Yet another special to The Sacramento Bee from CEAV which it refuses to print.
In a special sent to the Sacramento Bee on May 18th, CEAV responds to Bee Editorials and articles on the Mayor’s so-called ‘Green Initiative’. “Where’s the ‘how’ CEAV wants to know” – Why is the only plan that would actually leverage Sacramento into a leadership role for the future of green commerce, industry and practice completely ignored by our public officials?
RE: Opinion/Forum article Submission
Subject: ‘Mayor’s Green Initiative’
From: Red Slider, steward;
The CEAV Project
RE: The Mayor’s ‘Green Initiative’ and Bee Editorial ‘Green Dream‘ (5/20/10)
The Mayor says we could be “history makers” in reference to his ‘Green Initiative’. But, he doesn’t say how. Nor does he mention that there are plenty of other cities, indeed countries, competing for the same prize. China is already investing 4.5 billion in its 2012 Shanghai World’s Fair. If you don’t think they will soon have a plan to leverage that into a world hub for green technology, then we’ve got a bridge to sell you. However, a plan already exists for leveraging Sacramento as the center of green industry, technology, education and environmental health. Not simply for the city, but for the world as well. The Mayor, the City Council, the County, key leaders in State Government, even the Sacramento Bee are already aware of this plan. It was formally presented over a year ago to a state agency. Yet, all of them have completely ignored the enormous potentials of The CEAV Project; a concept to create a global hub and world center of all things green —commercially, environmentally, scientifically and culturally, right here in Sacramento. Why have they ignored it? Why have you never heard of The CEAV Project? Simply because the unique moment (historically and regionally) that makes CEAV a viable concept conflicts with the ambitions of private developers to take over the unique site that would make such a project possible. We are speaking, here, of the current site of Cal Expo, and the 360 acres of public commons land it presently manages.
Consistent with the Mayor’s green initiative and the recent Bee editorial on the subject, The CEAV Project to create a global hub for all things green does not specify goals or details of implementation of the City’s ambitions to lead in the establishment of a vital green economy. Rather, it would create a base where that would happen, naturally and of its own accord; couldn’t help but happen. The global hub of all things green is the ‘Prize of the 21^st century’, the one which President Obama has spoken about and which happens, by accident of geography and history, to be here in Sacramento, right in plain sight. On the ‘Imagine’ page of its website, The CEAV Project does describe a number of potential venues and exciting possibilities for inclusion in the concept of a fully realized global hub. These are, however, simply suggestive ideas of what the global center for green consciousness and activity might offer to excite and attract the world’s attention. No doubt, the project itself would make its own significant contributions to the City’s economy and vitality. Thousands of high-quality jobs, fifteen to twenty million annual visitors, stimulated tourism and support development in new hotels, restaurants, entertainment and other businesses of all types would see revenues in the billions being generated. Even more important, the global hub of green enterprise and efforts could reasonably expect to amplify and promote green activity throughout the state and the world. The scientific, commercial, environmental and other conferences it would undoubtedly attract would, in themselves, become an important industry for Sacramento. This, of course, means a lot of green industries would be competing to locate in our region. Who wouldn’t want their business to be as close to the center of the world’s green commerce as possible? We wouldn’t be bending over backward to attract them. Instead, they would doing everything they could to get here.
Why then, is it so hard for our city leaders to see this ‘gold’ that glitters right in front of them? Simply because the habits of business as usual; of concession to private developers, of a lack of imagination and the political myopia that have spoiled opportunities for Sacramento, again and again, are totally committed to plans for sports-arenas and other schemes determined to turn the current Cal Expo site over to private ‘mixed-use’ development for some short-term and relatively small financial gains for a few relatively wealthy individuals and the developers we have become accustomed to allowing to design the future of our city. If this was 1848 and James Marshall was staring into the American River tailrace after a night’s work of constructing a sawmill for John Sutter, he would have seen nothing. The flecks of gold would have just been more rock and gravel and he would have walked away and gone on with his mill construction. The sawmill would have continued operating, a little cash and lumber would have been realized , but the California gold rush would never have happened. California would likely still be part of Mexican territory.
There’s ‘gold’ in that badly managed and somewhat neglected 360 acre parcel of state land — the last large chunk of urban public commons in the state. And it is unique. Without it, a CEAV-like project cannot happen. Selling it off in some kind of land-swap for a basketball court or limping along as an aging State Fair and feeble representation of California’s incredible vitality, creativity, industry and people is tantamount to throwing the baby out with the bath water. We can still have a revitalized State Fair for California; and, a sports arena would be a good idea, providing it is really market sound and can be built and operated on private land with private assets Using Cal Expo land as its means of support and destroying the property as public commons in the process is more than short-sighted and ignorant. It is to leverage some private entertainment and wealth on the backs of our children and grandchildren. It is to deny them a unique opportunity to fully engage the 21^st century and to lead in the discoveries and application of our enormous talent, as a state and as a people. Yet the politicians and developer interests continue to ignore the potentials that a CEAV-like project would bring to Sacramento’s future generations, for many, many generations to come. Why is this so? You tell us.
Red Slider, steward
The CEAV Project