01.09.14

Rep. Schiff Joins with President Obama at White House to Help Announce Los Angeles Promise Zone

Washington, DC –Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) joined President Barack Obama to help announce the first five “Promise Zones,” which will include one located in the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Hollywood, East Hollywood, Koreatown, Westlake and Pico Union – the other zones will be located in San Antonio, Philadelphia, Southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. First announced by the President during last year’s State of the Union Address, the Promise Zone Initiative is a way to partner with local communities and businesses to create jobs, increase economic security, expand access to educational opportunities and quality, affordable housing and improve public safety.  A map of the new Promise Zone can be found here:

The Hollywood Central Park project, which Schiff has worked on for years, will be located within the Los Angeles Promise Zone. The project would build a 44 acre urban park over the Hollywood Freeway that will create more than 40,000 jobs, create long-term economic stimulus, and provide the community with open green space for generations to come. This is a major step forward for this highly-anticipated project.

“By investing in these key communities in the country, we will not only create jobs and educational opportunity for our young people, but we will return hope to some areas that have lost much in the Great Recession,” said Schiff. “Every child must have a good chance at success – no matter where you’re from – and this new Promise Zone will help keep the promise that hard work and determination in America can and will pay off.”

This new Los Angeles Promise Zone is focused on five primary goals:

  • Increasing housing affordability by preserving existing affordable housing and partnering with housing developers to increase the supply of affordable new housing to prevent displacement.
  • Ensuring all youth have access to a high-quality education, and are prepared for college and careers through its Promise Neighborhoods initiative, by 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.
  • Ensuring 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.
  • Investing in transit infrastructure including bus rapid transit lines and bike lanes, and promoting transit-oriented development (TOD) that attracts new businesses and creates jobs.
  • Charging its Promise Zone Director and Advisory Board with eliminating wasteful and duplicative government programs

Schiff advocated directly with the White House and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to select Hollywood as one of the first zones in a letter in November 2013, saying: “The Los Angeles Promise Zone seeks to attract private investment, improve affordable housing and educational opportunities, create jobs, reduce serious and violent crime, and assist local leaders in navigating federal programs and cutting through red tape in the targeted Central Los Angeles community. The City of Los Angeles has worked tirelessly for more than a decade to develop innovative partnerships and best practices to support this model.”

The full letter is below and can be found here:

Dear Secretary Donovan:

It is with tremendous pleasure that I provide my wholehearted support to the City of Los Angeles’ FY2013 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Promise Zone application.

The Los Angeles Promise Zone seeks to attract private investment, improve affordable housing and educational opportunities, create jobs, reduce serious and violent crime, and assist local leaders in navigating federal programs and cutting through red tape in the targeted Central Los Angeles community. The City of Los Angeles has worked tirelessly for more than a decade to develop innovative partnerships and best practices to support this model. The LA Promise Zone complements and enhances the work of implementation partners such as the Youth Policy Institute (YPI), which was recently-awarded Promise Neighborhood and Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation grants.

Given the tremendous opportunities for success in the Los Angeles Promise Zone, I am very pleased to provide my wholehearted recommendation for this exciting project. The proposed services and resources are of extraordinary benefit to residents of the Promise Zone and in the City of Los Angeles. The selection of Los Angeles, one of the largest cities in the nation, offers the strongest example of the effectiveness and impact of coordinated federal investments with motivated and unified stakeholders to better our communities.

Please do not hesitate to contact my office with any questions you may have regarding this letter of support.