CRP follows the Pavement-to-Policy (PtP) methodology developed by its Communications and Policy Director Eric Arnold. PtP maintains that the most effective strategies and policy initiatives are developed by organizations with on-the-ground experience working in communities impacted by these initiatives. Too often, policymakers’ perspectives reflect a lofty, ivory tower viewpoint which may not incorporate actual community needs or is indicative of a self-serving agenda. By the same token, many community-based organizations–especially those within the creative arts community–aren’t actively involved in policy discussions and decision-making processes which ultimately impact them. Therefore, PtP represents the best of both worlds: active engagement both on a community-oriented level, and within the policy sphere. In practice, PtP results in sensible, realistic, and well thought-out analysis, processes, and platforms which avoid the problematic aspects of a top-down approach, while also lifting up from the bottom.
Among the policy wins and initiatives CRP has helped to facilitate are:
- Pushback against Oakland’s Anti-Graffiti Ordinance, which resulted in the allocation of $400,000 for blight mitigation murals throughout the city, as well as the addition of restorative justice language
- As a Steering Committee member of Oakland Creative Neighborhoods Coalition, CRP helped to lead a citywide, community-based effort to increase overall arts investment in the cultural arts, hire a Cultural Affairs Manager, and re-establish the Cultural Arts Commission. These efforts resulted in the hiring of Roberto Bedoya, and more than $300,000 in increased budget for the Cultural Arts Department.
- CRP’s advocacy around the Downtown Oakland Specific Plan’s lack of equity and inclusion in community outreach efforts led directly to the issuing of a Social Equity RFP by the Planning Bureau and the hiring of an equity-focused team of consultants (including CRP’s Eric Arnold), which led to the reframing of the DOSP planning and outreach process through an equity lens.
- As a founding member of the Community Coalition for Equitable Development, CRP helped to rally community support around the mitigation of the harmful impacts of development, and negotiated community-benefit agreements worth an estimated $20,000,000–including onsite affordable housing, community input into public art in private development, give-backs to neighborhood infrastructure and organization-building initiatives, and the creation of an Anti-Displacement Fund.
- A symposia on Arts, Culture, and Equitable Development co-sponsored by Assemblyman Rob Bonta’s office, which brought together members of the Black Arts Movement Business District, Chinatown Coalition, the Dellums Institute for Social Justice, and the Greenlining Institute.
- CRP has also advocated strongly for amendments to Oakland’s Public Art in Private Development Ordinance, lining up a diverse cross-section of stakeholders, and lobbying for more progressive policies at the City Council level.