Mayor, Sen. Huseo Push for ‘Promise Zones’ in Disadvantaged Neighborhoods

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Barrio Logan with downtown San Diego in the distance. Photo by Chris Jennewein

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and state Sen. Ben Hueso Friday pushed for passage of a senate bill assisting the creation of federal “promise zones” aimed at improving blighted urban, rural and tribal communities.

The bill, SB 635, was co-sponsored by the city of San Diego.

“A child’s zip code should never determine that individual’s destiny,” Hueso said at a joint news conference with Faulconer. “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,” Hueso said.

Promise Zones — created in 2014 — are communities where federal officials partner with local leaders to improve quality of life in a variety of areas, including economic activity and job growth, educational opportunities, crime and public health.

San Diego’s zone includes most of Logan Heights and Barrio Logan, as well as parts of East Village and Encanto, areas with a combined population of about 77,000.

“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,” Faulconer said. “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.”

The bill passed the state senate last week with bipartisan support, and will make its way through the state assembly.

—City News Service

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