Time For Davis, Ly to Roll up Sleeves and Address Issues in Elk Grove's East Franklin Neighborhood


January 30, 2016 |

Chicago Mayor Rahn Emanuel famously said that "you never let a crisis go to waste." Although the recent spate of crimes in Elk Grove's East Franklin neighborhood are probably not a crisis in the true sense of the word, the headline-grabbing events of the last few days present an opportunity for Mayor Gary Davis and Vice Mayor Steve Ly to demonstrate leadership by addressing a long simmering problem.

As many know, in the last several days there has been a teenager walking home from school robbed at gunpoint, a gang-related shootout, a Franklin High School student arrested for making serious threats on social media, another arrest for possession of an assault rifle in connection to the threat, and tragically, a public firearm suicide. All of these events occurred in the East Franklin neighborhood.

East Franklin, which came online just as housing prices peaked and then crashed, was particularly hard hit by the national foreclosure crisis. At one point, there were so many foreclosures that enterprising Elk Grove teenagers used vacant houses for so-called rave abando parties. At one East Franklin abando in September 2013, Elk Grove Police found a 14-year old girl passed out in a bedroom. (EGN has reported on East Franklin incidents).

Although foreclosures have abated, many of the houses in the area were bought at bargain-basement prices by Wall Street hedge funds, who, as absentee owners, have converted them into rental units. A drive through East Franklin to this day reveals unkempt yards and dilapidated vehicles.    

While crime happens throughout Elk Grove, last year there was one incident where a victim was robbed at gunpoint during a day time hold-up in front of his home. One of the reader comments posted on the story said "Sadly, that whole neighborhood has gone to hell. We all saw it coming; broken windows not being repaired, cars parked on front lawns, garbage piles in front yards, weeds 3' tall, etc. It will take decades of gentrification before it becomes inhabitable."
"Sadly, that whole neighborhood has gone to hell. We all saw it coming; broken windows not being repaired, cars parked on front lawns, garbage piles in front yards, weeds 3' tall, etc. It will take decades of gentrification before it becomes inhabitable." - See more at: http://www.elkgrovenews.net/2015/09/more-than-slogan-demand-stronger-elk.html#sthash.xDPj4Zqa.dpuf
"Sadly, that whole neighborhood has gone to hell. We all saw it coming; broken windows not being repaired, cars parked on front lawns, garbage piles in front yards, weeds 3' tall, etc. It will take decades of gentrification before it becomes inhabitable." - See more at: http://www.elkgrovenews.net/2015/09/more-than-slogan-demand-stronger-elk.html#sthash.xDPj4Zqa.dpuf
Sadly, that whole neighborhood has gone to hell. We all saw it coming; broken windows not being repaired, cars parked on front lawns, garbage piles in front yards, weeds 3' tall, etc. It will take decades of gentrification before it becomes inhabitable.
- See more at: http://www.elkgrovenews.net/2015/09/elk-grove-man-robbed-at-gunpoint-in.html#sthash.FkYxMFQL.dpuf
Sadly, that whole neighborhood has gone to hell. We all saw it coming; broken windows not being repaired, cars parked on front lawns, garbage piles in front yards, weeds 3' tall, etc. It will take decades of gentrification before it becomes inhabitable.
- See more at: http://www.elkgrovenews.net/2015/09/elk-grove-man-robbed-at-gunpoint-in.html#sthash.FkYxMFQL.dpuf


Although one of Elk Grove's newer developments, East Franklin has quickly developed into what could be characterized as a challenged neighborhood. The good news is that with some nut-and-bolts involvement by Davis and Ly the problems are not insurmountable.

To Davis' credit, the February 11 outreach meeting at Toby Johnson was scheduled before East Franklin recent incidents. Undoubtedly the recent incidents will be the main topic of discussion.

In a recent pre-incident conversation with Elk Grove News, Davis expressed his desire to increase community involvement with East Franklin residents. He noted there were no active organizations there similar to those in Sheldon, Laguna Greens, Fallbrook or Camden neighborhoods, among many in Elk Grove.

While the February 11 meeting is a good first step, these events often fail to draw the very people in the community that need to be engaged. More work will need be to be done by Davis and Ly if they are serious about engaging the community.       

To that end, we suggest both men not rely on press releases, the city's monthly newsletter, social media or any of the other conventional means of engagement. Might we suggest Davis and Ly engage something more individualized such as a face-to-face campaign.

Short of organizing neighborhood groups and leaders at the February meeting - that will not happen - it will be time for the Mayor and Vice Mayor to roll-up their sleeves, pull out their walking shoes and go door-to-door. Talk to people face-to-face, get their names, secure commitments, follow-up, conduct meetings even if it is with a handful of people - just like you both did when running for office.

Don't leave it to your interns, assistants or volunteers - do it yourself. Use the prestige of your office to get things done - not take selfies for posting on Facebook.

We realize this is not as fun as chowing down at a crab feed or as glamorous as talking about building a professional soccer stadium, but this is the job you both were elected to perform. Mayor Davis and Vice Mayor, this is your opportunity to lead or get out of the way.

We'll be watching to see if you seize this issue and work towards a solution.

Read our East Franklin Blues three part series from 2008, Part I, Part II, Part III

Post a Comment

5 comments

Anonymous said...

Laser focused on letting home builders scorch the city which results in even more apartments down the road.

More subdivisions = more high density low income housing as required by state law.

The city could have paid fines like Folsom, Roseville and Rocklin or rezone land for high density apartments, most of which will be low income / subsidized.

The city chose the more developer friendly approach of rezoning land.

In 2015, the City of Elk Grove zoned land for over 2,300 units of high density apartments, most of which will be in the mall area and South East Plan Area which are near East Franklin.

Why so many units?

The city did not want to pay the fines so they zoned land for apartments.

More homes being built leads to even more apartments. All during the time of a horrible drought.

Great planning and foresight!

I copied this from the City-Data forum.

"The apartments on Bruceville and Whitelock cater to low-income folks (section 8). I lived there for 1.5 years and thought I was living in the Bronx ghetto (although one with nice apartments, but that's because they are fairly new).

Always garbage all over the place (too lazy to place garbage in the dumpster), inconsiderate people blasting music at all times of the night, mj smell all over the place, drunk people, clothes drying o ver the balcony rails, cars/trucks taking up two spaces.

I'm sure I'm missing other details, but it's been 3 years since I've lived there. There are other apartments like these, as well. I think the other is on Bruceville and EG Blvd. There's also one on West Stockton Blvd. Are these people coming from South Sac to the EG apartments because of the affordability? I was qualified for a 2 bed/2 bath for $799/month, and that was in the middle range. If my income was lower, I would have only paid $599.


Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/sacramento/1923447-elk-grove-ghetto-i-dont-get-18.html#ixzz3ymSfcDvf"


East Franklin was discussed in a national magazine article about suburban ghettos.

The Next Slum?

The subprime crisis is just the tip of the iceberg. Fundamental changes in American life may turn today’s McMansions into tomorrow’s tenements.

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/03/the-next-slum/306653/

Thomas A. Anderson said...

Being a die-hard supporter of the from district form of city council representation, I might suggest Council member Steve "The Mentor" Detrick join Davis and Ly if they hit the streets. Aside from putting his money where his mouth is about representing everyone in Elk Grove regardless of what district they live in, he can provides some much-needed mentoring to residents in the East Franklin area.

Anonymous said...

Right...when they get through mentoring the residents of East Franklin they can come and mentor the residents of Laguna Ridge on this hugh Bond they're placing on their heads. Looks like there's going to be lots of mentoring needed from what I hear on the streets.

Anonymous said...

Just wait for the inevitable next economic downturn. Wait til interest rates go up. I'm glad I'm on the East side of 99 but understand the connection of Frankguna to our home values/quality of people. I don't know what can be done to save this "city" but I think its time for us in Old EG to gather. We can start by stopping the ped bridge over into our Park. One can only imagine the riff raff entering the Park in the evening.

Anonymous said...

I'll be surprised if more than 20 people show. Apathy is this city is rampant. People that were directly affected by the latest escapades of our citizenry will show up to complain, that's it.
There should be hundreds show and ask why their community is solely footing the bill for the projected and unprojected cost overruns on the aquatics facility, the veterans hall and the senior center. - It's not right and the mayor and Tonto (whose district this is) should be held to answer for the poor fiscal planning.

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