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Empowering Teens with the Knowledge and Skills to Make Healthy Decisions
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Many LAUSD schools are opting to forego the traditional 9th grade semester-long health class, instead absorbing the minimum mandated CA Education Code HIV/AIDS prevention education into advisory or science classes. Our program is a free service to schools, and includes not only HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness education, but also education on a number of topics that have the potential to impact high school graduation rates, public safety (such as sexual assault and intimate partner violence), and the overall health and wellness of low-income communities in LA. We also increase civic participation and social connectedness in LA County by engaging college students in the communities beyond their campuses.

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Never Built: Los Angeles
Never Built: Los Angeles 1 Pink-talk-bubble-tail
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<p> The stories surrounding these projects reveal a reluctant city whose institutions and infrastructure—from a fractured power base to risk-averse developers to reluctant neighbors —have often undermined visionary work. Our goal is to change this culture, shedding light on the city's many missed opportunities so that visionary, creative, innovative ideas in the large-scale pubic realm will once again be embraced here. Furthermore, much of Los Angeles is ugly and poorly planned. Another aim is to end the complacency about this fact. We want to connect the inherent appeal of unrealized designs to the daily experience of the built world. We want people in Los Angeles and elsewhere to regard beauty and livability as essential rights in their lives. <p/>

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Self-Sustainable Artistic Community
Self-Sustainable Artistic Community 55 Pink-talk-bubble-tail
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According to the LA 2050 report, workers aged 25 and below have the highest unemployment rate of any labor force group. The experience of unemployment is one of the strongest negative impacts on subjective well-being. Once unemployed or working an entry-level position, it is a struggle to afford housing in a healthy environment. Health is compromised as affordable homes are only available in neighborhoods with heavily polluted air that may cause cancer. Time is spent working to afford the cost of living. More than half spend 30% or more to afford housing. They become disconnected from the community. The fundamental nature of human social bonds is a crucial determinant of well-being. Neighborhoods with perceived social disorder and a lack of collective efficacy are more associated with crime related outcomes.   Individuals become polarized and trapped in this cycle. They gather to live in an area but are disjointed from one another. They lack the education and skills to create a positive change for themselves. <br> ValhalLA benefits Los Angeles by creating a different cycle. <br> Houses are affordable. Earthships and Superadobe are created from recyclable materials. They have been tested, proven, and permitted in LA county. While both Earthship and Superadobe designs are revolutionary, they have not yet been integrated. This insemination promotes the recurring theme of innovation and collaboration. It involves experts in both fields and offers a long term solution to the increasing need for housing. Low material and operational costs allow homes to start at $7,000. <br> The habitat utilizes permaculture principles. Its structure has zero carbon footprint qualities and zero emission. This has immediate and large scale effects on environmental quality. <br> People are healthier with an improved environment and organic, locally grown food. <br> According to LA 2050, the current cost of living and unemployment rate place the future vitality of arts and culture at risk. Public arts expenditures are below the national average. There is a lack of arts-nurturing policy. ValhalLA members work together to give back to the city. They produce progressive art and maintain a beautiful environment. This heightens social connectivity, which, in turn, promotes public safety. Those who feel they can work with friends, family, and neighbors to bring about positive, collective change are more likely to report feeling safer. <br> ValhalLA educates others with knowledge that prepares them to change their own direct community. Others learn self-sustainable skills that enable them to seek and find employment in an emerging market with increasing demand for sustainable, low cost small business and residential buildings. <br> ValhalLA introduces an innovative concept; the functioning base for all ideas that have changed the world.

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La Loma Center: Green Education, Environmental Resources, and Job Training
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Our project will benefit Los Angeles in numerous ways as was discussed above. Specifically, we will have a major impact on the creation natural parks, beautiful gardens, and public spaces to organize community. LA has a shortage of green spaces, we solve that problem. We will empower the community with information and work, hosting regular classes, community workshops, and job training on a variety of relevant sustainability issues. Specific subjects include Arboriculture, Aquaculture, Beekeeping, Soil, Water, Seeds, School Composting, Compost Tea, Vermiculture, Xeriscape, Drip Irrigation, Dry-Stacked Broken Concrete Terracing, Masonry, Carpentry, Metalwork, Edible Gardening, Food Preservation (solar dehydration, canning), Fruit Tree Pruning, Green Roofs, Greywater, Living Walls, Natural Building (cobb, adobe), Natural Pools, Permaculture, Rainwater Harvesting, Urban Agriculture, Rocket Stoves/Ovens, Solar Power, Conservation Remodeling, and so much more. Our facilities will provide a perfect location for school field trips, afterschool programs, regular farmers’ market, as well as special events. We will become the place to go for cutting edge information and resources to improve our environmental health and urban sustainability. Designers and contractors will depend on us for the dissemination of ideas and supplies, hopefully inspiring the replication of the model. DIY people will be empowered by our offerings, and commercial and institutional clients will turn to us for leadership in creating jobs and getting their environmental projects completed with beauty and integrity. Los Angeles currently does not have a place like this in the entire county, there are many pieces to the puzzle, and we are putting them together to help accelerate our economic and environmental recovery.

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Heal This City
Heal This City
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<p>EDUCATION: With the momentum we've experienced this past year as part of developing the program and curriculum for Westchester Enriched Sciences Magnets High School, there's no question that teachers and principles recognize the value of Lab-type greenhouse farming as opposed to traditional raised-bed farming. It's hard to overstate the value of this to high-school education. Teaching seed propagation, benefits of a varied crop mix to high-school students markedly improves test scores. (See studies uploaded, below)</p> <p>ENVIRONMENT: With increasing climate change, extended droughts are continuing, further limiting food production in the Central Valley and farming communities on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Bottom line, food prices are projected to spike sooner, not later. It is crucial to begin transitioning from wasteful and ecologically damaging farming practices that yield 4-6 harvests per year to intensive, high-production circulating-water farm methods that use 5% of water used in conventional agribusiness. Energy prices are also trending upward and this, too, affects cost and availability of foods. Without question, this project is tied to Los Angeles' economic viability as an agriculture industry state. With farm production shrinking in the Central Valley each year, Los Angeles could step into position as a high-volume producer of fresh foods and vegetables, improving the likelihood that agriculture will continue to be a strong element of the local and state economy.</p> <p>The food desert issues and homeless problems in in Los Angeles are also at a critical juncture. There is no doubt that a vibrant urban agriculture economy will make a huge difference to Los Angeles' ability to maintain law and order, should production in distant rural settings undergo continued shrinkage as a result of changing climate, drought, rising energy prices and the need to scale back carbon emissions that trucking foods from farms to urban centers causes.</p>

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Los Angeles Review of Books
Los Angeles Review of Books
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LARB will provide, for the people of Los Angeles, a source of lifetime learning, global in scope and yet local in its perspective and in many of its concerns. Our website will be a meeting place for everyone interested in culture in all its various guises, an open forum for anyone to participate in. --- Our presence in local media, as in our current collaboration with KCRW and our work with KCET in development, will help more people become engaged with the literary, artistic, and intellectual life of the city. Our public programming, like our current collaborations with The Broad Stage, LiveTalksLA, and LAPL’s ALOUD series, will continue to increase in breadth and frequency, bringing a series of newly conceived, multigenre performances to a variety of audiences, building on the work being done on our website. And, in turn, our national and global presence will help bring readers elsewhere an appreciation for L.A.’s contributions to culture; that is, we will post podcasts and video digests of these events on our website and our YouTube channel. Our public programming will enhance the offerings the city already has, and our partnerships with the arts and culture organizations listed below, along with, we hope, partnerships with many more, will help integrate our famously fragmented city. --- We bring the most recondite and specialized research from our major universities, art schools, and colleges and make it accessible to anyone in the city. --- By placing the writers in the worlds of film and television, the literary writers, the popular genre writers, the academic writers, and the newspaper and magazine writers, we build bridges among tribes that have long kept their distance from one another, with benefits in all directions. --- Our work with high schools will help engage students with culture in many different ways. --- We will be a new and vigorous and innovative partner with all of the arts and culture organizations in town in the project of bringing the world to Los Angeles and Los Angeles to the world. We will help recruit, train, and retain the writers and critics required to keep Los Angeles the most important city for arts and culture in the country.

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LA v2.0: Transforming LA into a World Class Place to Live
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Let's face it. Life right now in the Los Angeles region is a dysfunctional mess. Millions of us suffer every day through the infamous reality of how difficult it is to slog from far-flung housing to jobs, without the adequate commuter options that other cities around the world have, but we have never managed to achieve. With high demand versus available supply, some choose to move to more affordable suburbs and exurbs – but then contribute to the traffic problem (given the lack of adequate transit options), contributing to the gridlock that blocks new housing from being built closer to job centers and bringing down costs in the first place. Revolutionizing access to housing by transforming Angelenos commuting options will transform the daily experience for commuting Angelenos, open up a revolutionary number of new, denser housing options constructed near rail stations and near job centers, and reduce costs for transportation bared by working families, freeing up income to be able to afford housing in the first place. With a functioning transportation system anchored by fast, frequent, subway, light rail, and commuter rail options -- plus bike-friendly and walkable neighborhoods, community fears about developments' traffic impacts won't stop transit-friendly housing from being developed. And LA will be able to build the housing density around job centers needed to meet our housing challenges, making housing more affordable as supply increases to meet demand. Meanwhile, existing areas with more affordable options -- from the San Fernando Valley to traditionally lower-income areas across the region, will gain better access to jobs. And Angelenos with the newfound practical option of ditching their car and commuting by fast, efficient transit options, will see huge savings (estimated at $900/month: http://bit.ly/XFWdVk) that they can use to help them afford their housing costs. OTHER BENEFITS Getting LA a fully-built-out rail system will bring huge gains in quality of life for Angelenos, dramatically changing the game for many, if not all, of the LA2050 indicators, e.g.: * environmental quality: car dependency and sprawl leads to smog and public health problems * income & employment: LAEDC says Measure R’s transportation construction will create 409,080 jobs with labor income of $24.9 billion over a thirty year period (PDF: http://bit.ly/14mznJk); we propose something significantly more ambitious than this, which will create magnitudes more jobs * public safety: improving mobility would improve emergency response and free officers to attend to public safety issues instead of inching along in bumper-to-bumper traffic * social consecutiveness / arts and cultural vitality: Angelenos are less likely to volunteer, participate in nonprofits, or attend arts and cultural events because traffic (and lack of rail alternatives) makes getting there so onerous.

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Education by Nature: Los Angeles
Education by Nature: Los Angeles 3 Pink-talk-bubble-tail
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ExN:LA is a local model that meets the needs of the students, schools and communities served by the Los Angeles Unified School District. Since 1985, CNI has served over 300,000 LAUSD students with our free, outreach Nature Discovery Program and our weekly Community Nature Programs at the Magnolia Place Family Center. We know first-hand the struggles of working within such a large district and the disenfranchisement of our community. ExN:LA is built on the idea that, to improve education, LA-based nonprofit partners, teachers, students and families must work together. Evidence shows the only way to truly affect large-scale reform, whether in education, community or family development is to shift from “program delivery” to participating in a “community of practice.” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says, “When families learn together and where schools truly become the heart and center of a neighborhood – a community anchor- there are tremendous dividends for children.” ExN:LA is exactly this kind of community anchor. Lesson plans focus on local issues, including nature in LA, the interplay of the city and its waterways, growing food in schoolyards, and changing human behavior to positively impact the world around us. The children we teach are concrete learners – they understand best the things they can see and touch. Project based learning helps children understand their place in the world and develop a connection to its care. ExN:LA helps teachers expose their students to STEM-based thinking that builds future success. Opportunities include modeling of scientific logic; professional development workshops; field trips; and lesson plans aligned with state curricula. ExN:LA benefits Los Angeles by improving the educational framework at large, making STEM subjects more accessible and addressing many of the issues we’ve had teaching STEM subjects to LA’s children. A 2011 RAND study “Preschool Adequacy and Efficiency in California,” found that 40-60% of California’s 2nd and 3rd graders are not proficient in core subjects, including STEM. Larger gaps exist for socioeconomically disadvantaged groups, including Latinos, African-Americans and English language learners, the main demographics in our community. These achievement gaps have early roots: the groups who are behind in third grade were behind when they entered kindergarten. A 2012 fact-sheet from Preschool California supports that claim, stating that early experiences –from the time children are born to the first day of kindergarten – shape whether a child’s brain develops a strong foundation for the learning, health and behavior that follow. “Early interventions for disadvantaged children are more economically efficient and produce higher returns than remedial programs to help teenagers and young adults catch up later on,” writes to James Heckman, of the University of Chicago and Nobel Laureate in Economics. ExN:LA focuses on science and nature experiences for LA’s youngest learners.

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LA Street Vendors: A Better Economy through Low-Income Entrepreneurs
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Street vendors are already an iconic part of Los Angeles’ national reputation for culinary excellence and innovation, as well a daily part of city residents’ lives. In low-income communities, almost everyone has a neighbor, a friend, or a family member who at least supplements their family income with street vending. Although street vending as an occupation has existed for hundreds of years, it is often part of the underground economy, which means that it is a highly insecure line of work. Currently vendors are under constant threat from both the city and petty crime, which vendors cannot stop out of fear of police persecution. In addition, because vending is illegal, the city makes no tax or licensing revenue from it and pays fees for policing and storing confiscated equipment. Through partnerships with small business, vendors gain a powerful ally in exchange for helping to revive and adorn empty LA sidewalks in front of those businesses. The creation of a forum that brings formal and informal businesses together will strengthen both sectors through idea-sharing and collaboration. Vendors will increase the capacity of their businesses and be more effectively able to fill market niches by understanding the existing business landscape. In 2050, legalized vending will have moderate costs in the short-term from creating and enforcing new licensing, but will lead to tremendous long-term economic growth benefits. Entrepreneurs on the street operating will no longer fear legal repercussions and for the first time will be able to sustain and grow their businesses, invest more in equipment, and build meaningful relationships with small businesses. And, for those who wish, a legal system for street vendors will create an entrepreneurial pathway for them to grow into their own brick-and-mortar businesses in the City—businesses with a high likelihood of re-investing locally. Additionally, the whole City will benefit from new income from licensing and tariffs. Developing of a venture capital fund to support street vendors will allow the City to invest in its low-income entrepreneurs. The fund will provide capital for vendors to buy new products, certified equipment, hire staff, or even pay for permits. Financial support will not be provided as a loan, but as an investment, in exchange for a minority stake in the business and a commitment from the vendor to work with a “board member” or “advisor” to support the growth of the business over time. At an agreed upon point, the vendor will have the opportunity to “buy out” the minority stake sold; money that will be re-invested into the fund to support other entrepreneurs. Ultimately, support for vending has the potential to organically bring investment streams into the poorest areas and communities of LA. It will allow enterprising individuals to lift themselves up by their own bootstraps, creating their own jobs to provide for their families.

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Jumpstart: Preschool Changes Everything
Jumpstart: Preschool Changes Everything 12 Pink-talk-bubble-tail
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<p>The benefits of our project are both short-term and long-term for Jumpstart children and families, as well as the Los Angeles community. </p> <p>In the short-term, the children we serve will get the type of education that wealthier kids get, laying a foundation for success throughout the rest of their lives. One hundred children will benefit from Jumpstart’s intensive program, designed to promote the language, literacy and social development that children need to succeed. The cornerstone of the Jumpstart program is the Jumpstart session, a 2-hour period during the school day in which our volunteers lead a series of highly-intentional, structured activities that develop children’s vocabularies, promote their oral language skills, and introduce them to fundamental concepts across a range of subjects that they will need to understand in order to begin kindergarten prepared.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the communities we serve will also benefit from the books and resources that Jumpstart provides – both in the classrooms it serves and in the homes of children and families. By hosting literacy-themed events in the community and through regular communication with parents and caregivers, we will also share strategies for how to incorporate learning and literacy into everyday life.</p> <p>In the long-term, given the extraordinary returns of investments in early education, the children we serve today will live healthier, more fulfilling lives and Los Angeles will derive the ensuing social and economic benefits.</p> <p>But, by partnering with you, we have a chance to attack the problems of both access and quality. Providing disadvantaged children with an excellent early education experience is the best way to get Los Angeles where it needs to be. However, despite what the Los Angeles 2050 Report calls an “obvious payback on investment,” early education does not receive the funding it needs and is perpetually in danger of being cut. For example, according to ECEWORKS!, a project of First 5 Los Angeles, “90% of brain development happens before the fifth birthday. [But] over 95% of education dollars are spent on programs for kids older than five.”</p> <p>The challenge is to generate support for the importance of both greater access and higher quality early education experiences for disadvantaged children in Los Angeles. Jumpstart and the Goldhirsh Foundation are natural partners in this endeavor. Jumpstart possesses immense knowledge about early education and child development, a proven program, and partnerships with many of LA’s leading universities and early education providers. Meanwhile, the Goldhirsh Foundation has earned a reputation as an innovative grant maker and convener. Most importantly, the Goldhirsh Foundation has the platform to broadcast our work together, mobilize support for early education, and work with community leaders to develop a collective impact approach to addressing this problem, which is at the root of so many others.</p>

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MASTERY LA: Map Learning & Expertise for Lifelong Exploration
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1. Map over 1000 masters of Los Angeles to show pockets of expertise and human resources ready to be connected. 2. Help youth discover opportunities to continue their education inside and outside traditional learning environments in fun, interactive ways. 3. Provide a bridge to funding, grants, technology, training and support for transitional youth who may be falling through the cracks through open events with experts on hand to help. 4. Match the masters of LA and the students who are ready to learn new skills for new apprenticeships and guilds. 5. Offer events that contribute to cultural/arts/connectedness within our communities through alignments with partners throughout the Los Angeles creative communities and other LA2050 grantees. 6. Provide momentum for independent learning with tools to track progress and demonstrate skillbuilding for employment. 7. Connect thousands of learning resources already engaging in improving LA and help people find the best community resources for their personal growth. 8. Understand how we learn better over time and help each individual find an individual learning path that suits their preferences and abilities. 9. Improve dropout rates by providing alternatives that are engaging, local and appropriate for the individual learning profile. 10. Encourage mastery learning and 21st century skills by showing the high quality talent already working within Los Angeles and how we can all work together to make a more amazing and creative city together. 11. Work together to envision the city we want to live in at hackathon events and city festivals. 12. Empower students to finish their GED by making it into an interactive game played in Google Hangouts to bring together transitional youth with opportunities to learn and complete goals. 13. Provide easier access to grants and local funding opportunities for foster youth and other young adults who may be prone to homelessness without support. 14. Improve literacy and soft skills by utilizing tablets and mobile devices to creatively engage difficult students in new ways, using music, hands-on experiences and local masters to bridge the gaps in learning. 15. Create ripple momentum for a @MasteryLA campaign to encourage everyone to become a master in their chosen field and follow their passion through social media and events. 16. Encourage youth to share their learning process publically through events, social media, in learning centers and on the EDDEFY platform. 17. Map the connections between masters and students and how these relationships evolve over time to understand how to improve local education and mentorship services. 18. Identify the areas of the city where services need to be focused for future success between now and 2050. 19. Partner with great local resources to grow great relationships between youth and local masters: BuiltinLA, Mentor organizations and Foster Youth organizations: Kids Alliance, ILP, First Place for Youth

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L.A. Kitchen: Neither Food or People Should Ever Go to Waste
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- empower older Los Angelenos, those not returning to prison because of participation in our program, and foster youth who will avoid their anticipated cycle of life-long system-living - use healthy food to offer meaningful volunteer opportunities - unite diverse populations in the battles against hunger and poor health - help the city redefine aging, making LA more whole, freeing up resources used to address declining health and prison terms, and redistributing it in much more impacting ways Too many volunteer experiences achieve little for those purportedly being served. Our efforts to train at-risk members of our community for decent jobs mean we are pulling men and women out of the service line & empowering them to be part of the solution. Volunteers will see that transformation in action, and demand similar accountability and results from all their community service activities. Financial donors demand detailed accounting and transparency; nonprofits owe volunteers the same respect when they give their time and labor. Second, we will bring together a diverse group of L.A. residents to fight hunger together. We will place special emphasis on recruiting and leveraging older volunteers, men and women eager to redefine retirement. LAK will engage thousands of these experienced community members each year, empowering them to remain active and involved as they grow older. Our intergenerational approach will unite our elders with at-risk youth, especially those in the foster care system. We will also offer a meaningful mentoring program that is specially geared toward preventing destructive, shortsighted behaviors and negative outcomes among foster youth. Many of these mentors will be fellow trainees, men and women returning from years in prison who made the mistakes and learned the lessons the hard way. We will empower men and women who have turned their lives around to counsel and coach young people about the key decisions involved in avoiding prison and addiction. In turn, the younger men and women will help older trainees transition into the cyber-world of today. Helping any one of these populations is valuable. Helping them to help one another is visionary. Third, we will engineer a change in business practices and political debates by educating and engaging individuals as consumers and voters after they come to us as volunteers. The success of our social enterprises will empower nonprofits to launch new enterprises and inspire for-profits to change their approach. When consumers understand the full costs of substandard wages and low-quality food products, the competitive balance of the marketplace will shift. Similarly, individuals will have a new understanding of the vital role nonprofits do and must play in political debates and policy solutions if we are to meet the challenges of this century. We will be nonpartisan, but not nonpolitical.

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100 in 100: Skid Row Innovates!
100 in 100: Skid Row Innovates!
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SHORT-TERM IMPACT :: New York's Times Square ended homelessness by starting with the anchors and strategically providing housing for them. In this beta test, we will be housing 100 persons from Skid Row who have been homeless for years, many for 10 years+. LONG-TERM IMPACT :: The real impact, though, will come from taking this system of matching and applying it County-wide. This will result in: * Light in the Tunnel: This system will allow our homeless providers to work effectively at ending homelessness. If you can imagine having to book a flight without Expedia, that is effectively what it feels like for case managers to try to find housing for their clients today. * Cost Savings: Chronically homeless Angelenos consume 75% of the $875 million in public resources that go toward homelessness. Local studies have shown that being able to offer them permanent supportive housing in a more strategic and targeted way will cost us 40% less. * Lower Vacancies: Having a real-time list of housing and homeless persons desiring housing will ensure that our valuable housing resources don’t sit unoccupied for a second longer than necessary. * Housing Resources: The promise of such systems, in terms of reduced costs, improved targeting and enhanced outcomes, is so dramatic that HUD has asked all communities to create and implement these systems. HUD is more likely to offer housing resources to communities with such systems infusing more capital for housing into our region. * Civic Pride: Shedding the label of being the homeless capital will allow others to see the other valuable assets Los Angeles has to offer the world.

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Porous Housing 2050: Housing Typology for DTLA in 2050
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Developing an affordable multi housing complex would contribute to revitalizing DTLA in various ways; provide housing opportunities for low income Angelinos, create work opportunities, give hope to skid row dwellers to find affordable housing, assist in restoring urban beauty, support pedestrian activity for downtown vibrancy, provide equal housing and equal opportunity by creating a homogenous community devoid of social class or ethnic schisms. We feel that if a housing typology serves as more than just a place of residence and advocates itself as social housing, it promotes a sense of community thereby insinuating self-resilience and sustainability. This allows all residents to engage as active members of the community who can socialize without biases. This is particularly important because characteristically the homeless population and low income groups tend to be isolated from mainstream society. While executing this process, there is more possibility to develop on the expansive function of housing such as advanced correlations between housing and sustainability, landscapes, urban-scapes, infrastructure which would foster further evolved typologies. Beyond generic housing complex, developing a new typology connected with public space, urban green space, or mixed-use would also serve as a catalyst to solve problems DTLA faces as urban collective housing which presently echoes a sense of reclusion from one another.

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Craft Services
Craft Services
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The fact is that the arts foster creativity, innovation, good health and happiness. National studies show that early and successful gateway arts experiences create life-long participation in and enthusiasm for the arts. Yet the people of our communities, schools and after-school programs are struggling with ever-increasing funding challenges. Studies also show that individuals and families that play together create stronger positive bonds and a deeper experience of connectedness. With the support of this LA2050 grant, Participlay can expand the reach of our art+play initiatives into the LA communities, bringing the opportunity to create individual and group artworks that are largely made of re-purposed materials. Many of the neighborhoods we hope to serve, have ethnic and native language diversity and kids on the school lunch program. Others have rigorous academic programs, but limited opportunities for arts and creative expression. This art+play initiative will: Build Arts Audiences/Make the Arts Accessible Engage Young People in Active, Hands-on Experiences Train new Leaders & Mentoring Youth Prepare Innovators for Tomorrow

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Organizing Social Enterprise, Urban Farm in South Los Angeles
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Income and Employment: Over 525K households and 1.9M people reside within six (6) miles of Impact Farms in South LA, a community consisting primarily of African Americans and Latino populations whose unemployment rate is 18.3% and 13.3% respectively. Median household income of $54,314 for a family of four, suggests almost 950,000 people within a six mile radius did not earn enough to cover basic expenses. That 80,000 households within a mile of ImPact Farms, have median household incomes of less than $35K, suggest that over 170K people are living on less than 67% of established minimum requirements. ImPact Farms policies will prioritize hiring and training local community members including troubled youth and those needing a second chance. We will also target local source vendors. Every acre developed will directly and indirectly generate up to 30 full time permanent jobs. Half of these positions are internal and include seeding, managing the growing environment, harvesting, packaging, maintaining fluid systems and caring for fish. Indirectly ImPact Farms wis looking to develop local vendors for operational requirements and will offer funding and training to start ancillary cooperatives related to Impact Farm’s business such as distribution, packaging, and food preparation, potentially adding an additional 15 positions. Together the ImPact Farms network can generate 30X the jobs of a comparatively sized space and cost of a photovoltaic electricity system. In addition, greening and upgrading existing fields and buildings for farming operations will require ImPact Farms to invest $1.5 -$2.5 million per acre in addition to the cost of the property. While some components will be imported our intention is to engage local companies, social enterprises and cooperatives to perform work. As such, estimating labor at 30%, creates local wages for the improvements between $250-750K. Together, bringing the farm closer to the table, every 5 acres developed represents $4-5 million in annual local wages and benefits and an additional $2.5 million in improvement wages. Health: Clearly, more and more studies show that eating a variety of whole, fresh food void of toxins is our best defense against chronic diseases through improving our immune and defense mechanisms. It is in this background of food desert caused mainly by lack of access to a wholesome diet that ImPact Farms makes another important contribution. Improved health via access to affordable fresh vegetables and fruit through community supported agriculture (CSAs), local, corner stores and ImPact Farms store front. Environmental Quality: Compared to traditional soil agriculture, for every acre of production ImPact Farm saves: • 8+ million gallons of water • 40+ tons of CO2 from farms and food transportation • 90+ tons of CO2 consumed locally by plants These estimates are based on farm studies, reported water saving @70% and calculations of plant C02 absorption for 1M pounds of produce.

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The Moebius Incubator: A New Step for L.A.'s Entrepeneurs
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<p>We aim to improve L.A. by building on of one of L.A’s bright spots in the employment & income sector: it’s startup scene. LA is rated as the 3rd best place in the world to start a company (see Startup Ecosystem Report: http://reports.startupcompass.co/StartupEcosystemReportPart1v1.2.pdf), with its two weaknesses as support for entrepreneurship and the mindset for it. L.A. is well established as a haven of production talent and investment capital due largely to its relationship with Hollywood. The question becomes: how to leverage these natural strengths for the greater good of L.A.?</p> <p>We believe that entrepreneurship can become the new family-run business. As the information economy allows businesses to reach unprecedented scales, we see a potential for large-scale business to flourish here. The strong culture of family-run and immigrant-led businesses show that L.A. has been a great boon to individuals with drive. Our incubator, by explicitly engaging the design and engineering pieces needed to work in the information economy, aims to make develop entrepreneurship as a career path available to all — not just those primed for it. We believe that entrepreneurship can be a leveling force agains the great socioeconomic disparity present in L.A., by opening up a path to all that yields both personal financial reward as well as strong support for the local economy. </p> <p>Our first project aims to start 10 new companies in Los Angeles. With success, our incubator will run a spring and fall round in 2014, continuing that rate. We estimate our companies will grow by an average of 15 people in their first 2 years and 50 in their first 5 (based on the Ecosystem Report.) Assuming an 80% success rate of initial funding seen in Los Angeles by incubators such as LaunchpadLA, we expect to seed an incremental increase in jobs available over the next 5 years. Our hope is to add jobs — a projected 150 companies over 7 years with a total of 3,000 employees — as well as the contribution to a culture which can identify its own needs and turn them into its own jobs, addressing both the symptoms and the roots of the problem.</p>

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Building Strong Small Businesses through Microlending
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<p>Opportunity Fund is pioneering a new approach to small business support that combines a mission-driven strategy and commitment to impact measurement with the market knowledge, efficiency, and reach needed to make a sustained difference in the lives and livelihoods of Los Angeles’ small business owners. By deploying capital to low-income, underserved small business owners, our microlending program helps drive small business growth and job creation in the communities that need it most.</p> <p>Opportunity Fund’s borrowers have an 85% business survival rate; each loan we originate creates or sustains 2.5 jobs on average. The financing and support we provide our small businesses helps them increase business revenues by an average of 20%.</p> <p>The mainstream financial industry offers little to help small businesses access the capital they need to grow and thrive, especially in places like East LA, Boyle Heights, and Downtown. As a nonprofit, mission driven, financial institution, Opportunity Fund targets entrepreneurs who operate their businesses (and, in many cases, live their lives) outside the financial mainstream. In LA, our borrowers are 98% minority, with an average median household income of less than $24,000.</p> <p>Opportunity Fund made our first microloan in LA in 2010. Through LA2050, we seek to scale our microlending program in the region’s underserved communities to support more than 350 small business owners each year in LA County (and 650 in the Greater Los Angeles region). This loan volume represents a big step toward our vision of a truly inclusive financial system in which every small business owner has access to affordable capital to build a vibrant enterprise, increase household income, create jobs, and support a family and a future. It means that in the coming year, Opportunity Fund will:</p> - Invest $2.3 million in small businesses in undercapitalized neighborhoods in LA - Create or retain more than 850 jobs, primarily in minority-owned and women-owned businesses - Generate $4 million in new annual economic activity in LA through new spending, wages, and tax revenues.</p> <p>Natasha is the Co-founder and CEO of CoolHaus ice cream, a gourmet ice cream business that started out as one food truck in Los Angeles and now features 10 trucks and 55 employees in 4 cities, as well as a storefront in Culver City and distribution through Whole Foods Markets. When Natasha wanted to purchase a second truck and start expanding her business, she could not qualify for conventional financing. CoolHaus was less than two years old, and was not yet profitable. In addition, Natasha was still paying off student loans, and her credit score reflected this debt. Instead, Natasha came to OF for a $25,000 loan to help the business expand. As Natasha describes, “The loan from Opportunity Fund was the catalyst at a key moment in our growth!” CoolHaus has since received two more OF loans to support national expansion.</p>

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Market Makeovers: NextGen Leaders
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East L.A. and Boyle Heights, like many under-resourced neighborhoods, have had their fair share of solutions presented to them by experts, usually from outside their communities. Some of them get implemented. Of those, few are implemented long enough and with adequate resources to take root, to become part of the fabric of the community it serves such that members of that community claim it as their own. The issues around the East LA + Boyle Heights food landscape and poor health outcomes among its predominantly Latino residents are serious and unhealthy food behaviors deeply entrenched. According to the L.A. County Department of Public Health, its population suffers high rates of obesity-related chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and stroke. It has some of the highest rates of childhood obesity (32.2%) in the county. The situation will not change overnight. Because NextGen Leaders are from the community, their fellow community members are more likely to listen to what they have to say. Their actions on behalf of their neighborhoods carry greater weight. They can lead from within, in a way outsiders can’t. Support for Market Makeovers: NextGen Leaders is a long-term investment in the future health of East L.A. and Boyle Heights, a model of home-grown leadership development that could be applied all over Los Angeles. Market Makeovers increase access to healthy foods and broaden awareness and education about healthy eating and behaviors; its engaged community participation results in greater buy-in and a better chance at sustainability. Extending these efforts through the NextGen Leaders will result in a cadre of trained, engaged and experienced young leaders who are deeply rooted in community change and who have worked extensively on projects prior to their 24th birthday. NextGen Leaders have skills in: media production; public speaking and presentations; visual communication; teaching and peer leadership; healthy eating and nutrition; media literacy; and social marketing that are invaluable in many fields. And they are placed in an infrastructure that nurtures their development and allows them to directly effect change, whether in their immediate community or throughout L.A. The NextGen Leaders’ age group falls in-between many philanthropic efforts and services, whether or not they are enrolled in higher education. Their needs are acute. Having worked with teens for over twenty years, we often see youth hit an economic and opportunity ceiling once they graduate high school or reach age 18. Even in college, they are isolated from their communities rather than placed into learning and service opportunities in their neighborhoods, where they can deepen their roots and connections. Scholarship programs often don’t come close to covering the true cost of higher education. Vocational programs tend to train professions, not creative leaders. Through Market Makeovers, we can change this and the food landscape together.

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Shared Housing Helps Los Angeles Become a National Model!
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LA’s future as a thriving metropolis relies on providing a housing supply that supports individual stability, keeps people connected to the places where they live, and makes communities more vibrant, diverse and supportive. Shared housing does this by capturing the inventory of available units, rather than relying solely on the production of new units. A staggering 73% of low-income homeowners and 93% of low-income renters spend more than 30% of their income on housing. By pursuing shared housing as a strategy to address affordability challenges, the project will close the gap between inadequate income and the high cost of housing. In 2012, individuals enrolled in ALA’s shared housing program reduced their rents costs by an average of 50%. Moreover, Los Angeles sets trends for the rest of the nation. With a strong shared housing program, we have the opportunity to become a national model for integration - rather than marginalization - of vulnerable populations.

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Award_topvotedidea
$1,000,000 in total grants
Circle-1-inactive Step1-title-submission-inactive

Submission Began
Tuesday, February 26

Submission Ended
Thursday, March 28
at 12:00 PM PDT

Circle-2-inactive Step2-title-voting-inactive

Voting Began
Tuesday, April 02

Voting Ended
Wednesday, April 17
at 12:00 PM PDT

Circle-3 Step3-title
Homeboy Industries: Hope Has An Address
Homeboy Industries: Hope Has An Address

Winner Announced
Wednesday, May 08

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