How this Project Impacts Fairmount


Economic Impact
We want to ensure all options and alternatives are considered because this project forever takes a
valuable parcel out of potential use to create jobs and economic benefit to this neighborhood.
Estimated economic cost exceeds $80 Million in a five year period

Creates no Jobs

Community Health and Environmental Impact


Concerns about safety, health, and environmental impacts have not been answered
Cumulative and Disparate Impact
Neighborhood already has significant challenges to revitalization poverty, foreclosures,
abandonment, disorder, and this will make our work to improve Fairmount impossible. The impact
on an already depressed community is far different than placement in a more stable neighborhood.
Urban Design Impact
This parcel is the gateway into the neighborhood on a major commercial corridor of a residential
community. The project is large and

Urban League of Essex County


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Amplifying Community Voices through Tangible Wins

Fairmounts younger residents protest the


development of the switching station

Longest Zoning Board trial in the history


of the City of Newark, 6 hearings.
Over 15 expert witnesses
85 residents testified

Urban League of Essex County


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NIMBY Its Not Personal

Urban League of Essex County


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Community Benefit Agreement


Repositioned and slightly smaller footprint
Economic Feasibility study
New Design to Address Safety Concerns
$5 Mil for a New Community Center
3.5 Acres of land to develop
New Pedestrian Lighting in Fairmount
New Greenspace and Park
Changes in Traffic Patterns to Promote Pedestrian Safety

Urban League of Essex County


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Closing Thoughts

Having Your Own Plan and Residents Driving the Plan gives your voice more credibility

Not just a community saying Not In my Back Yard

Accountability and Integrity Helped them to Believe they could Change their
Neighborhood

Local Politics and Elections

Keeping your Coalition together

Municipalities with deficits and spending challenges

Deep Pockets and Long Reach

Knowing How to Fight and When to Stop Fighting

Advocacy vs. Influence

Dont wait for someone else to do it. No one is coming on a white horse.

Urban League of Essex County


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