Los Angeles Promise Zone

To create a dynamic, safe, and livable community with high academic achievement and strong economic growth over the ten-year designation period and beyond. 



The Promise Zone program is President Obama’s signature anti-poverty initiative, first announced in his 2013 State of the Union address. In January 2014, on the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty, the City of Los Angeles and lead implementation partner Youth Policy Institute were awarded one of the first five federal Promise Zone designations in an announcement by the President at the White House.

The goal of the initiative is to significantly reduce poverty through job creation, increased economic activity, improved educational opportunities, improved public safety, and leveraged private capital, while preserving and expanding housing affordability.

The LA Promise Zone is comprised of five ethnically and linguistically diverse neighborhoods in Central Los Angeles – Hollywood, East Hollywood, Koreatown, Pico-Union, and Westlake. With a population of just over 165,000 in the densest part of the city, 35% of Promise Zone residents live in poverty. A full 25% of households have a family income of less than $15,000 per year. High unemployment, high school dropout rates, and a shortage of affordable housing are barriers to a future of hope and promise.

The LA Promise Zone initiative is a collective impact project involving leaders from government, the private sector, and community organizations to target resources to create jobs, boost public safety, improve public education and stimulate better housing opportunities for residents and neighborhoods. We do this by identifying and implementing innovative solutions to problems that affect our neighborhoods.

With the City of Los Angeles and the Youth Policy Institute leading the initiative, 50 local organizations partner to meet Promise Zone goals; 40 more have signed on as supporters of the initiative. These organizations represent the diverse makeup of the LA Promise Zone and provide the linguistically and culturally appropriate services necessary to meet the needs of the area’s multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and Limited-English Proficient populations.

To date, 14 federal agencies have awarded 42 new grants for a total of $162 million to support this place-based approach to fighting poverty in Los Angeles, ranging from education, workforce, health and wellness, economic development, and asset building, to Early Head Start centers and Full-Service Community Schools. Last year targeted high schools averaged a 6.6% increase in graduation rates, with academic achievement and family incomes on the rise.

Priority Projects underway and developed by the Promise Zone working groups address these four goals:

1) Create Economic Opportunity 
2) Improve Educational Outcomes
3) Make Neighborhoods Safe
4) Create Equitable, Sustainable & Livable Communities


There is much work to be done and opportunities ahead, for Angelenos to help transform the Promise Zone and create neighborhoods of growth and opportunity.




 Map of the Los Angeles Promise Zone


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