When you live in a city, the place that you call home can become a sort of identifier — You’re a San Franciscan, a New Yorker, a Sacramentan. But the individual neighborhoods within cities can differ in terms of residents’ demographics, access to healthy food and availability of public transportation. The conditions of neighborhoods today are the results of the plans, as well as the prejudices, of the past. In this episode, we revisit conversations about exclusionary infrastructure design, the impact a zip code has on health outcomes and the history of the Meadowview neighborhood.
Exclusion By Design: The Problem
Urban sociologist Dr. Jesus Hernandez traces the origins of social ills in Sacramento back to decades-old policy decisions that racially divided the city into neighborhoods with disparate access to resources and economic opportunities. Viewed on a map, this geography of race traces an X across the region, a pattern that Dr. Hernandez says continues to shape neighborhoods and the lives of their residents. In May 2018, he joined Insight to discuss how housing rules from the early twentieth century continue to influence the community today.
Exclusion By Design: Solutions
Can climate change solutions simultaneously address the economic, social and infrastructure issues in neighborhoods that have historically been excluded from investment? Dr. Jesus Hernandez, an urban sociologist and UC Davis lecturer, says yes. He developed the “Franklin Plan,” which lays out goals for the South Sacramento neighborhood that include making it a healthy place to work and live, promoting a growing business district that supports local needs and becoming an active participant in the changing regional economy.
Life Expectancy And Your Zip Code
When it comes to how long you will live, what matters more: your zip code, or your genetic code? That question has riveted Dr. Anthony Iton for decades, since he moved from Montreal to Baltimore for medical school. He argues that where you live can transform how long you live, and the poorer your neighborhood is, the shorter your life expectancy. He also discusses how social policies like universal health care and child care, can make a difference.
A Look at Meadowview
The March 2018 police shooting of Stephon Clark focused national attention on Meadowview, the Sacramento suburb where he lived and was killed. Before then, many Sacramento residents outside the neighborhood had not heard of it, or held negative preconceptions about the neighborhood. In April 2019, two community leaders joined us to discuss the neighborhood’s history, and what it’s like to live there today. We’re revisiting that conversation with Senior Pastor of Genesis Church Dr. Tecoy Porter and Sacramento Observer editor Larry Lee, whose family founded the city’s only black-owned newspaper.