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Respect in the community

A message to developers:

The Coalition for Redevelopment Reform welcomes business to San Jose... but please respect our community!

Welcome to San Jose. We invite you to learn more about our city and the business opportunities we have here. However, we want you to understand the following:

The seizure of private retail property by eminent domain is viewed by the vast majority of San Jose citizens and resident consumers as unfair. We will organize and protest both the initial development and retail activity in cases where property owners and existing merchants have been forced out of their property by the San Jose Redevelopment Agency (RDA).

We will actively publicize the actions of developers and all retailers who utilize redevelopment eminent domain to gain control of a property for their projects. We promise to protest and inform all potential consumers of your participation in abusive redevelopment practices. You won't have to worry about having a crowd at your new store opening!

In cases where eminent domain is abusively used to seize private property, lawsuits will be filed to assert the unconstitutionality of these actions. Our community will work together to protect the livelihoods of our long-term merchants, who have provided goods and services to our neighborhoods for many years.

Our community is currently challenging the seizure of the Tropicana Shopping Center by RDA eminent domain. We believe many merchants who now serve our community will be forced out of business by this project. Gerald Hunt, President of Blake Hunt Ventures LTD, developer of this proposed project, was quoted in the July 8, 2002 edition of the San Jose Business Journal that "he has become intrigued by the challenge of reaching the Bay Area's burgeoning Hispanic population." The article goes on to state "he traveled to central Mexico to research colors and architectural styles." We are offended that an out-of-town developer with no experience in our community would feel that going on vacation to Mexico and taking some photographs qualifies his company to determine our needs! Over 20,000 San Jose residents signed a petition protesting the seizure of the Tropicana property. We consider this action by the SJ RDA to be institutional racism.

Developers and retailers are welcome in San Jose, but only if you are respectful of our neighborhoods and existing businesses. If you have a commitment to being respectful of our community, you will be welcomed and your business plans will be supported. However, if you participate in abusive redevelopment schemes, and attempt to take our homes and businesses by eminent domain, you will be subject to continued protest and negative publicity. Your relationship with the people of San Jose, and your potential business success here all depend on your willingness to partner with our community and respect what we have built over many years of hard work.