January 2014

LAnSync td img {display: block;}       January 10, 2014 YPI Executive Director Dixon Slingerland, Mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti, Annenberg Foundation Executive Director Leonard Aube and Harlem Children’s Zone President and CEO Geoffrey Canada at President Obama’s announcement of the first five Promise Zones. The Latest from LA n Sync With an historic win for Los Angeles, major collaborations and growing partnerships, we have big news for a big month.

Promise Zone Win a Triumph for Los Angeles

The process was rigorous, but the outcome was well worth the effort as President Obama named the City of Los Angeles one of only five Promise Zones in the country. This designation means strong potential for hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in Los Angeles from the federal government over the next ten years, focused on the communities of East Hollywood, Pico-Union and Koreatown. The goal is to significantly reduce poverty through job creation, increased economic activity, improved educational opportunities, improved public safety, leveraged private capital and other local strategies. LA n Sync was pleased to provide support to Mayor Garcetti and the Youth Policy Institute (YPI) during the Promise Zones application process. We supplied a grantwriter from our Grant Development Corps and coordinated a joint convening with the Mayor’s office and YPI to rally support for LA’s Promise Zones application from key leaders in the academic, civic, nonprofit, business and philanthropic sectors. Additionally, LA n Sync brought together the Weingart Foundation, The Rose Hills Foundation, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, The California Endowment, California Community Foundation, The Ahmanson Foundation and Annenberg Foundation to craft a joint letter of support, committing to “future investments of direct services, capacity building, technical assistance, data sharing/evaluation and cross-sector collaborations in the Promise Zone.” We offer our congratulations to all of our partners and, most importantly, to the city of Los Angeles.

DC Partnerships Deepen

During a visit to Washington DC at the end of 2013, LA n Sync representatives met with officials from the Department of Transportation, the Department of Education and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. We came away from the meetings with our notebooks – and iPads – full of insights. One of the key takeaways from both HUD and the DOE really surprised us: LA n Sync’s collaborative structure, focus and function could be a national model for other jurisdictions – particularly as it builds effective partnerships between philanthropy and public systems.

Inspiration from the Brookings Institution

While in DC, we had the pleasure of meeting with Bruce Katz and Amy Liu, Director and Co-Director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution. Both Katz and Liu suggested strongly that LA n Sync consider working with its partners to develop an economic development and sustainable communities strategy for Los Angeles County. This strategy would help us refine the focus of our advocacy efforts, developing a key criterion for determining which federal grants LA n Sync would pursue. The strategy would also create a regional vision that could build relationships beyond the county, such as industry and the state of California.

CSU Collaboration

In a rare meeting, LA n Sync convened the leaders of five branches of the California State University system in the Los Angeles region – Dr. Willie J. Hagan, California State University, Dominguez Hills; Dr. Donald J. Para, California State University, Long Beach; Dr. William A. Covino, California State University, Los Angeles; Dr. J. Michael Ortiz, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona; and Dr. Dianne Harrison, California State University, Northridge (Co-host). Discussions focused on building advanced manufacturing in our region and encouraging regional development. One of the key questions: How can Los Angeles position itself to be competitive for upcoming major federal grants related to advanced manufacturing and regional development? Another key question: What role can CSUs play – collectively and individually – in terms of providing an educated workforce and fostering innovation through research partnerships with regional industry? Further meetings are planned. We have no doubt that the experience and expertise of the five universities will make a significant addition to the LA n Sync effort. Connect with us via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about LA n Sync's latest developments.