The East Side is rich in social, economic and natural assets and home to diverse and entrepreneurial cultural and communities of color. Over the past five years, renewed attention has been geared towards leveraging the communities’ assets, as signaled by increased economic development related investments. Projects undertaken by Metropolitan State University, Saint Paul Port Authority, Mississippi Market, Dayton’s Bluff Community Council and Latino Economic Development Center (LEDC) have restored vacant and/or underutilized spaces, breathing new life into the East Side economy.
With a growing jobs base, major institutions, housing options, ample green space, and renewed public, philanthropic and private investment, the East Side is emerging as a community of choice in the east metro area. Demographic trends suggest however that targeted efforts must be made in this majority community of color to ensure that low wealth and communities of color have equitable access to the opportunities available on the East Side.
The East Side neighborhoods of Payne Phalen and Dayton’s Bluff in St. Paul have been a targeted geography for Nexus since 2003.
Currently, Nexus is convening the East Side Economic Growth Initiative (ESEGI), which is a group of organizations working together to create strategies that advance the growing economic momentum on the East Side. ESEGI targets investments and designs new models that drive a local economic resurgence. ESEGI uses community wealth building values and principles that recognize the assets, talents, experiences and resources of East Side communities. East Side CWB Values & Principles We build on strengths that have been overlooked by traditional economic development approaches.
ESEGI Vision: Within the 10 years, the East Side will be a place with full access to community wealth building opportunities for all residents as a means to ensure equity, lift up cultural assets, promote local ownership and democratize wealth.
Organizations that Nexus is supporting on the East Side include:
- Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA)
- Eastside Financial Center (EFC)
- Merrick Community Services
- Cycles for Change
- Dayton’s Bluff Community Council
- Metro State University
East Side Reports & Profiles