Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, CA

Spanning across 500 square miles of Southern California, Los Angeles is the second most populous city in the United States with a 2010 census population of just under 3.8 million people. According to the 2010 census, the city’s population is 50% white, 10% black, and 15% Asian. Just under 50% of Los Angeles' population is Hispanic or Latino. Spurred in part by rampant urban sprawl and gentrification in some neighborhoods, Los Angeles has spawned a wide range of community wealth building initiatives that are seeking to counter these trends. Not only is Los Angeles home to some of the nation's leading community development corporations, but it is also known for innovation in other areas, including university-community partnerships, community benefit agreements, and transit-oriented development. 

Organized labor has played a major role in community wealth building in Los Angeles. Although unions are losing strength and membership in much of the country, they have gained ground in Los Angeles. A city that has had a strong anti-union history and unions that traditionally excluded racial minorities has been transformed into a local labor movement in which Latino activists have often played a leading role and which has placed much greater emphasis on working in coalition with community-based groups. One sign of this is the work of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE). Founded in 1993, LAANE has helped spearhead national efforts to develop community benefit agreements.

 A Community Benefit Agreement (CBA) is an agreement between a developer and a coalition of community groups and unions that generates mutual cooperation instead of conflict, benefiting members of the community. Businesses, which often receive tax breaks, subsidies and other incentives to operate within a city, now share some responsibility for the surrounding community. Through a CBA, they may be required to provide living wage jobs, local hiring, affordable housing, housing for displaced families, and/or park space. In exchange for making these concessions, businesses gain expedited approval of their projects, lowering development costs. LAANE has been at the forefront of this movement, successfully working to negotiate a $500-million CBA that provides for the community around Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) during new construction projects.

Another development, helping to change the direction of the city, was the passage of two important transit oriented development propositions -- Los Angeles County measure R and the California statewide proposition 1A in November 2008. The city, well known for its constant gridlock, has shifted increasing resources into transit in the past two decades. Measure R is a half-cent sales tax increase that is expected to provide the resources necessary to finance local transportation projects, including an extension of the subway toward the Westside, light-rail extensions through the San Gabriel Valley, dedicated busways in the San Fernando Valley and a host of highway improvements. Over the next 30 years, this tax increase is projected to generate $40 billion for congestion relief. Another large transportation project, partially funded by Measure 1A, allows the State of California to issue $10 billion in bonds in order to help finance a bullet train from Los Angeles to San Francisco. This project is estimated to bring an additional 450,000 permanent jobs to California by 2035 as a result of economic growth.

An overview of community wealth building efforts follows:

Anchor Institutions

California Community Foundation

The California Community Foundation (CCF) aims to create greater equity, opportunity, and prosperity in Los Angeles County.  Established in 1915, CCF currently stewards nearly $1.4 billion in total assets and manages more than 1,700 charitable foundations, funds, and legacies.  From 2003 to 2013, CCF made almost 62,000 grants totaling $1.6 billion, representing, on average, 10-20 percent of its assets annually.  CCF also has a PRI program, through which it provides low-interest loans to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and intermediary lenders that can leverage addition Read more about California Community Foundation...

New Schools Better Neighborhoods

New Schools Better Neighborhoods was formed both to advocate for a vision of public facilities, most especially schools, as vital community centers, and to assist families and neighborhoods in creating built models of community centered learning centers. The group has emerged as California's independent, neighborhood-led master planner, committed to reforming existing approaches to site and designing family resource centers, public schools, parks, libraries, and housing. Read more about New Schools Better Neighborhoods...

Community Development Corporations (CDCs)

A Community of Friends

Focused on creating permanently affordable housing and a stable community environment, A Community of Friends has completed over 1,700 units at 43 properties, primarily throughout Los Angeles County. Since its founding in 1988, the group has secured over $400 million in financing from city departments, allowing it to develop projects ranging in cost from a $600,000 rehabilitation of a five bedroom house and two free-standing duplexes to a $62 million project that provided 149 studio units for veterans. Read more about A Community of Friends...

East Los Angeles Community Corporation

Founded in 1996, the East Los Angeles Community Corporation works to preserve neighborhood assets and strengthen existing community infrastructure in Boyle Heights and Unincorporated East Los Angeles. The group develops affordable housing, provides financial literacy and first-time homebuyer programs, and other community services. Read more about East Los Angeles Community Corporation...

Esperanza Community Housing Corporation

Founded in 1989, Esperanza Community Housing Corporation develops affordable housing, promotes accessible health care, and pursues economic development in the Figueroa Corridor neighborhood of South-Central Los Angeles. Its Community Health Promoters’ Program trains bi- and trilingual low-income residents to become community health leaders, who better understand community needs and have marketable skills for further employment. To date, the CDC has also completed nine affordable housing projects that provide a total of 165 housing units. Read more about Esperanza Community Housing Corporation...

Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC)

Founded in 1979, the Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) serves Los Angeles County’s Asian and Pacific Islander populations experiencing language or cultural gaps, financial need, physical disabilities, or other challenges.  To do so, it sponsors over a dozen different community and social service programs and partners with other nonprofit organizations on community-serving real estate projects.  Through such collaborations, LTSC has helped develop 800 units of affordable housing and approximately 125,000 square feet of community space, totaling more than $200 million in investment.  It is Read more about Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC)...

New Economics for Women

Established in 1984, New Economics for Women was founded on two core principles:  1) the needs of women and children had to be an economic priority in order for any neighborhood to prosper; and 2) community support and participation had to be the cornerstone of all affordable housing programs and projects. To date, the group has helped nearly 400 families purchase their first home and has developed an economic development center, a community center, three charter schools, a health and wellness center and a national award-winning planned community, Tierra del Sol. Read more about New Economics for Women...

TELACU (The East Los Angeles Community Union)

Initially funded through federal legislation, TELACU is one of the largest minority-focused community development corporations in the United States. Read more about TELACU (The East Los Angeles Community Union)...

Thai CDC

Thai CDC was established in 1994 to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate social and human services for economically disadvantaged Thai immigrants.  Today, the CDC aims to create a thriving community by creating businesses and jobs, developing decent and affordable housing, and revitalizing public space.  Its achievements include the development of 106 housing units for low-income people and a $1.3 million streetscape project in “Thai Town,” a designation that the CDC helped win for a depressed, neglected section of East Hollywood as a way to promote neighborhood pride, economi Read more about Thai CDC...

Vermont-Slauson Economic Development Corporation

Located in South Los Angeles, in a community whose unemployment rate hovers around 20% Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation (VSEDC) has produced more than $60 million in physical development projects and created/retained more than 3,000 jobs in the South Los Angeles community, including the 57,000 square foot Vermont Slauson Retail Center, the 18,000 square foot Western Slauson Business Center, and the 10,000 square foot Business Enterprise Center. Read more about Vermont-Slauson Economic Development Corporation...

Watts Labor Community Action Committee

Established in 1965 by labor union members, Watts Labor Community Action Committee fosters economic development in South Central Los Angeles and provides social services for South Central Los Angeles residents. The group has constructed and manages over 5,000 houses and apartments for low and moderate-income families and senior citizens, in addition to several commercial properties and business ventures. It also runs several programs that generate and recycle income within the community. Read more about Watts Labor Community Action Committee...

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)

Los Angeles Local Development Corporation

Trying to encourage additional private investment and stimulate job creation and retention, the Los Angeles Local Development Corporation is a non-profit that provides loans and capital to small and medium-sized businesses in distressed neighborhoods throughout the greater Los Angeles region. Since its founding in 1980, the group has worked closely with the Mayor’s Office, facilitating or funding over $200 million of financing for businesses and real estate development projects in the city. Read more about Los Angeles Local Development Corporation...

Los Angeles Neighborhood Housing Services

Founded in 1984, Los Angeles Neighborhood Housing Services is both a community developer and lender, serving nearly 2.5 million families, developing and rehabilitating over 13,000 housing and commercial units, establishing 175 block clubs, educating and counseling over 87,000 homebuyers and families, and investing more than $2.43 billion back into some of Los Angeles’ most depressed neighborhoods. The group has experienced no foreclosures in the 20-year history of its Revolving Loan Fund Portfolio and maintains less than a 3-percent delinquency rate. Read more about Los Angeles Neighborhood Housing Services...

Cooperatives (Co-ops)

Cooperative Resources & Services Project (CRSP)

Founded in 1980, Cooperative Resources & Services Project (CRSP) is a nonprofit that provides resources and support to cooperative and ecological neighborhoods, eco-villages, and intentional communities. Read more about Cooperative Resources & Services Project (CRSP)...

Cross-Sectoral

Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles

Focusing primarily on community organizing in South Central Los Angeles, Concerned Citizens is also involved with developing affordable housing, youth, and community sustainable programs. Having organized 57 block clubs to date, the organization’s strength comes from its ability to organize the local community to address local issues, such as improving the safety and appearance of neighborhood streets and alleys. Read more about Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles...

Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)

Chatsworth Products

Once a division of a Fortune 500 company (the Harris Company), Chatsworth Products, which produces storage devices for mainframe computer equipment and data, became a 100% employee-owned company in 1991. The company has grown to employ over 900 people today. Read more about Chatsworth Products...

Dunn-Edwards

Originally a private, family-owned business founded in 1925, since 2001, Dunn-Edwards, headquartered in Los Angeles, is the largest employee-owned paint manufacturer in the United States. With more than 1,650 employee owners and over 115 stores throughout the southwestern U.S., Dunn-Edwards’ most recent annual revenues totaled more than $300 million.  This employee owned company primarily caters to architects, designers, homebuilders, and property managers in the Southwest. Read more about Dunn-Edwards...

Green Economy

LA CleanTech Incubator (LACI)

Founded by the City of Los Angeles to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies, LACI is a nonprofit that offers flexible office space, CEO coaching and mentoring, and access to a network of experts and capital. Incubated companies operate in a range of sectors including Smart Grid infrastructure, energy efficiency, energy storage, electric transportation, and materials science.  Working closely with area universities, businesses, governments, capital markets and utilities, LACI aims to foster innovation and grow the region’s green economy. Read more about LA CleanTech Incubator (LACI)...

Individual Wealth Building

Leadership for Urban Renewal Network (LURN)

Based in Los Angeles, LURN is a nonprofit that works to catalyze multi-disciplinary collaborations focused on designing, building, and promoting sustainable communities in which people can live to their greatest potential.  To do so, it coordinates LURNlabs, purpose-driven innovation labs that bring together diverse people to develop solutions to urban issues.  One current LURNlab focuses on the development of an LA strategy to incubate community-based, worker cooperatives.  Through its LURNcapital initiative, it also works to increase low-income communities’ ability to access capital.  Fo Read more about Leadership for Urban Renewal Network (LURN)...

Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE)

PACE is a nonprofit community development organization founded in 1976 to address the employment and job training needs of the Pacific Asian Islander communities. Read more about Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE)...

Local Food Systems

Los Angeles Food Policy Council (LAFPC)

Created in January 2011 by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to build a “Good Food system” for all of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Food Policy Council aims to reduce hunger, improve public health, increase equity, create good jobs, stimulate local economic activity, and foster environmental stewardship.  Its work focuses on bringing together leaders and experts from across sectors, geographies, and socio-economic communities to strengthen connections throughout the food system, and to facilitate and coordinate systemic change.  One of LAFPC’s key achievements was the development of a Good Food Pu Read more about Los Angeles Food Policy Council (LAFPC)...

Municipal Enterprise

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is the country's largest public utility supplying water and electricity to the city's 3.8 million residents. Read more about Los Angeles Department of Water and Power...

Port of Los Angeles

The Port of Los Angles, the largest container port in the United States and the fourth largest cruise passenger facility, is credited with supporting 1.1 million jobs in California and generating $5.1 billion in state tax revenues.  In FY 2013, total operating revenues were $397.4 million. The Port is also a major real estate developer. In 2014, it completed the $32 million project, Downtown Harbor.  Previously a parking lot, the space now features a new harbor inlet for recreational vessels surrounded by a public plaza and pedestrian promenade. Read more about Port of Los Angeles...

New State & Local Policies

Bank on Los Angeles

Launched in 2008 as a joint effort of the Office of the Governor, the Office of the Mayor, the California Department of Consumer Affairs, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, local financial institutions and community-based organizations, Bank on Los Angeles aims to connect Los Angeles’ unbanked and under-banked populations to low-cost financial products and services and expand access to financial education.  To do so, participating banks and credit unions created low and no-cost products targeted toward first-time and “second chance” clients, e Read more about Bank on Los Angeles...

Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy

LAANE addresses issues affecting the working poor. It was one of the first groups to develop the concept of community benefit agreements starting with the Staples Center sports arena negotiations in 2001, wherein developers receiving public subsidies make corresponding commitments to provide quality jobs and other community benefits. In 2004, LAANE helped pass the groundbreaking Los Angeles Superstore Ordinance, giving communities more control over the construction of big-box stores. Read more about Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy...

Responsible Banking Ordinance

In 2012, the Los Angeles City Council adopted a "responsible banking" ordinance that requires banks doing business with the city to disclose detailed data on loans and foreclosure activity by community.  With $30 billion in assets, $6 billion in deposits and pension funds, and about 45 contracts with financial institutions, the City expects the ordinance to encourage banks to increase their lending and other services to city residents, particularly those in low-income communities. Read more about Responsible Banking Ordinance...

Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE)

Founded in 1996, SAJE aims to make Los Angeles a happier, more just place.  To do so, it focuses on changing public and corporate policies in ways that can provide concrete economic benefit to working-class people, increase the economic rights of the working class, and build leadership through a movement for economic justice.  Its achievements include the first-of-its-kind Community Benefits Agreement with Anschutz Entertainment Group (i.e., the owner of Staples Center and L.A. Read more about Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE)...

Social Enterprise

Chrysalis

Chrysalis helps economically disadvantaged and homeless individuals become self-sufficient through employment opportunities. To this end, Chrysalis runs Chrysalis Enterprises, an in-house staffing business that provides street and building maintenance, janitorial, warehouse, front desk and general staffing solutions to over 100 communities and businesses across L.A. County.  In 2013, Chrysalis Enterprises provided $2.7 in wages to over 500 of its clients. Read more about Chrysalis...

Homeboy Industries

Founded in 1992 by a Jesuit priest, Father Gregory Boyle, in response to the civil unrest in Los Angeles and as a means of providing employment training for former gang members, Homeboy Industries has since grown to comprise seven businesses. These include a bakery, a silkscreen and embroidery enterprise, a café and catering enterprise, and a diner. All told, the enterprises, generate more than $5 million a year (roughly 25 percent of the nonprofit’s total operating budget) while providing employment to about 240-280 ex-offenders. Read more about Homeboy Industries...

Transformative Action Institute

The Transformative Action Institute is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop a new generation of social entrepreneurs and problem-solvers. To do so, it develops innovative activities, exercises, and seminars focused on teaching the skills necessary to foster personal and social transformation.  One such tool is its Teacher’s Manual—a curriculum in Social Innovation that has been used by more than 50 universities around the world as well as dozens of community-based organizations. Read more about Transformative Action Institute...

University & Community Partnerships

University of Southern California (USC) Community Initiatives

In 1992, USC President Steven B. Sample started five initiatives that focused the University on improving the surrounding neighborhoods. Today, the USC invests $35 million annually to support community initiatives, which serve 40,000 area residents. Read more about University of Southern California (USC) Community Initiatives...

Worker Cooperatives

Instituto de Educación Popular del Sur de California (IDEPSCA)

Based in Los Angeles, IDEPSCA aims to organize and educate immigrants concerned with solving problems in their own communities.  Its wide range of programs include an initiative to help immigrants develop worker-owned cooperatives.  In 2005, it helped launch the first of such enterprises, Magic Cleaners, whose worker-owners clean homes and small businesses using non-toxic, eco-friendly products.  More recently, it helped organize the Native Green Landscaping and Gardening Cooperative, which employs immigrants who complete a green gardening training course and receive a certificate in susta Read more about Instituto de Educación Popular del Sur de California (IDEPSCA)...

Community Development Corporations (CDCs)

A Community of Friends

Focused on creating permanently affordable housing and a stable community environment, A Community of Friends has completed over 1,700 units at 43 properties, primarily throughout Los Angeles County. Since its founding in 1988, the group has secured over $400 million in financing from city departments, allowing it to develop projects ranging in cost from a $600,000 rehabilitation of a five bedroom house and two free-standing duplexes to a $62 million project that provided 149 studio units for veterans. Read more about A Community of Friends...

East Los Angeles Community Corporation

Founded in 1996, the East Los Angeles Community Corporation works to preserve neighborhood assets and strengthen existing community infrastructure in Boyle Heights and Unincorporated East Los Angeles. The group develops affordable housing, provides financial literacy and first-time homebuyer programs, and other community services. Read more about East Los Angeles Community Corporation...

Esperanza Community Housing Corporation

Founded in 1989, Esperanza Community Housing Corporation develops affordable housing, promotes accessible health care, and pursues economic development in the Figueroa Corridor neighborhood of South-Central Los Angeles. Its Community Health Promoters’ Program trains bi- and trilingual low-income residents to become community health leaders, who better understand community needs and have marketable skills for further employment. To date, the CDC has also completed nine affordable housing projects that provide a total of 165 housing units. Read more about Esperanza Community Housing Corporation...

Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC)

Founded in 1979, the Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC) serves Los Angeles County’s Asian and Pacific Islander populations experiencing language or cultural gaps, financial need, physical disabilities, or other challenges.  To do so, it sponsors over a dozen different community and social service programs and partners with other nonprofit organizations on community-serving real estate projects.  Through such collaborations, LTSC has helped develop 800 units of affordable housing and approximately 125,000 square feet of community space, totaling more than $200 million in investment.  It is Read more about Little Tokyo Service Center (LTSC)...

New Economics for Women

Established in 1984, New Economics for Women was founded on two core principles:  1) the needs of women and children had to be an economic priority in order for any neighborhood to prosper; and 2) community support and participation had to be the cornerstone of all affordable housing programs and projects. To date, the group has helped nearly 400 families purchase their first home and has developed an economic development center, a community center, three charter schools, a health and wellness center and a national award-winning planned community, Tierra del Sol. Read more about New Economics for Women...

TELACU (The East Los Angeles Community Union)

Initially funded through federal legislation, TELACU is one of the largest minority-focused community development corporations in the United States. Read more about TELACU (The East Los Angeles Community Union)...

Thai CDC

Thai CDC was established in 1994 to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate social and human services for economically disadvantaged Thai immigrants.  Today, the CDC aims to create a thriving community by creating businesses and jobs, developing decent and affordable housing, and revitalizing public space.  Its achievements include the development of 106 housing units for low-income people and a $1.3 million streetscape project in “Thai Town,” a designation that the CDC helped win for a depressed, neglected section of East Hollywood as a way to promote neighborhood pride, economi Read more about Thai CDC...

Vermont-Slauson Economic Development Corporation

Located in South Los Angeles, in a community whose unemployment rate hovers around 20% Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation (VSEDC) has produced more than $60 million in physical development projects and created/retained more than 3,000 jobs in the South Los Angeles community, including the 57,000 square foot Vermont Slauson Retail Center, the 18,000 square foot Western Slauson Business Center, and the 10,000 square foot Business Enterprise Center. Read more about Vermont-Slauson Economic Development Corporation...

Watts Labor Community Action Committee

Established in 1965 by labor union members, Watts Labor Community Action Committee fosters economic development in South Central Los Angeles and provides social services for South Central Los Angeles residents. The group has constructed and manages over 5,000 houses and apartments for low and moderate-income families and senior citizens, in addition to several commercial properties and business ventures. It also runs several programs that generate and recycle income within the community. Read more about Watts Labor Community Action Committee...

New State & Local Policies

Bank on Los Angeles

Launched in 2008 as a joint effort of the Office of the Governor, the Office of the Mayor, the California Department of Consumer Affairs, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the United Way of Greater Los Angeles, local financial institutions and community-based organizations, Bank on Los Angeles aims to connect Los Angeles’ unbanked and under-banked populations to low-cost financial products and services and expand access to financial education.  To do so, participating banks and credit unions created low and no-cost products targeted toward first-time and “second chance” clients, e Read more about Bank on Los Angeles...

Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy

LAANE addresses issues affecting the working poor. It was one of the first groups to develop the concept of community benefit agreements starting with the Staples Center sports arena negotiations in 2001, wherein developers receiving public subsidies make corresponding commitments to provide quality jobs and other community benefits. In 2004, LAANE helped pass the groundbreaking Los Angeles Superstore Ordinance, giving communities more control over the construction of big-box stores. Read more about Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy...

Responsible Banking Ordinance

In 2012, the Los Angeles City Council adopted a "responsible banking" ordinance that requires banks doing business with the city to disclose detailed data on loans and foreclosure activity by community.  With $30 billion in assets, $6 billion in deposits and pension funds, and about 45 contracts with financial institutions, the City expects the ordinance to encourage banks to increase their lending and other services to city residents, particularly those in low-income communities. Read more about Responsible Banking Ordinance...

Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE)

Founded in 1996, SAJE aims to make Los Angeles a happier, more just place.  To do so, it focuses on changing public and corporate policies in ways that can provide concrete economic benefit to working-class people, increase the economic rights of the working class, and build leadership through a movement for economic justice.  Its achievements include the first-of-its-kind Community Benefits Agreement with Anschutz Entertainment Group (i.e., the owner of Staples Center and L.A. Read more about Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE)...

Anchor Institutions

California Community Foundation

The California Community Foundation (CCF) aims to create greater equity, opportunity, and prosperity in Los Angeles County.  Established in 1915, CCF currently stewards nearly $1.4 billion in total assets and manages more than 1,700 charitable foundations, funds, and legacies.  From 2003 to 2013, CCF made almost 62,000 grants totaling $1.6 billion, representing, on average, 10-20 percent of its assets annually.  CCF also has a PRI program, through which it provides low-interest loans to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and intermediary lenders that can leverage addition Read more about California Community Foundation...

New Schools Better Neighborhoods

New Schools Better Neighborhoods was formed both to advocate for a vision of public facilities, most especially schools, as vital community centers, and to assist families and neighborhoods in creating built models of community centered learning centers. The group has emerged as California's independent, neighborhood-led master planner, committed to reforming existing approaches to site and designing family resource centers, public schools, parks, libraries, and housing. Read more about New Schools Better Neighborhoods...

Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)

Chatsworth Products

Once a division of a Fortune 500 company (the Harris Company), Chatsworth Products, which produces storage devices for mainframe computer equipment and data, became a 100% employee-owned company in 1991. The company has grown to employ over 900 people today. Read more about Chatsworth Products...

Dunn-Edwards

Originally a private, family-owned business founded in 1925, since 2001, Dunn-Edwards, headquartered in Los Angeles, is the largest employee-owned paint manufacturer in the United States. With more than 1,650 employee owners and over 115 stores throughout the southwestern U.S., Dunn-Edwards’ most recent annual revenues totaled more than $300 million.  This employee owned company primarily caters to architects, designers, homebuilders, and property managers in the Southwest. Read more about Dunn-Edwards...

Social Enterprise

Chrysalis

Chrysalis helps economically disadvantaged and homeless individuals become self-sufficient through employment opportunities. To this end, Chrysalis runs Chrysalis Enterprises, an in-house staffing business that provides street and building maintenance, janitorial, warehouse, front desk and general staffing solutions to over 100 communities and businesses across L.A. County.  In 2013, Chrysalis Enterprises provided $2.7 in wages to over 500 of its clients. Read more about Chrysalis...

Homeboy Industries

Founded in 1992 by a Jesuit priest, Father Gregory Boyle, in response to the civil unrest in Los Angeles and as a means of providing employment training for former gang members, Homeboy Industries has since grown to comprise seven businesses. These include a bakery, a silkscreen and embroidery enterprise, a café and catering enterprise, and a diner. All told, the enterprises, generate more than $5 million a year (roughly 25 percent of the nonprofit’s total operating budget) while providing employment to about 240-280 ex-offenders. Read more about Homeboy Industries...

Transformative Action Institute

The Transformative Action Institute is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop a new generation of social entrepreneurs and problem-solvers. To do so, it develops innovative activities, exercises, and seminars focused on teaching the skills necessary to foster personal and social transformation.  One such tool is its Teacher’s Manual—a curriculum in Social Innovation that has been used by more than 50 universities around the world as well as dozens of community-based organizations. Read more about Transformative Action Institute...

Cross-Sectoral

Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles

Focusing primarily on community organizing in South Central Los Angeles, Concerned Citizens is also involved with developing affordable housing, youth, and community sustainable programs. Having organized 57 block clubs to date, the organization’s strength comes from its ability to organize the local community to address local issues, such as improving the safety and appearance of neighborhood streets and alleys. Read more about Concerned Citizens of South Central Los Angeles...

Cooperatives (Co-ops)

Cooperative Resources & Services Project (CRSP)

Founded in 1980, Cooperative Resources & Services Project (CRSP) is a nonprofit that provides resources and support to cooperative and ecological neighborhoods, eco-villages, and intentional communities. Read more about Cooperative Resources & Services Project (CRSP)...

Worker Cooperatives

Instituto de Educación Popular del Sur de California (IDEPSCA)

Based in Los Angeles, IDEPSCA aims to organize and educate immigrants concerned with solving problems in their own communities.  Its wide range of programs include an initiative to help immigrants develop worker-owned cooperatives.  In 2005, it helped launch the first of such enterprises, Magic Cleaners, whose worker-owners clean homes and small businesses using non-toxic, eco-friendly products.  More recently, it helped organize the Native Green Landscaping and Gardening Cooperative, which employs immigrants who complete a green gardening training course and receive a certificate in susta Read more about Instituto de Educación Popular del Sur de California (IDEPSCA)...

Green Economy

LA CleanTech Incubator (LACI)

Founded by the City of Los Angeles to accelerate the commercialization of clean technologies, LACI is a nonprofit that offers flexible office space, CEO coaching and mentoring, and access to a network of experts and capital. Incubated companies operate in a range of sectors including Smart Grid infrastructure, energy efficiency, energy storage, electric transportation, and materials science.  Working closely with area universities, businesses, governments, capital markets and utilities, LACI aims to foster innovation and grow the region’s green economy. Read more about LA CleanTech Incubator (LACI)...

Individual Wealth Building

Leadership for Urban Renewal Network (LURN)

Based in Los Angeles, LURN is a nonprofit that works to catalyze multi-disciplinary collaborations focused on designing, building, and promoting sustainable communities in which people can live to their greatest potential.  To do so, it coordinates LURNlabs, purpose-driven innovation labs that bring together diverse people to develop solutions to urban issues.  One current LURNlab focuses on the development of an LA strategy to incubate community-based, worker cooperatives.  Through its LURNcapital initiative, it also works to increase low-income communities’ ability to access capital.  Fo Read more about Leadership for Urban Renewal Network (LURN)...

Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE)

PACE is a nonprofit community development organization founded in 1976 to address the employment and job training needs of the Pacific Asian Islander communities. Read more about Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment (PACE)...

Municipal Enterprise

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is the country's largest public utility supplying water and electricity to the city's 3.8 million residents. Read more about Los Angeles Department of Water and Power...

Port of Los Angeles

The Port of Los Angles, the largest container port in the United States and the fourth largest cruise passenger facility, is credited with supporting 1.1 million jobs in California and generating $5.1 billion in state tax revenues.  In FY 2013, total operating revenues were $397.4 million. The Port is also a major real estate developer. In 2014, it completed the $32 million project, Downtown Harbor.  Previously a parking lot, the space now features a new harbor inlet for recreational vessels surrounded by a public plaza and pedestrian promenade. Read more about Port of Los Angeles...

Local Food Systems

Los Angeles Food Policy Council (LAFPC)

Created in January 2011 by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to build a “Good Food system” for all of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Food Policy Council aims to reduce hunger, improve public health, increase equity, create good jobs, stimulate local economic activity, and foster environmental stewardship.  Its work focuses on bringing together leaders and experts from across sectors, geographies, and socio-economic communities to strengthen connections throughout the food system, and to facilitate and coordinate systemic change.  One of LAFPC’s key achievements was the development of a Good Food Pu Read more about Los Angeles Food Policy Council (LAFPC)...

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs)

Los Angeles Local Development Corporation

Trying to encourage additional private investment and stimulate job creation and retention, the Los Angeles Local Development Corporation is a non-profit that provides loans and capital to small and medium-sized businesses in distressed neighborhoods throughout the greater Los Angeles region. Since its founding in 1980, the group has worked closely with the Mayor’s Office, facilitating or funding over $200 million of financing for businesses and real estate development projects in the city. Read more about Los Angeles Local Development Corporation...

Los Angeles Neighborhood Housing Services

Founded in 1984, Los Angeles Neighborhood Housing Services is both a community developer and lender, serving nearly 2.5 million families, developing and rehabilitating over 13,000 housing and commercial units, establishing 175 block clubs, educating and counseling over 87,000 homebuyers and families, and investing more than $2.43 billion back into some of Los Angeles’ most depressed neighborhoods. The group has experienced no foreclosures in the 20-year history of its Revolving Loan Fund Portfolio and maintains less than a 3-percent delinquency rate. Read more about Los Angeles Neighborhood Housing Services...

University & Community Partnerships

University of Southern California (USC) Community Initiatives

In 1992, USC President Steven B. Sample started five initiatives that focused the University on improving the surrounding neighborhoods. Today, the USC invests $35 million annually to support community initiatives, which serve 40,000 area residents. Read more about University of Southern California (USC) Community Initiatives...