Senator Hueso, Mayor Faulconer Advocate for Legislation to Support California’s Underserved Communities

City of San Diego-sponsored bill would provide state resources for disadvantaged communities designated within federal Promise Zones
February 09, 2018

San Diego, CA – February 9, 2018 – Senator Hueso (40th District) and City of San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer held a joint press conference today to highlight Sen. Hueso’s legislation, Senate Bill 635, which was sponsored by the City of San Diego, and will provide state assistance to communities designated as federal “Promise Zones” in their efforts to receive critical federal revitalization resources. The legislation will also provide priority consideration for eight state tax credits and programs that distribute funding to entities and projects located within both officially-designated Promise Zones and communities that applied to become a Promise Zone.

“A child's zip code should never determine that individual’s destiny,” said Senator Hueso. “However, oftentimes the community that a child grows up in impacts their odds of graduating high school, health outcomes, and lifetime economic opportunities. Promise Zones encourage a collaborative effort – between private business and federal, state, and local officials; faith-based and non-profit organizations; and striving kids and parents – to ensure that hard work leads to a decent living for every American in every community.”

The Promise Zone Initiative was created by former President Obama in 2014 and is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Promise Zones are defined as high-poverty communities in select urban, rural and tribal communities where the federal government partners strategically with local leaders to increase economic activity and job growth, improve educational opportunities, enhance public health, reduce violent crime, and leverage private investment to improve the quality of life in these vulnerable areas.

The City of San Diego applied for the federal program and, in 2016, was selected as a federally-designated Promise Zone. To date there are 22 communities across the country that are designated Promise Zones, four of which are in California. The San Diego Promise Zone is composed of three of the City’s most economically-disadvantaged neighborhoods, and has a population of more than 77,000 residents.

“San Diego’s Promise Zone designation has been a real game-changer, helping us bring investment and revitalization efforts to neighborhoods that have historically been left behind,” said Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer. “Now we want to take it to the next level by urging state leaders to pass legislation that will bring even more opportunity to communities that need it the most.”

Senate Bill 635 passed the State Senate last week with bipartisan support and is now making its way through the State Assembly. The legislation is sponsored by the City of San Diego, as well as supported by the City of Sacramento, Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, Mothers & Men Against Gangs Coalition, and the Sacramento Promise Zone.

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Senator Ben Hueso and San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer at Barrio Logan College Institute