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Small Family Foundation with Big Ideas for LA

20 Mar

LA2050 Housing Meetup

What will Los Angeles look like in 2050? While the Los Angeles Times thought 2013 might look like a futuristic Jetsons episode, one small family foundation is also generating big ideas for the future of the City of Angels. Continue reading

Vallejo Launches Participatory Budgeting

18 Feb
Image from Participatory Budgeting Vallejo

Image from Participatory Budgeting Vallejo

This month, ELP Advisors decided to mix things up a bit and invite a friend and colleague to share her experiences with our readers. Exciting innovations in sustainable development and civic engagement abound and we wanted to bring you an insider’s perspective for one of the topics that we covered back in 2012. We wrote a while back about participatory budgeting [PDF] and wanted to follow-up with an example from California. We’ve invited Ginny Browne from the Participatory Budgeting Project to share some insights from their experiment in Vallejo. Enjoy!

By: Ginny Browne

Just more than a year after emerging from bankruptcy, the Bay Area City of Vallejo is making a new name for itself as a national leader in civic engagement. Last September, Vallejo took this historic step by becoming the first U.S. city to launch participatory budgeting citywide. Continue reading

New Tool to Identify Environmental Justice Communities

14 Jan

We know that the burden of pollution is not distributed equally throughout California. People who live in low-income and minority communities are exposed to higher concentrations of pollutants and experience more health problems as a result.  In recent years various tools have been developed to identify the most ill-affected communities. Continue reading

Play Fair at Farmer’s Field Scores a Big Win

14 Nov

The “Play Fair at Farmer’s Field” Coalition, comprised of the Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN), Physicians for Social Responsibility, Legal Aid Los Angeles and others, scored a major win this month. The Coalition announced that it had agreed to settle a lawsuit filed against Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), one of the world’s leading sports and entertainment companies. Continue reading

Depave(ing) to Make Livable Cities

15 Oct

They don’t call it the concrete jungle for nothing. Miles of sidewalks and acres of asphalt typify many of our urban environments, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Depave, a Portland-based nonprofit, is leading a local effort to transform under-utilized asphalt into spaces for habitat restoration, urban farming, tree planting, native vegetation, and social gathering. Continue reading

The Hollywood Freeway Park is One Step Closer to Reality

13 Sep

The Friends of the Hollywood Central Park organization is one step closer to making a 44-acre park atop the Hollywood Freeway a reality. A $1.2 million gift from the Aileen Getty Foundation is providing the gap financing need to fund the project’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR). Earlier this year, the organization secured $825,000 in funding from the City, leaving a funding gap of $1.2 million to complete the $2 million EIR.  The foundation elected to provide the gap funding, with Aileen Getty noting that the “Hollywood Central Park is about building community and celebrating our commonality in a natural environment.” Continue reading

Housing the Homeless and Saving Money

15 Jun

In 2007, Community Solutions, working closely with County officials, launched a pilot program called Project 50. The goal of the project was to identify and house the most vulnerable homeless individuals in the county and provide them with housing and services. The goal was twofold: (1) get chronically homeless folks off the streets and into supportive housing, and (2) save taxpayer dollars. Thus far, the program has proved to be just as successful as its creators had hoped. Continue reading

Food, Sustainability, and Microenterprise

18 May

In our February newsletter we highlighted some of the ongoing efforts taking place in the food access and food justice movements. Although there is still much work to be done before our food systems become more equitable, there are several initiatives that provide incentives for grocery stores to locate in food desert communities. In addition, there has been an increase in the number of urban farms and community gardens in low-income communities – so we’re moving in the right direction. Continue reading

“Short Term Action, Long Term Change”

18 May

In an era of shrinking budgets and fewer resources, tactical urbanism emerges as a way of incrementally improving the urban landscape by implementing cost-effective, small-scale projects. Continue reading