A diverse community coalition in Delray Beach, Florida signed an historic Community Benefits Agreement with Equity Enterprises USA. The agreement applies to a $35 million project that includes retail, office, and residential space.
Previous investment in Delray Beach has never reached the city’s historically African-American neighborhoods. This development reaches into those neighborhoods and defines a new vision of shared prosperity for local residents. CBA provisions include local hiring, a living wage, workforce housing, small business relocation, support for a Cultural Heritage Museum, a student apprenticeship program, and local business participation.
The local community has been well represented from the project’s inception, as the Community Redevelopment Authority chose a local architect and local contractor to develop the property.
The CBA coalition includes the West Atlantic Redevelopment Corporation (WARC), NW/SW Atlantic Avenue Neighborhoods, Florida Public Service Union (SEIU FPSU), and the Village Elders.
Delray Beach Mayor Cary Glickstein said, “Today is another milestone for Delray Beach. This agreement shows what we can achieve when the public, private, and community interests come in line to serve the vital cord of our city.” He added that the CBA provides a template for other projects of this kind.
Chuck Ridley, lead organizer for the CBA coalition, gives credit to the permanent coalition of faith groups, neighborhood associations, small business owners, labor, and activists. After years of organizing around the slogan, “Neighborhood Renewal; Not Black Folks Removal,” the coalition has been able to mobilize hundreds of residents in support of the CBA.
Since negotiating the CBA, residents are even more motivated. WARC’s last meeting had standing room only attendance, and new developers are now approaching the coalition before plans are finalized.