Every year, the Department of Urban and Regional Planning selects two candidates for the Dale Prize in honor of their involvement in land use plans and contribution in communities. This sparks up conversations between scholars and practitioners based on their focus of expertise. This years topic was “Planning for Community Self Determination and Racial Justice.”On Thursday February 11, 2016 Dale Prize Winners Dr. Lisa Bates and Hector Verdugo attended our class at 10:00am to have a discussion about what they have accomplished.
Dr. Bates talks about the displacement of low-income communities and Mr. Verdugo mentions how the environment has impacted his life.
According to Dr. Bates, the cost of housing in Portland is going up faster than income. People of color within the City of Portland demanded low-income families to be addressed. Dr. Bates has influenced Portland’s strategic plan to address low income communities and create fair market housing opportunities.
Mr. Verdugo is part of Homeboy Industries, addressing how growing up in East Los Angeles in Romona’s housing projects has shaped and changed his life completely. Mr. Verdugo contributes to gang prevention and economic development within Homeboy Industries. According to Mr. Verdugo, throughout the year, 12,000 people visit Homeboy Industries who want to get away from the lifestyle of being a gang member. Mr. Verdugo has totally turned his life around, going to juvenile hall, ending up in prison and one person has helped him turn his life around, his twin brother.
These two Dale Prize Winners have two totally different experiences on “Planning for Community Self Discrimination and Racial Justice.” But with these two different stories, it is safe to say we have learned a great deal about Dr. Bates and Mr. Verdugo on how planners can incorporate racial justice into their field.