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The Los Angeles Service Academy
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<p>LASA inspires young people to think about their region and their future and how these are intertwined. We aim to foster ties of community and connection between diverse groups of teenagers as we collectively explore how greater Los Angeles works. Along the way, we will offer assistance to those students by way of collegiate counseling and mentoring internships across the basin. Our LASA graduates will have foundational understanding of Los Angeles history and institutions as they move on in their education and into career paths. By maintaining connections to one another and to what we learn together, LASA students and graduates will create new and lasting ties across region and background, ties which we hope will grow as LASA grows and as our student participants move into positions of public service in their lives and careers.</p> <p>LASA aims to change the lives of its student participants and, in so doing, change the future of Los Angeles for the better.</p>

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Food Truck + Food Desert = Win Win Win!
Food Truck + Food Desert = Win Win Win! 69 Pink-talk-bubble-tail
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<p>There is no reason that the simple pleasures and benefits of fresh food that are enjoyed by citizens in Santa Monica can’t be found in any other corner of the city. Like a small house that is expanded room by room, until the wiring is a disastrous fire hazard, the LA sprawl has created pockets of neglect that leave citizens with unequal opportunity and weaker connections to the prosperity that the rest of Los Angeles enjoys.</p> <p>And childhood obesity is a problem that is having a tremendous impact on not only the state's physical health but also its financial health. According to a report by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, California spends more than $21 billion in public and private money on healthcare and other costs because of obesity, which increases the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and other diseases later in life. Access to better basic nutrition tends to prevent longer-term chronic diseases, adding a buffer against the ramifications of lack of insurance.</p> <p>The CC Food Desert Food Truck project will prove that it’s possible to bring affordable access to fresh, healthy foods into neighborhoods in South or Central Los Angeles through new approaches, while exploring ways that the trucks could deliver even more benefit. For example, a fleet of trucks could: create new jobs, provide education around eating habits and the causes of childhood diabetes and heart disease, offer new flavors and cuisines in areas where fast food is the only option, and create a sense of festivity with a regular schedule, building more social cohesion into neighborhoods. </p> <p>But this is just the beginning. Los Angeles could fast be positioned as a leading innovator in food security issues, by taking this rapid iteration approach in the context of public/private partnership – testing everything from multi-use trucks (meals combined with basic health monitoring from time-to-time) to franchises for anyone interested in starting a new business. The point is to START! We can’t wait for more task force reports or think tank strategies. Involving residents in creating the city in which they want to thrive would be a success in itself. We give power back to the people, while we facilitate a vision for a healthier Los Angeles.</p>

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KIPP Through College
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The neighborhoods of South and East Los Angeles, where KIPP LA students and alumni live, face astonishingly high levels of illiteracy, drug abuse, gang violence, and juvenile crime. Schools are overcrowded and underperforming; virtually all traditional public middle and high schools are failing according to No Child Left Behind. Overall, fewer than 10 percent of students in these neighborhoods attend a four-year college or university after graduating high school and only 4 percent go on to obtain a degree.</br></br>Today more than ever, students in underserved communities need an outstanding education to prepare them for success in life and to overcome the cycle of poverty. Research suggests that by 2018, 63 percent of jobs will require some higher education. By comparison, only 36 percent of jobs will be available to those with a high school degree or lower, leaving those without higher degrees access to even fewer jobs than they have today. Over the course of a lifetime, college graduates will earn on average $1.6 million more than those without a degree.</br></br>Unfortunately, the youth of South and East Los Angeles are highly unlikely to graduate high school college-ready or go on to graduate college. According to The Education Trust West, only 22 percent of LAUSD students graduate with the requirements necessary to enroll in a University of California institution. This is the case for only 16 percent of Latino students. Research suggests that just over half of these students will matriculate to college and only 41 percent of them will graduate. Based on these figures, we estimate that only 4 percent of students in South and East Los Angeles actually obtain a college degree within six years.</br></br>KIPP LA, on the other hand, is succeeding at helping students from underserved communities “climb the mountain” to and through college. With the unwavering support of KIPP LA’s KTC team, 96 percent of our alumni are attending 140 high-performing, college-prep high schools, and nearly 85 percent are currently attending over 80 colleges and universities across the country. We foresee that our alumni – as self-directed, purposeful college graduates – will also work to improve educational and economic opportunities across Los Angeles. This will mean stronger economic outcomes, such as lifetime earnings and employment rates, in the city’s currently most underserved areas. Thus, supporting KIPP LA is not only an investment in underserved students’ education and preparation for college; it is an investment in the future of our city and country.

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Wayfinder LA, a utility for car-free transit
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Wayfinder will benefit Los Angeles and its residents in two distinct realms: the social and the structural. Social benefits include to those that directly benefit individuals, like improved air quality, less expensive transportation, and increased physical exercise. The structural benefits are those that result from the coordinated activity of thousands of travelers and enable our urban planners to maximize the efficiency of our transit systems. Social Benefits Wayfinder’s benefits are the benefits of sustainable, efficient multi-modal transportation. Those we have listed above under the first question and we think they’re a no-brainer. The more challenging question is this: How do we encourage Angelenos to change their attitudes toward transportation, and how do we get them to adopt more sustainable methods of transit? The answer: provide Angelenos with the necessary information to make smart, confident choices about transportation. Here’s an example: Recently, we were talking to our friend Brian, who lives in Culver City and works on the PCH in Malibu. Brian rides a bike for exercise in recreation, but spends about 90 minutes in the car each day, traveling the 36 miles round trip work and back. In the course of our conversation about his commute, he realized that he could ride his bike 7 miles to the 534 Metro Express stop and ride the bus to work from there. Brian calculated that the trip would take only 15 more minutes each way, and he began to grow excited as he realized that he would be cutting the roughly $40 a week he spends on gas to get to and from work to $15 in bus fare. By the time he realized that he would now spend half his commute exercising on his bicycle and the other half reading or gazing at the Pacific Ocean, he was ecstatic. Brian has changed his routine, and all he needed to do so was a little bit of information and the encouragement. We think there are hundreds of thousands of people in LA who rely on cars when they don’t have to, and we want all of them to have the same epiphany Brian did. When they do, they’ll live healthier, more sustainable lives, and Los Angeles will be a better place to live. Structural Benefits Los Angeles’ public transit infrastructure is chronically underused simply because Angelenos are not aware of how to make the most of it. Brian, for example, had no idea that a bus could get him to work. LA taxpayers have spent millions on public transportation infrastructure over the past few decades, but we’re wasting a lot of that money if we don’t maximize the use of our existing infrastructure. Wayfinder aims to do just that by providing paths to access public transit systems. Further, by using smartphone geolocation technology to track our user’s trips, we determine which routes are most favorable to multi-modal travelers. Suddenly, the best routes are publically available information, and transit streamlines itself along these routes the way tributaries converge to form rivers. With all of the

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Roving Río Vista: A Park on the Move
Roving Río Vista: A Park on the Move 13 Pink-talk-bubble-tail
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<p>A Roving Rio Vista is just one component of a larger effort to make the L.A. River into a great Los Angeles civic space and outdoor destination. Our emerging Greenway 2020 campaign aims to make the entire L.A. River bike-able & walk-able by the year 2020. President Obama recognized the L.A. River as one of only two public spaces in California for his America's Great Outdoors initiative to champion conservation and recreation in the 21st century. A Roving Río Vista is just one of the many public amenities that could be along the L.A. River, encouraging civic engagement and connectivity.<p> Specifically, the proposed Roving Río Vista will: • Expand social connectedness and civic engagement by bringing people together in a common space • Increase community input on revitalizing the LA River – building healthy urban communities • Create active public space along the LA River • Promote the LA River Greenway 2020 campaign to create a continuous greenway for public benefit

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Camp Educates Kids Forever
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This scholarship program will allow more than 1,000 youth to attend summer camp in 2013, who otherwise would not have this opportunity. The impact will be realized throughout the City of Los Angeles, with the majority of scholarships being allocated among summer camps located at RAP recreation centers located within economically disadvantaged communities, and for youth to experience a week long overnight camp at one of our two residential camps. The 2005 and 2006 the American Community Survey revealed that 20% of the City met the Federal guidelines for poverty, with a 29% child poverty rate. Approximately 80% of Los Angeles Unified School District students qualify for free or reduced price meals. With over one third of the population of the City under the age of 18 (Census 2010), affordable out of school time programs that offer informal learning opportunities to keep youth engaged in summer vacation months with the goal of minimizing the summer learning gap. The RAP summer day camp and residential camp programs provide a multitude of benefits by bridging social diversity within communities, providing an alternative to anti-social behavior, teaching community values and life skills, facilitating computer literacy, promoting environmental stewardship, advancing socialization skills and team building to teach conflict resolution and problem solving skills, while improving the health of youth by providing alternative physical activities and nutrition.

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Student Health = Student Success. Improving student health and readiness to learn in LA
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Every day more than 680,000 children attend school in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Many of our students have little or no access to essential preventive and primary health care. In some classrooms, one in three students are obese and are already on the path towards chronic health care conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. In some classrooms, one or two students will develop Type 2 diabetes before graduation and four teenage girls will contract a sexually transmitted infection. One in three young women in LA will have an unplanned pregnancy before their 20th birthday and many of them will drop out of school as a result. We know, and the research confirms this, that kids that are healthy are better able to learn and achieve academic success. The Wellness Networks provide a launching pad for a range of public health interventions in the schools to address these serious issues and improve children’s health and community health outcomes. Wellness Networks use a community-based approach and strategies to address health concerns. Research has shown that school-based strategies are effective in improving health and student readiness to learn. Place-based approaches call for engaging the community where people live, work, learn and play to understand their resources, identify their needs and engage them in culturally appropriate ways. Through the Wellness Networks and using evidence-based strategies, The LA Trust, in partnership with LAUSD and other key allies, is working to: - Increase access to preventive and primary health care services - Improve access to dental care for children by bringing in mobile dental clinics for preventive screenings, cleanings and treatment - Engage communities in healthy living Improved access to health information, health promotion interventions, and health care services will have a positive impact on the students and the overall health of the community. The long-term goals The LA Trust seeks to achieve improve student academic outcomes and population health over the next five to seven years, achieving outcomes such as: - All students are career and college ready (in line with District goals) - Decrease chlamydia and teen pregnancy rates - Decrease overweight and obesity rates - Increase insurance enrollment - Improved asthma management

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Los Angeles is called "the Entertainment Capital of the World." It has a creative economy that generates close to $4 billion in state tax revenues, employs a million people in Los Angeles and Orange counties, and accounts for $100 billion in sales/receipts in L.A. County alone. Yet there are whole areas, whole neighborhoods, often for miles on end, where there are no bookstores, no movie houses, no art galleries, no cultural spaces. These culturally barren sections include South Central L.A., East L.A., the Harbor, and the Northeast San Fernando Valley. The arts are concentrated in downtown, the shoreline, Hollywood, museum row, and such. We are not opposed to these vital tourist-laden centers of culture and commerce. But we need a neighborhood arts policy in Los Angeles so that every community can benefit from cultural store fronts, independent bookstores, public art projects including murals, workshops in all the arts, digital arts, and more. Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural's "Art Transforms Community" workshops prove this works in any neglected and resource-limited area of the city. Flavored by the people of the Northeast San Fernando Valley, Tia Chucha's is a model of how every community can have its own cultural wellness center -- they can name it for someone else's aunt if they wish. The point is that the arts are they key "log," the one stake that when moved opens up a logjam. The arts reach across ethnicity, race, religion, and culture. The arts are the unity-in-diversity that finds commonality and wholeness to one of the most divided and contentious cities in America.

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A Passion at Risk
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The education community in Los Angeles is outrageously fractured. Despite many attempts to improve education in Los Angeles, we still have persistently failing schools throughout the county. Many times we look for a one size fits all solution and instead of empowering teachers, we are imposing strict rules and regulations that may or may not benefit their work with their students. Currently in LAUSD, we are about to implement a new teacher evaluation system that will likely fail to because of opposition from teachers and a lack of a clear plan from administrators. This film will highlight the need for teachers to have a voice in the changes they will be asked to implement in their classrooms.

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College Bus: Driving LA’s Low-Income Youth Towards a College Education
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<p>The College Bus will benefit LA by systematically ensuring that the <b>most academically at-risk students are exposed to college, college-ready, and ultimately college-bound.</b> This will immediately include exposing a full student body of 450 to college and providing follow-up that results in A-G requirement completion; improved CAHSEE, PSAT, and SAT scores; and more college-ready students applying to college and enrolling with the necessary financial aid and scholarships. By piloting a scalable model, the impact of Bresee's College Bus will not only be felt in our corner of the city, but eventually across LA. After successfully implementing this program at CCVHS, the model may be replicated by Bresee at any of the 10 high schools (with almost 11,000 students total) in a three-mile radius of Bresee. This would allow us to progress towards a day when all of the high school students in the Rampart area have been exposed to college and are college-ready. <b>The model may also be adapted and replicated by other non-profits, to methodically ensure that all 1,632,427 students attending public schools in LA are college-ready.</b></p> <p>The majority of people that Bresee serves live in an area called the Rampart Gang Reduction Youth Development (GRYD) Zone. This is the most densely populated area in LA, with an estimated 75,000 residents, the highest concentration of recent immigrants in LA and 805 active gang members, responsible for nearly one-quarter of the city's gang-related crimes (Advancement Project, 2008). It is estimated that 90% or more of the students Bresee serves are at the low to very low-income level. The area has an unemployment rate of 11% (Urban Institute), compared to 6% countywide (2010 Census). The majority of the students that Bresee serves attend schools in the bottom 10% of schools statewide, with the lowest graduation rates in the city (California Department of Education, 2013), and only 25% of graduates complete necessary college prep coursework (Rampart GRYD Assessment, 2008). In 2012, 100% of Bresee's scholarship recipients were the first in their family to go to college.</p> <p>By targeting the most at-risk youth with college prep and exposure services, the College Bus will create a culture of college-readiness in partner schools, resulting in a wave of students like Laura, an undocumented student who was hesitant about college due to finances. She got college prep through Bresee, earned a Bresee scholarship, and is now attending CalState, Dominguez Hills. Laura states, "Without Bresee, I wouldn't be where I am today." Or a wave of students like Mario, who attributes the 100-point increase in his SAT score, which landed him in his dream school (University of Oregon), to Bresee's SAT class. When the College Bus program is replicated across the city, not only will there be more Laura's and Mario's, but there will be long-term implications on the economic and social climate of the city at large (see below).</p>

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The HeArt Project: Arts Education ends the Dropout Crisis in LA
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HP is one of the only arts organizations in L.A. that works exclusively with alternative high school students. Students attend alternative high schools (continuation and community day schools) for reasons including failing grades and behavioral problems, teen pregnancy/parenting, gang involvement, expulsion from their home school districts, or prior incarceration. Most are low-income minorities, and all are at high risk of dropping out for good. Our students have experienced high levels of transience and failure, perceive a lack of future possibilities, and have difficulty recognizing the value of their contributions and connection to others. As a result they are often unable to envision a future where they embark on fulfilling careers, feel a meaningful connection to their community, or identify and pursue substantive goals. We have witnessed through the years -- and research in the field supports our experience -- that the arts are a particularly effective mechanism to inspire hard-to-reach youth. Many HP students are part of rampant cycles of poverty, gang involvement and violence that perpetuate themselves within their families and communities. HP helps students help themselves and chart a new course in life. HP students connect with professional mentors, contribute to a positive peer network, graduate high school, and pursue substantive goals. By investing in their own potential, these teenagers transform into fulfilled and responsible adults with a stake in their communities. HP’s work is significantly underscored by a major report just recently released from the National Endowment for the Arts, “Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth” (2012), which compiles findings from four longitudinal studies. One example from the study is that in two separate databases, students who had arts-rich experiences in high school showed higher overall GPAs than did students who lacked those experiences. And further, high school students who earned few or no arts credits were five times more likely not to have graduated than students who earned many arts credits. This significant effect of the arts on the graduation rate of at-risk teenagers mirrors what we have witnessed in our 20 years of service.

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High School Students Shape the Future of Los Angeles
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Our project will benefit Los Angeles in a variety of ways. • CityLife students-as-adults will know how to access “City Hall” and the planning process in order to provide input into the urban planning process. • Because CityLife students will understand the importance of the arts and their role in building and maintaining strong communities, they will support and protect various arts projects in their communities as well as throughout the city. • CityLife students will “spread the word,” reaching out to and working with students in neighboring communities. • CityLife students will become well educated citizens of the future, which according to the LA2050 Report, is the first step toward improving the City. • CityLife students will learn about a whole range of career possibilities in urban planning, politics and government, and related fields such as urban planning, architecture, law (land use…), environmental engineering, the arts and more. • Perhaps some CityLife students-as-adults will run for office and become public servants. • CityLife students will help improve the quality of their neighborhoods and communities through bottom-up rather than top-down policies, planning and activities. Each time one neighborhood improves, it has a positive impact on the surrounding neighborhoods. • CityLife projects and murals will bring information, interaction, beauty, whimsy and art to the community. • CityLife alums will model their varied and innovative ways of seeing, thinking and acting.

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Fuel LA's Creative Economy, Help UNIQUE LA Build The Creative Lab!
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The Unique Creative Lab will directly impact Los Angeles is multiple ways and will benefit, and further fuel all sectors of the growing creative economy: 1) By directly increasing the amount of small business owners and entrepreneurs in the LA region. 2) By providing applicable resources for individuals, groups, organizations and communities to see their ideas to fruition. 3) By creating a diverse center of collaboration that reflects on and includes all demographics necessary in accomplishing a more creative and sustainable LA. 4) By providing curated programing to the public that will generate valuable and innovative discussion at a grassroots level. 5) By providing a co-work space available to creative professionals from across the US and the world, as allowing them to participate in the mission and goals of the Unique Creative Lab. 6) By bringing national awareness and media attention to our community and the joint mission of LA2050 and the Unique Creative Lab. 7) By becoming a successful and inspirational model of action for other communities and cities to follow.

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DIY Social Spaces
DIY Social Spaces 44 Pink-talk-bubble-tail
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Our vision for 2050 is a city where DIY social spaces are more common than gas stations, Starbucks, liquor stores or police cars. A city where each neighborhood, each set of blocks, has its neighborhood space where people regularly meet, catch-up on the news and gossip, hatch new projects and just enjoy being connected. The challenge in LA is that even the small park or plaza can take years to get approved and built and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. In contrast, our Community Living Rooms or Salas Publicas, just take weeks to build and cost less than $5,000. The keys elements are: • Tapping neighborhood volunteers wealth of knowledge, skills and commitment. • Creating and building simple, functional designs together using basic, available materials. • Taking advantage of available land—in alleys, sidewalksidewalks, adjacent to churches, temples, non-profits and collaborating businesses • Improving spots where people already gather—at bus stops, by the corner store, at the entrance to the alley. This project pulls people out of their homes, brings neighbors together to work together, builds social relationships while transforming an underutilized space into a play space for the community. It combines DIY culture with community building, with members donating their own time and labor to beautify and change how they use their alleys and local spaces. All of LA also benefits in the following ways from our project: • engages and demonstrates how a small group of neighbors can create their own mobile source of space given limited space across the city • triggers a chain reaction of neighborhood change – once neighbors see the changes they make, they join or invite others to build new projects. • It challenges the car culture – to get out and work with your neighbors to build something that is shared in the local neighborhood. • It creates safe streets and neighborhood engagement in creating in addressing public safety • It builds community networks across communities • It is an intergenerational approach involving neighbors of all ages and all backgrounds.

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Sustainable Works Presents Dr. Keeling’s Curve
Sustainable Works Presents Dr. Keeling’s Curve
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By telling the story of climate change in the form of a provocative play, starring a well known and respected actor, we will reach thousands of people who might otherwise not have been exposed to this crucial information.

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Young Leaders For A Healthy LA
Young Leaders For A Healthy LA 38 Pink-talk-bubble-tail
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Young adults (18-34) continue to go uninsured and without access to basic health care at rates that far exceed the rest of the population. The ACA presents an opportunity to make huge gains for young adults. In CA, there are 3.1 million uninsured young adults, representing 32.8% of all young Californians. Of that 3.1 million, 2.7 million earn under 400% of the federal poverty level and therefore would qualify for either subsidies in the exchange or Medi-Cal. Young adults comprise 42% of the total uninsured population in CA. California also has a highly diverse young adult population, many of whom are uninsured. In fact, about 42% of young Latinos (18-34) are uninsured. Enrolling these young adults in new exchanges is not only important for the health and financial well-being of this population, but critical for the overall CA insurance market as it spreads risk and can help keep premiums down. These rates are starkest in Los Angeles County where the 39% uninsured rate for young adults surpasses the statewide average of 31%. Both rates exceed the national average. We want to change this by decreasing the number of young adults of color in Los Angeles who go uninsured. Young Invincibles will utilize our Young Promoters and health care education mobile app and a push text message campaign to complement a broader social media and communications campaign. Our diverse network of 20 Young Promoters will dramatically expand the reach of YI by hosting local youth trainings in their community or on campus, and by promoting the mobile app and health coverage awareness through social media. The mobile app will provide key information about the ACA, places to find local doctors and community health centers, a portal to Covered California, and have the ability to reach the population repeatedly through push text notifications. Using online social media outreach– targeted Facebook promotions, contests, engagement with Twitter influencers– and combining this method with dissemination of our on-the-ground Young Promoters trainings, we can educate young adults on the ACA, facilitate the download of our mobile app, and ultimately reach thousands of uninsured young people. Once these young people have been trained by their peers and downloaded the app, they can be valuable leaders in their own communities. We will also use social media more broadly to build awareness as major changes occur. During the launch of open enrollment on October 1, 2013 and around special enrollment times like graduation, we will launch highly sharable social media content. For example, we will ask our Young Promoters to post content that contains our enrollment messages to their personal networks and to share a form for friends to get signed up for more information. We will use our own organizational social media platforms, engage with partner social media organizations, and work with social media influencers to push out those messages and drive young adults to the exchange.

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Potluck Truck
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Los Angeles is often referred to as a city without a center, a city of multiple cities. Within this vast metropolis, many neighborhoods lack adequate public green spaces to enjoy. Only 4% of Los Angeles is devoted to public greenery, compared to 17% in New York City. Additionally, the inequitable distribution of green space is staggering, and lower income neighborhoods suffer the cost in health challenges and increased violence. Studies prove these correlations time and again. This lack of shared public space affects the ability to build relationships in the city; there are remarkably few locations to claim or meet to eat a meal. Los Angeles needs a responsive public arena - the Potluck Truck! The Potluck Truck is a mobile public space where the diverse publics of Los Angeles may choose to engage with each other and their environment, simultaneously reflecting the neighborhood’s character and the way that nature is present in the city. Using nourishment as a catalyst for social engagement, the Potluck Truck reconnects us to the history of Los Angeles as a chaparral biome and its robust farming history. Los Angeles was not always paved over; until the mid 1950s, LA County was the top producing agricultural county in the United States, surpassing the Midwest. Now only 6,000 acres are farmed in the county. Los Angeles grew as it did because of the fertile soil and year round growing season. The draw to the west came from the possibility of planting one’s desires into the landscape, turning the soil and using the land productively. Downtown Los Angeles was a patchwork of vineyards, Hollywood grew lima beans, Sylmar was the Olive Capital of the World, Watts was home for beef cattle. The Los Angeles Unified School District had required curriculum in agriculture, and specific land allocated for this use. 4-H clubs thrived as youth learned farming techniques, and today, many fallow fields remain in middle schools. The Potluck Truck is a dedicated way to acknowledge, honor and gently reinscribe lost ways of knowing and being with the land, and the value of coming together around food. The Truck is a creative platform encouraging all to participate in a form of art that, implicitly, is the commons. The shared building of ideas, responsive to specific temporary environments, may themselves become more stable in space. Los Angeles as a city suffers from vast divisions and cultural isolation, partly due to the lack of adequate public transportation and the massive area of the city. As an inclusive space, where all are invited to engage with the Potluck Truck, a shared community resource, the mode of exchange is dialogical, not based on economic currency. The Truck functions in a renewable way, constantly fueled by shifting community energy. This platform challenges cultural and economic alienation, and grows an archive of place and connection. Community members become stakeholders in the Potluck Truck, and are encouraged to create programming and events.

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STATE OF THE ART LIGHTING FOR CITY PARKS!
STATE OF THE ART LIGHTING FOR CITY PARKS! 36 Pink-talk-bubble-tail
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Our goal with this project is to inspire the use of energy efficient lighting to improve park access and park quality throughout the City of Los Angeles. The result will be safer communities and safer public spaces. Making parks brighter and less expensive to operate allows for increased usage by the communities that are adjacent to the parks during traditionally peak crime hours. This also allows the parks to be used for further after school activities, which will help youth in underserved communities avoid gangs, drugs and the criminal behavior associated with both. Los Angeles is in desperate need of more public spaces for its youth to exercise and gather in safely, and our lights make that possible.

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Increase Voter Turnout, Neighbor to Neighbor Communication and Gov't Responsiveness
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<p>First, citizens will have a useful tool through which they can communicate easily & clearly with their neighbors, & understand one another’s concerns, eliminating some of the disconnectedness that can characterize city life in LA. While online social media exist, as do online petition tools, the key to this project is combining the tools & organizing them to focus on a specific public goal in order to make use of their potential for improving quality of life & for creating a sense of community.</p> <p>The current system of Neighborhood Councils in the city is a great idea and plays a vital role, but is not always easy for all citizens to access since meetings are held at specific times & places when not everyone is available. Using the online tools improves accessibility.</p> <p>Secondly, city officials will have access to a means for understanding public concerns and ideas & will be able to improve responsiveness.</p> <p>Third, voter turnout will increase. City residents will have a stake in the local elections since they can play a role in bringing issues to the ballot or informing candidate positions.</p> <p>Fourth, as residents know their voices are being heard, & are able to witness their own impact, barriers to collective action will be reduced and other civic benefits will accrue such as increased levels of volunteerism and community participation.</p> Finally, public policy will be improved in the sense that it will be more responsive to public needs.Only time will tell what specific policy initiatives and legislation will ensue to improve the lives of Angelenos, but a historical example provides an illustration of the power of public communication.</p> <p>Forty years ago residents in an area of Niagara Falls, NY, experienced higher-than-normal rates of miscarriages, birth defects, cancer, and other illnesses. Families suffered in silence, their struggles known only to their physicians and to close family or friends. When one family mom told a town meeting of her concerns about the environment near her home, other families chimed in with similar stories of illnesses. As they shared, they realized they were not alone, & that the high incidence in their neighborhood of sickness could not be a coincidence, but must point to a larger problem. The neighborhood came to be known to the nation as Love Canal and before they were finished, a committed group of housewives gained national attention for their concerns and forced into being some of the most important environmental-protection legislation of the 20th Century. And it only happened once neighbors began to communicate & discover they were not the only ones with a particular set of concerns or experiences. If they had not talked to & heard one another, they might have simply continued to suffer in silence. In today's “town square,” the Internet, citizens can share, ideas, voice concerns, better understand one another, & ultimately organize for action outside of the town square.</p>

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Heal the Bay's Healthy Neighborhoods, Healthy Environment Initiative
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Our Healthy Neighborhoods, Healthy Environment Initiative’s Environmental Corps campaign will benefit our fellow Angelenos by creating an entire community of educated and empowered individuals working to increase the amount of safe, clean, and healthy open space in the region, while also benefiting local waters and watersheds. We will work throughout the targeted district from kindergarten through high school, as well as working with parents and district staff, to ensure that they are all receiving consistent message points. Most people are unaware of how they impact the environment both in negative and positive ways. Our programs will increase understanding of basic scientific concepts as they relate to the environment, issues of pollution, and methods of conservation and stewardship. We will then take it a step further and work with the community and implement effective strategies of conservation such as community and school cleanups; creating learning gardens on campuses that increase permeable space; and provide students with easy access to green space, organizing campus recycling programs. Additionally, we will work with the communities to empower them to take on projects that they are passionate about as they relate to creating a healthier environment, providing access to experts, funds and volunteers to implement these projects. Our Speakers Bureau program is the easiest access point into our programs, providing information and conservation strategies to students and adults of all ages through assemblies at the schools. Elementary and middle school students will benefit from the Youth Environmental Education Program at Heal the Bay’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium (SMPA), which provides hands-on, standards-based classroom field and lab-based programs. We will target elementary school students through our Aqua Explorers program (a multi-class lesson for 3rd/4th graders in partnership with LA Neighborhood Land Trust, Children’s Nature Institute and reDiscover; Lunch n’ Learn (a combination classroom presentation with an educational beach field trip); and Coastal Cleanup Education Day (which takes 2nd-5th graders through an intense day of exploration, education, and stewardship at the beach). We will target 8th grade students with the Story of Water 4-week program, leading to a school-wide behavioral change project. Creek 101 will work with 6th-12th grade students in a 3-part class and field based education and stewardship program. Youth/Teacher Summits will provide in-depth focused training to students and adults throughout the district. Our new Digi-Green program will use social media and digital technologies to share ideas, experiences, and generate civic engagement and stewardship opportunities to all ages.

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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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