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By Randy Economy
“Promise Zones” will be coming to Los Angeles in the future it was announced on Thursday by the White House.
Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard, who represents a wide swatch of East Los Angeles and Commerce, joined President Barack Obama at the White House on Thursday as he announced the first five “Promise Zones”— high-poverty areas where the federal government will partner with and invest in communities to create jobs, leverage private investment, increase economic activity, expand educational opportunities, and improve public safety.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for greater Los Angeles and the selected communities across the nation,” said Roybal-Allard.
“By building these kinds of partnerships, we will take an important step toward reviving our local economies through job creation, increased access to education and safer streets for our families.”
Roybal-Allard informed members of the media, including Hews Media Group-Community Newspaper about the new program late Thursday morning.
Obama and Roybal-Allard said that the first five Zones, located in San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, have each put forward a plan on how they will partner with local business and community leaders to make investments that reward hard work and expand opportunity. Each of the areas will “receive the resources and flexibility they need to achieve their goals.”
“Each of these designees knows and has demonstrated that it takes a collaborative effort – between private business and federal, state, tribal and local officials; faith-based and non-profit organizations; children and parents – to ensure that hard work leads to a decent living for every American, in every community,” Roybal-Allard hailed in the press statement.
The plan for Los Angeles includes the neighborhoods of Pico Union, Westlake, Koreatown, Hollywood, and East Hollywood.
Roybal-Allard said that the new plan includes increasing housing affordability by preserving existing affordable housing and partnering with housing developers to increase the supply of affordable new housing to prevent displacement.
Roybal-Allard also announced that “ensuring all youth have access to a high-quality education, and are prepared for college and careers through its Promise Neighborhoods initiative.”
The lawmaker stressed that the program includes partnering with the Youth Policy Institute and L.A. Unified School District to expand its Full Service Community Schools model from 7 schools to all 45 Promise Zone schools by 2019.
Also proposed in the program includes a component to ensure that youth and adult residents have access to high-quality career and technical training opportunities that prepare them for careers in high-growth industries through partnerships with career and technical training schools and the Los Angeles Community College District.
In addition, President Obama and Congresswoman Roybal-Allard said that the funds will be invested in transit infrastructure including bus rapid transit lines and bike lanes, and promoting transit-oriented development (TOD) that attracts new businesses and creates jobs.
Roybal-Allard also said in a statement that the Promise Zone Director and Advisory Board with eliminating wasteful and duplicative government programs.
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