PPPM

Policy and Planning Trio Engages Diverse Communities

From Oregon Quarterly, April 3, 2019

In spring 2018, change came to the Bethel neighborhood in Eugene. Royal Elizabeth Park received a new name: Andrea Ortiz Park, after Eugene’s first Latina city councilor. Ortiz served from 2004 to 2012 and died in 2017.

“Naming a public space, like a park, after a Latina really sends a positive message of inclusion and belonging to the Latino community in Eugene,” says Gerardo Sandoval [CLLAS Executive Board member], an associate professor who specializes in community development in the School of Planning, Public Policy and Management (PPPM). “It’s a formal designation that recognizes the positive contributions Latinos are making in Oregon.”

Gerardo Sandoval
Gerardo Sandoval

The renaming followed years of outreach to the Latino community by Sandoval, a supporter of the city’s efforts to make parks more inclusive. Through the Latino Civic Participation Project, he led an initiative to involve low-income, marginalized groups in community development, public policy, and planning.

Sandoval will continue his outreach and research efforts with the new Access and Equity Research Group. The group includes José Meléndez, an expert in equitable public engagement and transformative learning who joined PPPM as an assistant professor in 2018; and John Arroyo, an MIT-trained urban planner who will arrive this fall after completing his Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship in Latino Studies at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe.

“One person dealing with diversity issues cannot address all of those,” Meléndez says. “We need multiple people addressing them.”

In addition to Latinos, the group will study underrepresented indigenous, Asian American, and African American communities, and will examine the links between communities and the design, planning, and management of public space. In particular, the group will focus on “participatory action research,” which emphasizes partnering with communities to solve problems.

“Many of us use qualitative methods that help elucidate stories and deeper context of the communities we research such as ethnography, in-depth interviews, oral histories, and content analysis of archival and current policy and legal documents,” Arroyo says.

José Meléndez and John Arroyo

Like Sandoval, Meléndez and Arroyo have worked with Latino communities. During his doctoral studies and then as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Meléndez investigated the budgeting process in the city’s 49th Ward, finding that Spanish-speaking Latino immigrants struggled to participate due to a language barrier. He partnered with the community to create a Spanish language committee that significantly increased and sustained the participation of its members in civic decision-making.

As a fellow, Arroyo is studying Latino immigrants with his first book project, Shadow Suburbanism: Mexican Everyday Life, Fear, and Space in Greater Atlanta. He is analyzing how Mexican immigrants reshape their suburban environments despite rising anti-immigration policies that distress one of the South’s fastest growing populations.

Meléndez and Arroyo will also continue their research and outreach to Latino communities in Oregon, where that population is growing rapidly. According to the Latino Civic Participation Project, Latinos now make up 14 percent of the state population and 20 percent of the K–12 population.

Says Arroyo: “People don’t realize Oregon is a microcosm of national issues—rural poverty, urban income disparities, influxes of migration, and indigenous and small-city planning and infrastructure.”

—By Alex Cipolle, MA ‘11 (journalism), College of Design

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Wednesday, April 3rd, 2019 Advisory Board, Public Policy No Comments

Gerardo Sandoval named to Oregon State Housing Stability Council

Gerardo Sandoval

May 11, 2017—Current CLLAS executive board member Gerardo Sandoval has joined the Oregon State Housing Stability Council, tapped for his expertise on gentrification and rural community development issues and for his experience in outreach to Latino communities throughout Oregon. An associate professor in the University of Oregon Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management, Dr. Sandoval was nominated to this position by Governor Kate Brown and confirmed by the Oregon Senate. His first meeting with the council took place on May 5.

The role of the Oregon State Housing Stability Council is to “provide leadership in, and review and set policy for, the development and financing of affordable housing throughout the state of Oregon.”

A message from the director of Oregon Housing and Community Services dated May 5, 2017 states: “We look forward to [Dr. Sandoval’s] expertise on gentrification, the nexus between housing affordability and transit-oriented development in low-income neighborhoods, and creating mechanisms of public participation. OHCS will also surely benefit from his research and outreach experience in Southern and Eastern rural Oregon, as well as his insight as a disabled military veteran and interest in affordable housing for Oregon veterans.” 

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Thursday, May 11th, 2017 News, People, Public Policy, staff No Comments

CLLAS Associate Director Gerardo Sandoval Named Winner of 2014 Chester Rapkin Award

Gerardo Sandoval

Gerardo Sandoval

Gerardo Francisco Sandoval has been named the 2014 winner of the prestigious Chester Rapkin Award for best article from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. Dr. Sandoval is the associate director of the Center for Latino/a and Latin American Studies at the University of Oregon and an assistant professor, Department of Planning, Public Policy, and Management.

The Chester Rapkin Award Selection Committee announced October 16 that Professor Sandoval won the prize for the best paper for this award year in the Journal of Planning Education and Research for his article “Shadow Transnationalism: Cross-Border Networks and Planning Challenges of Transnational Unauthorized Immigrant Communities” (Vol 33 (1), pp. 176-193).

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2019 Judge Yassmin Barrios Lecture / photos by Jack Liu

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