YPI Supports Promise Neighborhoods Bill

AB 1178 to extend President Obama's signature initiative modeled on the Harlem Children's Zone beyond the Los Angeles Promise Neighborhood

LOS ANGELES, April 30, 2013 -- On May 1, 2013, the California Assembly Committee on Education will consider AB 1178, the California Promise Neighborhoods Initiative. Los Angeles-based Youth Policy Institute (YPI) is speaking out in support of the bill and its provisions for establishing Promise Neighborhoods with cradle-to-college-and-career services in 40 underserved neighborhoods throughout California.

According to Dixon Slingerland , Executive Director of the Youth Policy Institute, "AB 1178 would extend the reach of the federal Promise Neighborhoods program throughout the State of California to end the intergenerational cycle of poverty." YPI is a recipient of one of only seven federal Promise Neighborhood implementation grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Education in 2012. "YPI can attest to the benefits of aligning programs to maximize services for families and youth," explained Slingerland. "AB 1178 will enable agencies like ours and our 60+ public-private partners to transform high-need schools and communities."

"We've already seen the potential of Promise Neighborhoods to break the cycle of generational poverty in over 50 neighborhoods throughout the country," said Angela Glover Blackwell , Founder and CEO of PolicyLink. "California has the chance to be a model for the nation. We must seize this opportunity to build stronger communities and brighter futures for children and families. That's how we'll bolster our state's economy and ensure our country is one in which all children can reach their full potential."

"Two years ago, the federal government awarded nearly 20% of its planning grants to communities in California, to develop cross community plans targeting education, health and social programs. AB 1178 is the critical next step to allow these plans to actually be implemented," said Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra .  "We've seen the success in New York of the Harlem Children's Zone, which has showcased the tremendous effect that cross community planning and data driven management can have in changing the odds for countless youth and families.  The federal government has stepped up, now it's time for California to match that effort.  We simply can't allow another generation of our children to suffer, while the bureaucracy lags behind."

"Education is at the heart of the Promise Neighborhoods model," said Iris Zuniga , Chief Operating Officer at Youth Policy Institute. "The Promise Neighborhood framework saturates neighborhoods with programs and services. Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra (D-Pacoima) has based the proposed legislation for the California Promise Neighborhoods on one of the most effective models available. California's children would benefit from its wider implementation."

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The Los Angeles Promise Neighborhood (LAPN) is one of seven locations around the nation to be selected as an implementation site for the U.S. Department of Education's Promise Neighborhoods program. LAPN is a place-based model centered on education and integrated with a wide variety of wraparound services for children and their families; it is largely informed by the success of the Harlem Children's Zone. For more information, please visit Los Angeles Promise Neighborhoods.

The Youth Policy Institute (YPI) transforms Los Angeles neighborhoods by ensuring access to high quality schools and wrap-around education and family services, enabling a successful transition from cradle-to-college-and-career. YPI is the lead agency for the $30 million Los Angeles Promise Neighborhood initiative. YPI serves families through 125 program sites that offer place-based education and training services via afterschool programs, charter, pilot, and partnership schools, job training, summer jobs for youth, physical education, adult education, technology, case management, parenting, tutoring and college preparation. Each year, YPI programs serve more than 100,000 youth and adults in Los Angeles. For more information, please visit ypiusa.nationbuilder.com

CONTACT: Sian Winship
swinship@hersheycause.com
310.560.6436 cell

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