The Franklin District Playbook: A Summary

In 2019, the Franklin District received competitive grant funding to develop a neighborhood plan or “Playbook” for improving the Franklin District’s economy, environment, and livability. The process to develop the Playbook used a lot of engagement with people, including over 800 interviews with local residents and businesses on ideas and priorities for community improvements.

The Playbook, completed in 2020, identifies many strategies and actions for improving the safety and attractiveness of the Franklin corridor, expanding housing options and homeless supports, and increasing clean transportation alternatives, energy efficiency, climate resilience, workforce development, and economic opportunities. The project also helped strengthen coordination between local organizations, public agencies, businesses and residents, and has positioned the Franklin community for additional competitive funds.

Franklin District Community Climate and Revitalization Playbook

Appendix A – Community Engagement Report

The Franklin District

Neighborhood Assets


The District has a lot to offer its residents, including:

  • A diverse population
  • A mix of homes, apartments, and rental cottages that are still at lower prices than in many nearby areas
  • Proximity to three light rail stations and downtown Sacramento
  • Weekday SmaRT Ride on-demand micro-transit service
  • Numerous public schools and nearby Sacramento City College
  • The La Familia Counseling Center, Maple Neighborhood Center, and Louise Perez Center, which offer a breadth of multicultural adult and youth programs and services in the District
  • Neighborhood associations in the North City Farms, South City Farms, and Avenues areas of the District
  • Hundreds of small and family-owned businesses that serve the community and continue the District’s cultural legacy, including ethnic restaurants, grocery stores, and specialty stores
  • 14 new murals that reflect the community’s history and cultural heritage
  • Annual family-oriented celebrations like National Night Out, Mexican Independence Day/El Grito, and La Posada, plus youth pop-ups and other events that bring out our community




Neighborhood Disadvantages


However, the Franklin District also faces many challenges:

  • Of the 20,000 residents in the Franklin District area that is the focus for the Playbook, 89% percent are people of color or mixed race – a far greater proportion than in the City (67%) and County (54%)
  • About 30% of the population does not speak English very well
  • Median household income is only about $34,000, 37% lower than in the City and 43% lower than in the County
  • The household poverty rate (37%) is over twice that of the City and County
  • 82-96% of kids attending area schools qualify for free or reduced-price meals
  • Only 66% of adults age 25+ have a high school degree or more, and fewer than 9% have a bachelor’s degree or more
  • Two in three households in our community are renting
  • Almost two-thirds of renter households pay 30%+ of their income for a home or apartment, and nearly 40% pay half or more of their income just for housing
  • Most homes were built before 1990 and many need significant repairs and energy efficiency upgrades.
  • Many businesses also need interior and exterior improvements
  • The District has no café, no public library, few parks, and no public gathering place like a community plaza
  • Although gang activity and crime have decreased, there are still ongoing problems with dumping, vandalism, graffiti, and homelessness
  • There has also historically been a lack of public and private investment in our District, which is in the federal Opportunity Zone, Sacramento Promise Zone, and 90th percentile of CalEnviroscreen 3.0 Disadvantaged Communities




The Franklin District Community Climate and Revitalization Playbook


In 2018, a collaborative application submitted by the Franklin Neighborhood Development Corporation (FNDC), Sacramento Area Council of Governments, City of Sacramento, and other local partners was awarded a Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) Planning Grant from the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) to develop a neighborhood plan or “Playbook” for the Franklin District. The 13 partners in the application were the County of Sacramento, Alchemist CDC, California Capital, Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative, Community Resource Project, Franklin Boulevard Business Association, La Familia Counseling Center, Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Sacramento Regional Transit, Sacramento Tree Foundation, WALKSacramento, and Valley Vision.

The TCC Planning Grant enabled FNDC to engage partners, stakeholders and the community through many meetings, community events, and over 800 interviews with local residents and businesses. This Franklin District Community Climate and Revitalization Playbook is the result. It lays out strategies and actions that people identified for how we can improve the Franklin District’s economy, environment, and livability for our residents. The Playbook as a whole is ambitious and will take time to implement, but we are hopeful that with partners and the community working together over the coming months and years, we can achieve its vision for an equitable and vibrant community for all residents and businesses.




Playbook Community Engagement Process


We used a variety of methods to engage stakeholders and the community in identifying and refining the strategies and actions contained in this Playbook. These included:

  • Early outreach at large community events
  • A community comment wall
  • Resident surveys conducted by high school students
  • Surveys with businesses in the Franklin District
  • Individual and group meetings with partners and community organizations
  • Feedback on priorities at community events in the District
  • An electric vehicle focus group
  • A pop-up demonstration for feedback on the design for a key City project in the District, transforming Franklin Boulevard between 12th Ave./Sutterville and 38th Ave. into a Complete Street
  • Surveying on a key FNDC project, the Sacramento Mercado, and a Franklin Night Market

Some of the highest priorities for residents and businesses were:

  • More affordable and energy-efficient housing
  • More jobs and job training
  • More/better transportation options, including wider sidewalks, bike lanes, and access to shared mobility services
  • More trees, parks, and community gardens
  • Increased safety
  • Improving neighborhood feel
  • Help for people who are homeless

The Playbook Appendix/Community Engagement Report provides more detail on the community engagement process and results.




Introduction


The Franklin District is bordered by Sutterville Rd./12th Ave. to the north and Florin Road to the south. It is cut off from other neighborhoods by the Union Pacific rail and Regional Transit light rail tracks to the west, and Highway 99 to the east. The District is also split between the City and County of Sacramento. The District is a working-class neighborhood and immigrant “port of entry” (48% Latino) with a strong presence of Spanish-speaking families from Mexico, Central and South America as well as Asian and Hmong immigrants. Running down the middle of the District is Franklin Boulevard, Sacramento’s traditional Hispanic/Latino business corridor.





Equitable Housing and Neighborhood Development

  • Preserving and rehabilitating existing rentals
     

  • Developing new affordable home and apartment options
     

  • Increasing accessory dwelling units (ADUs)
     

  • Reducing residents’ energy and transportation costs so they have more
    money for housing

     

  • Linking people to financial literacy & counseling services that improve their ability to rent or buy a home
     

  • Expanding support systems for people who are homeless

Clean Transportation and Mobility

  • Helping ensure that the Franklin Complete Street project is finished from 12th to 38th Avenue
     

  • Identifying and creating safer routes that help people bike to, from, and within the Franklin District to get to work, shopping, recreation/parks, schools, light rail, etc.
     

  • Maintaining and expanding public transit services, including RT’s on-demand SmaRT Ride service
     

  • Increasing access and use of shared mobility options like bike share, scooter share, and car sharing services
     

  • Expanding electric vehicle use to reduce air pollution

Environmental Improvement and Climate Resilience

  • Improving residential and business energy efficiency
     

  • Increasing solar energy installations
     

  • Improving water efficiency
     

  • Greening the District with more trees, parks, recreation spaces, and community gardens

Workforce Development and Economic Opportunity

  • FNDC’s development of the Sacramento Mercado project as a food business incubator and market hall
     

  • La Familia’s development of the Opportunity Center project to increase workforce and community programs and assistance
     

  • Expanding partnerships for more workforce and training opportunities  
     

  • Increasing business succession and transition planning assistance
     

  • Expanding murals, cultural events, tours, arts, and music to help celebrate Franklin’s identity and attract more visitors to learn about the District and patronize area businesses

Policy Coordination

  • Working with the City and County to better coordinate policies and regulations

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The work upon which the Playbook is based was funded in part through a Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) Planning Grant awarded by the California Strategic Growth Council (SGC) and administered by the California Department of Conservation (DOC). Thanks go to them and our 15 partners in the TCC grant: SACOG (lead applicant), City of Sacramento (co-applicant), County of Sacramento, Alchemist CDC, California Capital, Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative, Community Resource Project, Franklin Boulevard Business Association, La Familia Counseling Center, Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Sacramento Regional Transit, Sacramento Tree Foundation, WALKSacramento, and Valley Vision.

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