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Ed Blakely Appointed to Take Charge of Katrina Recovery Efforts.


By Anthony D. Sciarretta, Student Intern of Chass College Computing

Edward BlakelyUCR Alum Edward Blakely was recently appointed to the position of Recovery Chief by New Orleans’ Mayor C. Ray Nagin.  The decision was highly influenced by Blakely’s influential role in recovery planning following the 1989 San Francisco earthquake and the 1991 Oakland fires.

Though Blakely has undertaken endeavors of greater impact, his legacy lives on in the Riverside based, Center for Sustainable Suburban Development (CSSD).  The organization was completed in 2003 when Ali Sahabi finalized a two million dollar gift agreement to UCR in order to found the CSSD after his mentor, Edward J. Blakely.  The program was created in order to respond to the estimates of substantial growth in the Riverside and San Bernardino counties; an additional 3.7 million people by the year 2030.  The center held its first annual Conference on the Suburbs in January of 2005 at the Mission Inn.  Later in April 2005 the center began the Randall Lewis Seminar Series which focuses on a new issue of regional significance or policy making each month.

The position in New Orleans comes as a great opportunity for Blakely as he will have the opportunity to set policy and lead as opposed to following the will of his superiors.  Observing Blakely’s entrance into the Oakland Mayoral race of 1998 further suggests his eagerness for such a position.  Blakely has stated that he is fully aware of the racial and economic struggles which threaten recovery and is prepared for the task.  Recently the city has appropriated near $500,000 for the task ahead of Blakely and his team.

Blakely was born in San Bernardino where he also received his primary education at San Bernardino High School.  Blakely attended college at the University of California Riverside, earned his masters in Latin American History at UC Berkeley, and received a doctorate in Education and Management from UCLA.  Blakely is the author of four publications including; Fortress America, with Mary Gail Snyder (Brookings Press, 1997); Separate Societies: Poverty and Inequality in U.S. Cities (Temple University Press, 1992), Planning Local Economic Development: Theory and Practice (Sage, 1989), and Rural Communities in Advanced Industrial Society (Praeger, 1979).


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