Founded in 2006, the San Gabriel Valley Oversight Group (SGVOG) is dedicated to improving the world we live in by promoting social justice and community involvement at the local level. The San Gabriel valley is located in Southern California and is a microcosm for ailments affecting us nation-wide. We take this wider view when seeking policy solutions to benefit the greater region. But we also find practical ways to implement them at the local level. Our approach follows the mantra "think globally, act locally."
The SGVOG provides an independent look at several key areas pertinent to the plight of lower income residents. The focus is on structural impediments that affect large numbers within this group.
Many lower income areas suffer from a disproportionate share of harmful air pollution, water contamination, toxic vapor instrusion, and lack of open space.
The cost of housing in the San Gabriel Valley places many families at the brink of destitution. Yet the policies of most local municipalities fail to effectively address this problem.
Income inequality in the San Gabriel Valley continues to fester with the lack of good jobs. Local policies tend to focus on short-term tax revenue schemes that favor retail and service businesses--two areas notorious for jobs with unlivable wages.
Economic development plans of local municipalities tend to focus heavily on courting businesses without regard to long-term planning. The idea being that if businesses are helped and subsidized, benefits will trickle down to those in need. This has not been realized: cities draw away businesses from one another with promises of cheaper rent and block grant subsidies. And most jobs being created do not pay a livable wage.
Community Involvement/Civic Engagement
Effective policy changes can only happen with public engagement. Structural impediments placed on public participation combined with private sector-funded advocacy has proven profitable for the market at the expense of lower income groups and other marginalized sectors.
Asian Americans and politics in the West SGV: Recollections from the ground in the year 2020
by Eric Sunada
a version of this article appears in the March 2021 edition of the Gidra zine
October 2020Why Alhambra's Measure V is Necessary
February 2020An example of localism gone astray: The city of Alhambra's misrepresentation of Measure AL
January 2020The loudest voices in the room: who are the real loser's behind Alhambra's reactionary battles?
Download an opinion by Eric Sunada
The US EPA will be installing a new monitoring well for groundwater contamination in the Area 3 Superfund Site. More details after our meeting with the EPA on January 6, 2020...
From 2008 to 2012, the SGVOG took an in-depth look at the policies and practices of the city of Alhambra, which is located in the western portion of the San Gabriel Valley. The purpose of this independent study was to assess the extent to which the city was prepared to support its residents during the worst recession in over 70 years. Learn more about our case study...