STEERING COMMITTEE MEETING #3

Steering Committee Meeting #3
March 29, 2021 | 6:00 – 8:00PM EST


Attendees:
Steering Committee:
○ Bill Swiatek
Cornelius Johnson
Councilwoman Michelle Harlee
Councilwoman Rysheema Dixon
Cynthia Faulkner
Dawn Hilliard
Ella Edwards
Ellie Ezekiel
Jeffrey Richardson
Kate Dupont Phillips
Reverend Provey Powell Jr.
Richard King
Travis Smith, Sr.

Consultant Team
○ Zakcq Lockrem, Principal-in-Charge
Mayu Takeda, Project Manager
Jessica Williams, Deputy Project Manager

Agenda
Welcome and Intros
Project updates
Community Benefits Agreements
Market Street Master Plan 

Introductions
Steering Committee members, participants, and the Project Team introduced themselves and kicked off the call by sharing 1-2 words to describe what they want to see happen in the updated Southbridge Neighborhood Plan. Attendees shared that they want to see uncovering opportunities, action steps, success, justice, more activities for youth and youth development opportunities, authentic voices, wealth building, climate resilience, and commerce opportunities in the updated neighborhood plan.

Project Updates
The Consultant Team shared updates on project goals, deliverables and timeline, a recap of the last Steering Committee Meeting, and goals for Steering Committee Meeting 3. Steering Committee Meeting 3 goals included:

  • Discuss Community Benefits Agreements
    • How can we get the State and City on board
    • How can we get the developers to sign on
  • Understand the changes planned along Market Street and Walnut Street
    • Major redevelopment happening with little to no community input
    • Significant impacts to Southbridge are anticipated
  • Review key topics to target for Action

Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs)
The Consultant Team led a discussion on CBAs, including what a CBA is, key players involved in developing CBAs, and areas that CBAs cover. The Project Team also shared an example of a past CBA between Southbridge and the Peninsula Compost Company. Attendees shared that one challenge with the CBA between Southbridge and the Peninsula Compost Company was monitoring the Company for CBA implementation. Attendees said that future CBAs will need to include specific guidelines for oversight.
Professor Jeffrey Richardson also shared a presentation on CBAs and the role of Delaware Community Benefits Agreement Coalition in assisting communities impacted by investment projects in Delaware. Professor Richardson emphasized the importance of community oversight and engagement in developing CBAs, particularly to protect Southbridge from negative impacts of future development patterns and plans. Professor Richardson also shared potential media strategies to connect the community to local media outlets, including:

  • Doing press releases
  • Sharing the story and history of Southbridge 
  • Revealing the neighborhood’s history of being left out of development conversations
  • Highlighting Civil Rights and environmental issues related to new development projects

Potential local institutions and organizations to partner with on future CBAs include:

  • Network Delaware
  • Southbridge Civic Association 
  • Neighborhood churches 

South Market Street Master Plan
The Project Team led a discussion on the South Market Street Master Plan, including what the plan is, its goals, and potential impacts of the plan on Southbridge. Participants shared feedback and concerns about the South Market Street Master Plan, including:

  • More traffic passing through Southbridge
  • More impervious surfaces leading to increased flooding
  • Gentrification and little to no affordable housing

The group discussed the following items as potential “asks” that Southbridge should consider for CBAs:

  • 20% of new affordable units
  • 10% of retail rented below market for minority owned business spaces
  • $10 million trust fund for anti-displacement
  • Local hiring agreements and job training for Southbridge residents
    • Funding for Civic Association positions
  • Commitment to education and reinvestment into institutions in Southbridge
  • Preservation of historic institutions in Southbridge
  • Park enhancements and community centers for youth
  • Parking lot relocation and general infrastructure improvements (roadway improvements)

About SWPN

Formed in 2009, the South Wilmington Planning Network (SWPN) is a collaborative partnership of residents and dozens of government, non-profit, and private agencies who work together to improve the quality of life in the Southbridge neighborhood of Wilmington, Delaware.
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