Mack Road Partnership Working to Improve our Community

THE HUB had the opportunity to sit down with Kandice Fowler, Executive Director of The Mack Road Partnership in South Sacramento. Fowler is from Los Angeles and now lives with her husband and 2 children in Woodland, California.  She formerly worked as the Executive Director for Yolo City CASA-Court Appointed Special Advocates, a big brothers/big sisters type program for foster kids.

Fowler began work in June 2011 on the Mack Road Partnership as a one-woman show managing the office consulting with the Board of Directors, developing a website, connecting with the community and local business owners, and participating in clean up days.  Our conversation with Fowler included learning more about how the Mack Road Parternship has mission to build healthier, safer, sustainable, walkable and communities.

THE HUB:  What is the Mack Road Partnership and what is a P-BID?
Fowler: P-BID is a Property based Business Improvement District where property owners vote to assess themselves a fee which is used to develop community improvement projects.  The property owners voted overwhelmingly to approved the district along Mack Road from Franklin Blvd to Stockton Blvd (which also includes the hospitals on Bruceville from Mack to Calvine, and the business on Quinta
Court and Massie Court off of Stockton Blvd).

In 1997 the Florin Road Partnership (Florin Road PBID) was approved with the help of public figures like Councilmember Bonnie Pannell.  After seeing the progress on Florin Road, Councilmember Pannell started organizing folks to get a P-BID on Mack Road.  It took 10 years and the right combination of property owners and community leaders and consultants like Seann Rooney of the Rooney Tate Group who also is a former Executive Director of the Florin Road Partnership.  Finally this year nearly 80% of the property owners voted to approve the Mack Road Partnership and now we are up and running.

THE HUB: Tell us more about the partnership’s preparation for the Delta Shores project as it the slated to be the “rival to Arden Mall”:
Fowler: Recently there has been a lot of new development in South Sacramento, new homes off of Mack Road and Franklin Blvd, Fresh and Easy is coming and will be located east of Walgreens.  There are new developments off Cosumnes River Blvd and Bruceville and Delta Shores is slated to be huge development project in South Sacramento off Meadowview between Freeport and 24th.  Delta Shores will have retail space that will rival Arden Mall and will bring revenue to Sacramento in addition to mixed use space where people work, live and play.  We know people flock to new developments so in order to keep Mack Road  as a relevant business center we need to make sure the area is safe, clean and place where people can shop, live and spend time.

THE HUB: How does the Mack Road Partnership plan to address issues of “safety and security”?
Fowler: Safety and security is the cornerstone of Mack Road Partnership.  We are focusing 65% of our budget on safety and security employing a private security firm to patrol the area and work in partnership with the police.  They have made numerous arrests and have been a helpful assets to the police.                                    

THE HUB: How is the partnership addressing mental health issues in the community?
Fowler: We have found that a large population of homeless with mental health issues are making roots along Mack Road.  This has been a problem that hasn’t been address.  Our goal is to provide resources and problem solve as to how we can be better partners with our mental health and homeless social workers and community organizers.  This is an area of safety and security in addition to addressing an issue of the community.

THE HUB: What is the “street scaping and image enhancement” project?
Fowler: A major problem with Mack Road  is perception – people think the area is much worse than it is, and some of that can be addressed with streetscaping.  By providing a beautification program people can get the sense of community we are trying to develop.  As we add plants and trees and make some changes we want to address it smartly by looking at how we can prevent crime through environmental design.  For example keep shrubs low so people can not hide behind them, making sure there is sufficient lighting, and that there are safe spaces for walking?

THE HUB: What are some activities coming in the future?
Fowler: We are still in the planning phases of the Season of Peace Celebration with Ceasefire and ACT, which will take place 11/19-1/6/11. We will begin with a parade and then move to a community fair that has a bounce house and activities for the kids.  We are looking for community organizations to walk in the parade/march.

To download an informational brochure or a P-BID map, visit www.mackroadpartnership.com.  For more info contact Kandace Fowler at (916) 706-3833

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