Building Relationships in DC
Any successful effort to seek federal dollars for the Los Angeles region must include partners in Washington. We are thrilled to tell you that we have some powerful new teammembers. On our first official trip to DC, we met with Senator Diane Feinstein and Representatives Tony Cárdenas (29th District), Judy Chu (27th District), Alan Lowenthal (47th District), Lucille Roybal-Allard (40th District), Linda Sánchez (38th District), Brad Sherman (30th District) and Henry Waxman (33rd District). They all voiced their support for the principles and goals of LA n Sync.
Rep. Cárdenas, whose district includes the communities of Pacoima, North Hollywood and Van Nuys, was particularly positive about the initiative. He offered two ideas to network in Washington on behalf of LA n Sync – 1) drafting a letter of support for signature by all 17 members of the Los Angeles delegation within the House and 2) hosting a briefing to educate L.A. delegation members and their respective staffs.
We welcome all eight of these leaders to the cause of uniting our region to improve community life for all Los Angelenos.
United Neighborhoods Center of America Conference
Our LA n Sync team also made a presentation at the UNCA Conference in Washington. The conference focused on the Federal Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative. This initiative is the Obama Administration’s place-based strategy to “support local communities in developing and obtaining the tools they need to revitalize neighborhoods ofconcentrated poverty into neighborhoods of opportunity.” It’s the very same initiative that just last year awarded a $30 million Promise Neighborhoods grant to a Los Angeles coalition of public, private and nonprofit groups led by the Youth Policy Institute. Our team only had a short time to present LA n Sync to the full session of the UNCA conference, but the exposure gave us an exciting opportunity to explain our approach and to help us expand our reach.
LA n Sync team members for the Washington trip: Jim Clarke, Director of Federal Relations, Los Angeles Mayor’s Office; Ruben Gonzales, Senior Advisor, Center for the Study of Social Policy; David Conforti, Director of Special Projects at the Annenberg Foundation and Sylia Obagi, Director of Operations at the Annenberg Foundation.
The Bell Commission: New Funding Opportunities
Collaboration starts with leadership. That’s where the Bell Commission plays a vital role. The commission, made up of high-level civic leaders, offers guidance and support to LA n Sync. On July 17, the commission will meet to review some new funding opportunities. These have been culled from our bi-weekly workgroups to be presented to the commission for consideration. So far, several opportunities from the Department of Education show great promise for our LA n Sync organizations.