Business View Magazine | December 2019

286 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE DECEMBER 2019 income (LMI) families with a dedicated voice, championing economic prospects and quality of life by stabilizing development, investing in resilient infrastructure, and diversifying the local economy. Since 2012, the San Pablo Economic Development Corporation (EDC) has worked on creating opportunities, as well as seizing the existing ones, for the residents of San Pablo and West Contra Costa. Unlike most economic development initiatives in other municipalities that focus on retaining and growing existing businesses within their communities, this non- profit is on a quest to put more City residents to work by removing barriers to employment and job training. “We were founded by the City because California is one of only two states that did away with redevelopment,” explains Leslay Choy, Executive Director of the San Pablo EDC. “And for a small, low-income city like ours, that was going to be devastating unless the City did something about it.” On February 1, 2012, to address the state’s crushing budget crisis, then-Governor Jerry Brown snuffed out local redevelopment agencies (RDAs), which had operated since the end of WW2 and served as important components for the creation of affordable housing, local construction, and economic growth. Alternative versions of these RDAs – like the San Pablo EDC – have subsequently emerged in blighted cities across California for the purpose of continuing the goals of the Redevelopment Agency Act. AT A GLANCE SAN PABLO, CALIFORNIA WHAT: A city of 30,000 WHERE: Contra Costa County, east of San Francisco Bay WEBSITE: