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On Nov. 1, 2017, Santa Rosa annexed the community of Roseland, a village of about 8,000 residents spanning 714 acres. The benefits of annexation, discussed in the months leading up to annexation, included Roseland getting a voice in the City Council, and Santa Rosa's investment in roads, sidewalks and parks for the historically underserved community. We asked some of the leaders and residents of the community how they feel about officially becoming part of the city, and what they value most about their community.

Mariana G. Martínez

Sonoma State University Chicano studies professor and Santa Rosa Junior College trustee

How long have you lived in the area known as Roseland?

I have lived in Roseland for as long as I can remember; however, at times, it was around the area. When we first moved to Santa Rosa, we lived on the border of Roseland and Santa Rosa. We were in the neighborhood officially in 2010.

What’s been your favorite thing about living in Roseland?

I love the vibrancy, the life that exists in the neighborhood. There is always something happening. I live closest to Bayer Farm, which came alive because of community power. Before the park was there, I would take my son to Bayer Farm activities that were and continue to be family friendly. I can walk down the neighborhood to Sebastopol Road and enjoy a variety of Latino cuisine and events. I think that when I say vibrancy, it is at every level because even in our pain and loss, Roseland comes together to show support for one another — people gather here to march, to celebrate, to be with one another and share both company and food.

How do you feel about now being incorporated to Santa Rosa?

I feel conflicted. I know that we are provided with more services that were not accessible before without having to deal with the county first; however, I am conflicted because I feel a change coming and it is not necessarily a good change. The cost of living has skyrocketed and Roseland is a good place for housing, and now that can be in jeopardy. This new incorporation can push out the residents of the area because of the need of low-cost housing.

What are you most looking forward to about being part of Santa Rosa?

Being able to get some of the services without having to wait around for the county.

What do you wish would never change about Roseland?

The community, the residents. I have lived in the southwest of Santa Rosa since we moved to Sonoma County, and it has been a good home to me. I love to hear the loud music whether it be a DJ, trio or mariachi, the parties in people’s backyards, the people working hard to make their homes look beautiful, working on the Bayer Farm garden, and now playing in the Bayer Farm neighborhood park, and the danzantes that practice at the schools nearby. I love all of that, I love the people that make up Roseland. This is something that I would not want to change; they bring “corazón” to this neighborhood.

Marisol Ángeles

Community organizer

How long have you lived in the area known as Roseland?

I’ve lived there for five years now, and I love it there.

What’s been your favorite thing about living in Roseland?

Being part of CBI, the Community Building Initiative, is very important to me because we are very active in keeping the streets clean and it’s a way of being involved in issues that concern the community and it’s also a way to help people, not only oneself. I also like being a part of the gardens at Bayer Farm and all the community issues that happen around them.

How do you feel about now being incorporated to Santa Rosa?

I think we will be able to be part of more programs and resources, it will be better for schools and to get a library. And generally covering our basic needs as a community.

What are you most looking forward to about being part of Santa Rosa?

We expect benefits for schools, to get a library, our own community center and better infrastructure in our streets. There’s a lot of traffic lately and more violence. We don’t want that.

What do you wish would never change about Roseland?

Until now there’s a tiny library and community center, but after the development of the Roseland Village, we’re not sure if they’re going to keep them as they promised. I wouldn’t want that to go away.

María Saldívar

Resident

How long have you lived in the area known as Roseland?

I’ve been living there for 10 years.

What’s been your favorite thing about living in Roseland?

I like the services delivered by local schools, but mostly I enjoy the people that live here. There’s plenty of Latinos. Also the stores with products you can’t find anywhere else in the city. This place just make you feel you’re home.

How do you feel about now being incorporated to Santa Rosa?

I like it. I feel we will have better access to services and city programs and that this place will be better.

What are you most looking forward to about being part of Santa Rosa?

I would like more security, better infrastructure for streets, public lighting and sidewalks — I just fell on one of the sidewalks because it was so dark and the sidewalk was so uneven I didn’t see it. There are also streets without sidewalks! We want more violence prevention programs so we have less vandalism. And I’m looking forward to having representation in the City Council.

What do you wish would never change about Roseland?

We are very united as a Latino community, and we’re proud of that. We sometimes come together when it’s necessary. I wouldn’t want to lose that community spirit among Latinos. Also Cinco de Mayo Festival needs to stay here. I wouldn’t want it to go anywhere else in the city. That celebration makes me feel like I’m back in my hometown.

Antonio Mendoza

Longtime resident

How long have you lived in the area known as Roseland?

Let me think … 41 years.

What’s been your favorite thing about living in Roseland?

They gave me a job as a groundskeeper at the schools in Roseland — Roseland Elementary and Sheppard Elementary. They were really close to my house, and I could keep an eye on my kids when they were in school. When they would go on field trips and I didn’t have much work to do, I’d ask for permission to go and spend the day with them.

How do you feel about now being incorporated to Santa Rosa?

I don’t like it very much. We were fine just as we were. They say the electricity and water will be more expensive under the city.

What are you most looking forward to about being part of Santa Rosa?

At my age, I want to live peacefully. … I’d like there not to be many drastic changes.

What do you wish would never change about Roseland?

The garden at Bayer Farm. I hope they maintain it clean and beautiful. … The community has space to plant tomatoes, squash, chiles and cucumbers. It’s important to the community — it’s a gathering place. People come together there Friday evenings.

Isabel Tiemann-Zamudio

Avance parent educator

How long have you lived in the area known as Roseland?

I have lived in Roseland since February 2014.

What’s been your favorite thing about living in Roseland?

What I love the most about living in Roseland is that I can feel that I live in the countryside, surrounded by nature and animals and birds, but at the same time ... I’m in the city enjoying all its amenities, such as shops, supermarkets and a variety of gastronomy and culture. I also like how the culture and Latino community is so well represented.

How do you feel about now being incorporated to Santa Rosa?

I think that being incorporated has its pros and cons. The value of the properties are going to be higher, and this is good for the owners. Probably rents are going to rise, as well, and this is going to affect many families in our area. I’m also worried about what will happen to all the homeless people who are living in the Roseland area.

What are you most looking forward to about being part of Santa Rosa?

I’m looking forward to improvements in our area, such as the construction of a new park where families and individuals can enjoy nature in a healthy and peaceful environment.

What do you wish would never change about Roseland?

That mix of country and city atmosphere and, of course, that ... warm atmosphere of diversity in our community where respect for culture is always present.

Davin Cárdenas

North Bay Organizing Project lead organizer

How long have you lived in Roseland?

Lived in Roseland for nine years.

What has been your favorite thing about living in Roseland?

Living amongst people who value public transportation, public spaces, biking, walking (and) marching.

How do you feel about now being incorporated to Santa Rosa?

Now that we are incorporated, I hope that we grow greater power in protecting ourselves from gentrification, and not the other way around.

What are you most looking forward to about being part of Santa Rosa?

I look forward to getting to vote in city and county elections, and to form greater political power for our little corner of the world.

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