LA's Most Destitute Pockets Reborn as 'Promise Zones'

As are parts of San Antonio, Philadelphia, Kentucky, Oklahoma
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2014 8:39 AM CST
A woman pushes a baby on a stroller in the predominantly immigrant Pico-Union district downtown Los Angeles on Friday, April 30, 2010.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
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(Newser) – A large part of Los Angeles is being named a "Promise Zone" today by the White House, making the poverty-stricken areas included in the zone eligible for as much as $500 million in federal aid over the next decade. The Promise Zone touches five communities: Pico-Union, Westlake, Koreatown, East Hollywood, and Hollywood. Mayor Eric Garcetti says they are among the "toughest" and most "challenged areas" in the city, the Los Angeles Times reports. Four more Promise Zones are also being named, the AP reports: areas in San Antonio, Philadelphia, southeastern Kentucky, and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Promise Zone program, launched by President Obama, aims to fight poverty—and in LA, efforts will include improving education, providing more affordable housing, boosting public safety, increasing access to career and technical training, and improving public transit. Areas designated as Promise Zones will be given preference as various federal agencies hand out grants, and could also receive tax incentives. The goal is to eventually reach 20 of America's most destitute pockets. Obama announced the idea last year during his State of the Union address, and is launching the program in advance of this year's address. (Read more poverty stories.)

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