Members of SCOPA Task Group:
At Tuesday’s (February 17) meeting of the USF Collaborative Working Group on Neighborhoods and Communities, I (Alvin) raised the issue of that Task Group’s taking up the issue that the SCOPA Task Group is also looking into – the facts and potential of development/redevelopment in the Central Park/Central Avenue area of Tampa, between downtown and Ybor City, and especially the possibility of getting a social impact assessement of any future proposal. They put it on the agenda for the Working Group’s next meeting, Thursday, March 18. Anthropology has four anthropologists among its twenty-five participants (Susan Greenbaum, Cheryl Rodriguez, Beverly Ward, and Alvin Wolfe), and there seemed to be unanimous interest in such an undertaking, so we should be able to have some success there.
As to our own SCOPA Task Group, I haven’t seen much action, either on the SCOPA YahooGroup, or in any other medium.
We had set Friday, March 5, 2004, 12 noon, at Latam Restaurant, as our next meeting.
Those persons who said they would form a task group are, apparently, Frank Bowman , Glenn Brown, Ron Habin, Wendy Hathaway , Michelle Ogilvie, Ashley Spaulding. Even if they did not volunteer I think we should draft the five faculty members who have declared interest: Susan Greenbaum, Cheryl Rodriguez, Beverly Ward, Brent Weisman, and Alvin Wolfe
Among the tasks that were outlined at our January 23 meeting were:
(1) Look at HOPE VI nationally, because among several major concerns is how the local residents in any redevelopment are treated. It is not like there are no people. There are people with their networks and neighborhood assets before the “redevelopment.”
(2) Recommend a social impact assessment (SIA), a prospective assessment of the potential consequences, positive and negative, of any redevelopment. Who should fund the SIA and who should conduct it?
(3) Need some basic facts: What are the exact boundaries of the Civitas Project, or of that “neighborhood.”
(4) Fill out some of the historical/archaeological background that Dawn Hayes reminded us of at the January meeting. What data exist now, what more is needed? Was it she who said that families have been there for several generations, forming a continuous community.
(5) Who are the allies within the community? This is a complex situation, there will be differences of opinion among “allies.” Most people want something better, but may have differing visions of what that would be. Need to identify groups of people and identify those different issues.
(6) What about the businesses that Shari Feldman brought up at the January 23 meeting? What will be the potential impact on local businesses, generally small, black-owned.
Preparing for the March 5 meeting we should all be thinking about these several issues, and coming up with relevant information or ways to generate data that would be informative.
Alayne Unterberger said, on Feb 3, “Again, I really think we need to really advocate for the social impact assessment and getting the leadership to offer up some other examples, not just this ‘one size fits all’ approach that is so common today.”
Brian McEwen said on Feb 4 that Deanne Roberts of the Tampa Chamber of Commerce was interested in pursuing some sort of development: “Deanne's response to me was that she personally was trying to identify someone to play a facilitative role in developing some kind of plan (if not Civitas, then....).” Brian went on to offer his brokerage services if any anthropologist wanted to take this on.
To my knowledge, nobody has responded to Brian. We must not let this opportunity pass unaddressed. If Anthropology is to be useful we must be ready to respond when the need arises.
Let us at the very least discuss this seriously at the March 5 meeting.
At the risk of being redundant, I have to ask again: What were the boundaries of the Civitas Proposal? What are the boundaries of the Central Park housing neighborhood? Where do they shop? Where are their jobs? Where are their friends? What are the appropriate boundaries for whatever development anybody would propose in that area lying somewhat between downtown Tampa and Ybor City?
We must have some discussion about this at the March 5 meeting.
Because there are only a few persons actually subscribed to the SCOPA YahooGroup, I am going to send this not only there, but to others as well. I apologize for the duplication, some of which I cannot control. If you are not yet subscribed to the YahooGroup SCOPA, please do so and then our communications will be simpler. You may set your membership profile that you do not receive every SCOPA message but can logon at your discretion and read all the messages. If you need help, ask Glenn Brown glennb39@... (or even I might be able to help you a little).
--Alvin Wolfe wolfe@...Alvin W. Wolfe
Distinguished University Professor Emeritus
Department of Anthropology
4202 E. Fowler Avenue, SOC107
University of South Florida
Tampa, FL 33620-8100 813-974-0794