What was not reported was that Corky Booze complained, as he often does, that the grant was targeted for “Belding Woods, the 23rd Street corridor, Richmond High School and part of the North and East Neighborhood,” rather than the “Southside,” where Booze continually alleges the City shorts on attention and resources in favor of more affluent and less deserving areas. See Equity in City of Richmond Projects and Spending , September 20, 2012.
Having heard this more times than I can count, I realized that I was unclear about exactly what Booze considers to be the “Southside.” I go to a mega-neighborhood council meeting every year hosted by a group “Southside plus One” that includes Eastshore, Laurel Park, Park Plaza, Parkview,Pullman and the Panhandle Annex. I thought maybe that was the “Southside.” But now I’m not sure.
I looked in the “Urban Dictionary,” and found the following, which wasn’t too helpful:
Richmond Cali. (In Contra Costa County) "is a former shipbuilding boomtown turned Ghetto". Richmond is known as the Iron Triangle, The Rich ,Dodge city. It has four sides to it North Richmond NORTH, Central Richmond, C-SIDE, South Richmond SOUTHSIDE and Point Richmond (not mentioned) but known for three. Although getting "hyphy" is more of a Bay Area word defining getting ignorant, drunk/high, and quite violent within a group of friends to most thugs in the game hyphy is a way of life and just having fun. Richmond is ranked the most violent do to the fact that The Rich is not as large as most cities in The Bay but have a lot of killings, if you ran across a Richmond cat you know. Richmond has it own set of rules.
Booze declined to respond to my question about the “Southside,” instead deferring to Police Chief Chris Magnus, who began describing the department’s “Southern Policing Sector,” essentially everything south of Ohio and across I-80 to include everything south of a line extended eastward from Ohio. I didn’t think this is what Booze had in mind, because the chief’s definition would include Point Richmond, which according to Booze, deserves nothing and therefore could not possibly be in the “Southside.”
Ultimately, Booze refused to define the “Southside,” and I refrained from voting on the item out of concern that I might be depriving the “Southside” of its just desserts.
For now, the “Southside” remains undefined except in Booze’s mind.
Richmond hires consultant to apply for $1 million federal neighborhood revitalization grant
By Robert Rogers Contra Costa Times
Posted: 02/05/2013 09:17:37 PM PST
Updated: 02/05/2013 09:17:38 PM PST
RICHMOND -- The city is in the running for a $1 million federal grant to start a neighborhood revitalization program that targets neighborhoods struggling with theft, prostitution and blight.
The City Council on Tuesday approved a $17,600 contract with The Glen Price Group, an El Cerrito-based consulting firm, to develop and submit an application for the grant by the end of this month.
"This is an opportunity for us to compete on a national level for Department of Justice money," said Richmond Police Chief Chris Magnus, adding that the application's complexity required expert help.
The grant is through the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program, and is aimed at funding a "neighborhood revitalization program that targets distressed neighborhoods with significant crime challenges that generate a significant proportion of crime or type of crime within the larger community," according to a city staff report.
Magnus said Richmond was well-positioned to be one of the six cities nationwide that will win the grant.
"We think this is a worthwhile risk-to-benefit ratio," Magnus said.
Richmond's application will be aimed at an area comprising Belding Woods, the 23rd Street corridor, Richmond High School and part of the North and East Neighborhood, Magnus said.
Residential burglaries and auto thefts have been rising in those areas, Magnus said, and prostitution and human trafficking remain a problem on some stretches
of the 23rd Street corridor, which has emerged as a thriving business district. Foreclosures and blighted property also dot the area, which is populated with aging housing stock.
"I picked the neighborhood that we thought was best tailored to the proposal," Magnus said.
The grant would be aimed at fostering better community engagement and gives police officials latitude to innovate in "increasing the number of active Neighborhood Watch groups, improving communication between residents, fortifying residential and commercial properties, and improving the overall look and feel of the area to make it less attractive to criminals, addressing blight issues more effectively," according to the staff report.
The contract was approved without opposition. Councilman Tom Butt abstained.
Councilman Corky Booze voted for the measure, but told Magnus he wanted to see more efforts to get grant funds to the crime-plagued south side of the city.
"I am putting you on notice," Booze told the chief. "This year something has got to happen on the south side."
Councilman Jael Myrick, who was sworn in Tuesday, made his first official move as a City Council member, seconding the motion to approve the contract.
Myrick said he understood the crime troubles because as a resident of Belding Woods his house "has been broken into three times in the past year."
Myrick also looked to assuage Booze, the only council member to oppose Myrick's appointment on Monday. Myrick replaces Councilman-elect Gary Bell, who is medically-unable to serve.
"I've got mad love for the southside," Myrick said, smiling at Booze.
Contact Robert Rogers at 510-262-2726 or firstname.lastname@example.org and follow Twitter.com/roberthrogers.