The NELA River Collaborative project builds upon the growing momentum of efforts already underway to transform the Los Angeles River into a "riverfront district" and to create a focal point of community revitalization. For more information visit www.mylariver.org
The City of Los Angeles Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) has been improving the quality of life for City residents for nearly 30 years by offering economic, social, and employment opportunities for individuals, families and neighborhoods in need. EWDD is the lead administrator for the Sustainable Communities Challenge Grant:
So my name is Gerardo Ruvalcaba, I am the Eastside Regional Area Director for the Community Development Department. Essentially the CDD is a department within the City of Los Angeles that's been charged with improving the lives of low income people and communities through economic development, workforce and social services.
With the abolishment of the redevelopment agency the city lost a major tool for revitalizing communities. What the Northeast Los Angeles Riverfront Collaborative is doing is providing us options. We're looking at studies and developing new tools for sustainable economic development that does not rely on federal grants or other state entities to fund.
I think we have the opportunity to develop a region that is sustainable in terms of economic development and workforce, in developing job opportunities in their communities, so that they're not getting in their cars and driving thirty miles for a job.
I believe that the redevelopment agency was raising something like 200 million dollars a year that invested back into low income communities. When that financing structure was lost there was no way to really replace it.
I would say the primary objective is to identify a set of sustainable economic development financing tools to fund whatever vision is developed through this study. We want to tie that to our workforce strategy so that we are working with other whether adult or youth workforce programs and are providing the training that is necessary to support the economic programs that will be developed in the future.
So if the goal is more recreation along the river what financing structures are available to pay for that. The goal is additional commercial development along one of the major business corridors, you know identifying the financing structures that are available to pay for that. All of this is community driven, there is no plan by the economic development department nor CDD nor anyone in city hall to drive the process, we want the process and the recommendations to be driven by the community.