South LA could get Promise Zone funding in Obama’s 2015 budget plan

Obama | The White House

Obama discussed the 2015 budget at an elementary school in Washington D.C. | The White House

President Barack Obama released his 2015 budget proposal on Tuesday, revealing a plan to create 40 new “Promise Zones” nationwide — a major bump from last year’s designation of just five. As a low-income neighborhood, South Los Angeles stands to benefit, said Rep. Karen Bass.

“I’m thrilled by the resources he’s putting in,” she said. “In regards to South L.A., he’s calling for the establishment of 40 more Promise Zones, so that could really increase the possibility that an application from South L.A. would be successful.”

Last year, Obama passed over South L.A. in selecting neighborhoods eligible for funding that could improve education, housing and public safety. Instead, he picked L.A.’s Pico-Union, Westlake, Koreatown, East Hollywood and Hollywood neighborhoods. The move left some L.A. leaders and activists feeling that South L.A. had been neglected.“It is very disappointing to see the city’s poorest communities excluded once again,” councilman Curren Price said in a statement. “South Los Angeles struggles with the highest concentration rate of poverty in the city.”

However, Bass warned that Obama will need to bring Republicans to his side. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin has argued that anti-poverty programs aren’t successful because they don’t motivate people to raise their annual incomes.

Listen to Bass discuss Obama’s plan in an interview for Annenberg Radio News:

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