first_imgThe Sol Price Center for Social Innovation has been chosen to implement the groundwork for the Los Angeles Promise Zone initiative.Keeping promises · The Sol Price Center for Social Innovation will lay the groundwork for the Los Angeles Promise Zone initiative. – Austin Vogel | Daily TrojanIn an effort to alleviate poverty, parts of Los Angeles have been designated as “Promise Zones” by the White House, which prioritizes certain cities which apply for federal grants and aid for education, housing and public safety.The designated parts of Los Angeles include the areas of Pico-Union, Westlake, Koreatown, East Hollywood and Hollywood.Gary Dean Painter, a professor at the Price School of Public Policy, was the leader of USC’s involvement in this project.“In our partnership, we will evaluate the effectiveness of the money that will be spent with those grants,” Painter said. “Since the Promise Zones were designated, there is a higher probability that we will be awarded aid.”Painter’s initial response to the designated areas was tentative.“I wasn’t privy on the process of how the specific areas were chosen,” Painter said. “We need to fix something that needs to be focused on.”There has been some outcry about the specific areas designated, and whether targeted aid will help relieve the city’s social issues.Emily Sommer, a senior majoring in political science and psychology, believes the areas chosen were warranted.“It doesn’t surprise me that these areas were chosen,” Sommer said. “These are areas that have undergone changes like gentrification and economic development projects over the past 20 years and it is often at the expense of the communities that live there.”Catherine Schlesinger, a sophomore majoring in business administration, thought Los Angeles was the right choice, but not the specific neighborhoods chosen.“These areas are probably good areas to receive funding, but I’m surprised that South Los Angeles wasn’t chosen,” Schlesinger said. “I have worked in the surrounding community through the USC Joint Educational Project, and I think that the schools I worked with could benefit from future aid.”Painter commented on possible challenges with the evaluation process in the future.“The evaluation process is not an easy one. It is complex to measure the success and outcomes of the grants that will be used in these areas, especially when you have people that move in and out of neighborhoods,” Painter said. “Some grants are harder to evaluate than others.”It is expected that Los Angeles could receive tens of millions of dollars in funding. The designated Promise Zones will last 10 years.last_img

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