South LA Transit Education/Empowerment Zone? Yes!

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Huge coalition of interests at LA Trade Tech College (LATTC) today to talk about the proposed South LA Transit Education/Empowerment Zone application with U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, U.S. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard and LA City Councilmember Curran Price -- and to prep for a visit from HUD Secretary Julian Castro next week. Tough to convince Congress that LA should get a second empowerment zone but it's such a powerful way to bring economic development to neighborhoods that need some (with poverty rates as high as 45.48%)!

Because it was so tough to determine what LA Trade Tech President Larry Frank calls "a coherent population center" in South LA that met HUD's empowerment zone criteria -- the project area could include just 200,000 people and South LA is bigger and more densely populated than that -- it was decided the empowerment zone should be focused around transit lines in South LA that connect to schools, including LATTC, USC and the Cal States, as well as 10 high schools (8 of which are classified as intensive Support Innovation Centers).

The vision is to "connect SLA through transportation, education and economic mobility with a strategy that intersects with jobs, workforce, education, safety, affordable housing, healthy communities and business development," and to support students and their career success. Read more about SLATE-Z here. (I recommending clicking on "Support" on the SLATE-Z website, downloading the "Partners Letters" and reading the one written by LATTC President Frank to get a good understanding of what this project is about.) There's lots of work to be done!

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