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Joseph Mailander on Promise Zone Funding

Promise-Zone-Map-Los-Angeles

The City of Los Angeles has twice applied for Promise Zone funding and has been denied both times.  Promise Zones are defined as high poverty communities, and if approved,  the federal government partners with local leaders to revitalize the community.  The urban community was up in arms over South LA (SoLA) being left out in favor of Koreatown, who was a recipient the first round of funding. LA Councilman Bernard Parks publicly vented, in his latest CityWatchLA article, about having to hear about the latest denial via the 2 Urban Girls blog.  Noted scribe Joseph Mailander, shares his opinion of the disparity of receiving funds for an area that doesn’t hardly qualify as “high poverty”.

I’ve written a lot about the Promise Zone here in LA. It’s not in LA’s poorest areas. Rather, it seems to be devoted to servicing LA’s Central American community most. There is a heavy overlap in our Promise Zone with the Guatamalan, Nicaraguan, and Salvadoran community.

Our Promise Zone is not like other promise zones elsewhere in the country, which are much poorer than ours.  It appears to be a reward to Garcetti for being a supporter of Obama in both elections. There are lots of places–Ferguson, West Baltimore–that probably should have become Promise Zones before our Zone did. Did you know that there is even a Frank Lloyd Wright home in our Promise Zone? It’s far from the most indigent place in California, even in LA.

I think the idea is good but the map is completely wrong. I think two places in LA County that could be good Promise Zone sites are along the 605 corridor and in North Long Beach.  This one kind of boggles the mind, where it’s located, and the fact that one agency has so much authority over it concerns me as well.
LA’s designation came alongside similar grants for the long repressed Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and the hardscrabble hills of southeastern Kentucky, two of the other four proud standard bearers of sustained economic failure.

Garcetti said  that he was “proud” of the fact that LA would be receiving this aid was like your dad saying he was “proud” of you for making a successful welfare grant application.  It’s understandable in luckless, hardscrabble places like southeastern Kentucky and prairie Oklahoma.  But all along Western, and crossing Wilshire?

 


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About Melissa

I am a lifelong Inglewood resident living in District 4. I serve on PTA and School Site Council as Vice-President, for the last 8 years with Inglewood Unified School District. I volunteer on the Wellness Committee for ICEF Public Schools. I am an alumni of California State University, Dominguez Hills with a degree in Political Science. You can find me on Twitter under @CreoleMommie

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