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Economic Justice Monitoring Project (Phase II - Recommendations)

The Central Corridor Light Rail Transit (CCLRT) project has incurred several lawsuits civil rights complaints in past several years, among which, both the African American community and Asian business community of Saint Paul filed civil rights complaints suggesting the environmental impact statement (EIS) completed by the Metropolitan Council on the CCLRT did not meet the environmental justice provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act which require a “Federal agency shall analyze the environmental effects, including human health, economic and social effects, of Federal actions, including effects on minority communities and low-income communities”. The African American community stated the CCLRT EIS did not account for the cumulative impact of transit projects (past and current) on the Rondo community of Saint Paul. While the Asian business community stated the EIS did not consider the unique impacts of CCLRT on immigrant businesses.  

The Economic Justice Monitoring Project began in February 2012 with a baseline “snapshot” study of existing businesses along the most dense portion of Asian immigrant-owned businesses on University Avenue, known as Little Mekong which includes University Avenue businesses from Mackubin to Galtier in Saint Paul. Then in the spring and summer of 2012, the stories of Little Mekong business owners’ experiences with CCLRT construction were collected and documented to produce a comprehensive and holistic description, analysis and definition of CCLRT “impact” on immigrant businesses.

AEDA and the communities surrounding the CCLRT have a unique opportunity this fall/winter to contribute to a new draft supplemental environmental impact statement that the Metropolitan Council has been mandated to conduct, which will wholly focus on the impact of the CCLRT on businesses.  Therefore, this fall, AEDA is seeking the support of a CURA research assistant to help us connect the business stories we collected through the spring and summer with the data collected in our snapshot data of the Little Mekong corridor to create a comprehensive story/report of CCLRT’s impact on business, with our own community’s definition of impact that includes cultural, spiritual, and social impact indicators.

Project Award Date: 
Community organization or agency: 
Asian Economic Development Association
CURA Contact: 
C Terrence Anderson Director of Community Based Research (612) 624-8988