Apr 10 2014

Why Was South LA Passed Over for Obama’s “Promise Zone” Initiatives?

President Obama announced an initiative in his 2013 State of the Union Address, called “Promise Zones” which would assist local communities in creating jobs, increasing economic security and providing access to quality housing. This month, the Obama Administration announced that Los Angeles would be one of the five “Promise Zone” areas to receive federal funds.

But community leaders were shocked when they learned that South Los Angeles, one of the most poverty-stricken neighborhoods in LA was passed over for assistance. Instead, the neighborhoods of Pico Union, Westlake, Koreatown, Hollywood and East Hollywood were chosen as “Promise Zones.” The Obama administration defended its decision by saying that it wanted to “concentrate resources in communities where nonprofits or public agencies had already received one of the Obama administration’s signature urban renewal grants.”

The only non-profit organization in Los Angeles that qualified for Promise Zone aid was the Hollywood-based Youth Policy Institute led by Dixon Slingerland. The LA Times revealed that Slingerland was a major campaign fundraiser for Obama and a frequent White House visitor.

GUEST: Marqueece Harris-Dawson, President & CEO, Community Coalition

Visit Community Coalition online at www.cocosouthla.org.

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