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Video: Why South L.A. Wasn't Included In $500 Million Grant To Combat Poverty

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Mayor Eric Garcetti talked to Tavis Smiley yesterday about why communities in South L.A. were not included in the city's Promise Zones, which would've opened the door for millions in aid.

If you recall, several neighborhoods in Central L.A.—including Koreatown, Westlake, Pico-Union, East Hollywood and Hollywood—were qualified to be a part of the federal government's "Promise Zone" program, meaning that they could receive up to $500 million dollars from the White House to put toward education, affordable housing, public transportation and bike lanes, among others. As soon as the program was made public, many residents of South L.A., including City Councilman Curren Price, Jr., blasted the plan and claimed that they were being ignored by the city and the federal government.

In the interview, Garcetti claims that the Promise Zone plan is "good for all of Los Angeles," and stated that the money coming from the government could be used in areas that have not been bestowed with the "Promise Zone" title.

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In addition, Garcetti claims that the reason why South L.A. communities weren't able to qualify is because of a technicality involving applying for a grant before moving on to being eligible to receive Promise Zone money.

"Before I got there, that area hadn't been designated for a qualifying grant, so we couldn't apply, even if I had wanted to," Garcetti said. "But I am darn determined to make sure that some of the monies that will come from that will go to other parts of the city too that connect in with that, including south L.A., the eastside and the northeast San Fernando Valley."

You can watch the full 15 minute interview, which includes a transcript, here.

Related:
Los Angeles Could Get $500 Million From Feds To Combat Poverty From Westlake To Hollywood