South LA becomes latest federal 'Promise Zone,' could receive millions in grants

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Some of the most troubled communities in Los Angeles have preferential status for millions in federal grants over the next 10 years now that they're labeled "Promise Zones."

The money will be used for things such as fighting poverty and improving education in the area.

"It is unacceptable that here, today, 45 percent of the people who live in this zone still live in poverty," Mayor Eric Garcetti said.

On Monday, city leaders had a new tool to help solve the problem, and they gathered at Los Angeles Trade Technical College to make the announcement.

The White House designated the odd-shaped chunk of Los Angeles into a federal Promise Zone. While there is no money up front, the area receives a virtual "front-of-the-line pass" when it comes to seeking federal grant money.

The new area is the city's second Promise Zone. The first one came in 2014, which included Pico-Union, Koreatown and Hollywood. Garcetti touted the success of that designation.

"The promise zone in the central part of this city in just two years has attracted more than $100 million and seen a 63 percent increase in college readiness," he said.

There are 17 schools inside the latest designated zone, with one of them being Orthopaedic Hosptial Medical Magnet High School. The school's administration said its 840 students come from all cross the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The new zone status, the officials hope, will lead to federal grants to pay for those students' bus rides, among other important things.
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