Garcetti Announces California Opportunity Zone Partnership

"The California Opportunity Zone Partnership is about cities helping themselves, and each other, by helping bring investments and jobs into neighborhoods that need them most."

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Emma McIntyre/Getty Images, File

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, along with other state leaders, announced Friday a new partnership aimed at helping small- and medium-sized California cities take full advantage of "opportunity tax incentives" included in the 2017 federal tax bill.

The California Opportunity Zone Partnership was organized by the nonprofit Accelerator for America with support from the Energy Foundation.

Garcetti is chair of the Accelerator for America's advisory council and started the nonprofit last year with other mayors, union leaders and business executives to help mayors exchange ideas and attempt to replicate successful ones.

"There is a lot not to like in the tax bill handed down from Washington, but we owe it to our communities to master any benefit to be found in it, just like corporate America does," Garcetti said. "The California Opportunity Zone Partnership is about cities helping themselves, and each other, by helping bring investments and jobs into neighborhoods that need them most."

Garcetti announced the new partnership with California Treasurer John Chiang, San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Malia Cohen, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo.

During Phase 1 of the partnership, grants will be given to three small-to- medium-sized California cities to help them attract investments into their opportunity zones, while experts from the cities of San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and Los Angeles will provide support to the cities awarded the grants.

During Phase 2 of the partnership, lessons learned by the grant cities will be used to inform state policy and legislation to help cities of all sizes across the state maximize opportunity zone investments while avoiding the negative impacts of gentrification and displacement, partnership officials said.

"Our nickname may be the Golden State, but there are still swaths of our state that are decidedly not golden at the moment -- they have been largely bypassed by the economic recovery," Chiang said. "We must do something to help. Pooling the resources of Accelerator for America, private investors, and my office, we can build new ladders of opportunity that grow the middle-class and ensure a golden future for all Californians."

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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