WITH RELEASE OF OPPORTUNITY ZONE REGULATIONS, L.A. MAYOR GARCETTI ACTIVATES EFFORT TO ORGANIZE CITIES TO EXPLOIT THEM FOR THE UNDERSERVED, NOT PROFITEERS
LOS ANGELES -- The Treasury Department today issued long-awaited regulations to guide Opportunity Zone investments. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Advisory Council Chair of the non-profit Accelerator for America, responded by announcing an effort led by the Accelerator to organize cities across the nation to ensure the benefits of Opportunity Zones benefit underserved communities instead of profiteers.
“Washington’s tax legislation has so far been a tool to enrich the already rich. We are going to make sure that Opportunity Zones help the people they’re supposed to,” Mayor Garcetti said. “We’ve created turnkey templates that cities large and small can adapt and use to drive the greatest amount of investment into their neediest communities. We are going to organize America so that Americans benefit from government incentives for a change.”
In partnership with Advisory Council member and premier housing and urban development expert Bruce Katz, Accelerator for America worked directly with South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt and Louisville, KY Mayor Greg Fischer to develop Opportunity Zone “Investment Prospectuses” with the intent that they both benefit those cities and serve as models for other cities to use.
In addition, Mayor Garcetti recently launched with California Treasurer John Chiang, San Francisco Board of Supervisors President Malia Cohen, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, the California Opportunity Zone Partnership. During Phase 1 of the Partnership, grants will be given to three small-to-medium-sized California cities to help them attract inclusive investments into their Opportunity Zones. In addition, 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, lessons-learned in these 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.
SEE NEW YORK TIMES STORY: White House Approves a Tax Rule Meant to Help Distressed Areas
SEE ACCELERATOR/OPPORTUNITY ZONE BACKGROUND: Mayor Eric Garcetti - Helping Cities Help Themselves
Accelerator for America is also working with local governments across the country to generate local infrastructure revenues instead of relying on the unmet federal infrastructure promise. An example is Los Angeles County's Measure M, which was approved in November 2016 and generates $120 billion and 465,000 career jobs. On that same election day, which also elected Donald Trump to the White House, local governments nationwide approved $230 billion in local infrastructure improvements.