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L.A. a Loser for Stimulus Money

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by Paresh Dave/NeonTommy

by Paresh Dave/NeonTommy
An in-depth look into stimulus money (or the lack thereof) coming into Los Angeles reveals that the nation's 2nd biggest city is losing out. For example, the graph to the right shows transportation and infrastructure funding via grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). New York City is the big win and San Diego is slightly edging out Los Angeles. So what's the problem? "A decentralized approach to finding, applying for and managing grants" might be one of the huge problems, finds writer Paresh Dave of NeonTommy in talks with Jim Clarke, the mayor's director for federal relations. "There's much more we could do up front. ARRA funding has brought to our attention that the city needs to have a more centralized system, and we are in the process of finding out what the best practices are."

Questions is, when said best practices are figured out, how many more stimulus grants will we have lost out on?

And it's not just ARRA money. Check this map out to see how L.A. compares to the rest of the country in federal New Starts transit money:

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Now this discrepancy is not necessarily the failure to win grants, but to have projects in the pipeline or have Metro Board members agree which projects to submit. But this year, the Board agreed to submit two projects: the regional connector and the westside subway. That, however, was not a choice without controversy. A delegation of 14 members of congress thought other projects should be submitted.