California Promise Neighborhood Legislation Passes Assembly!

06 Jun 2011 |

Exciting news out of California, where the State Assembly has passed the California Promise Neighborhood Initiative!

This bill, sponsored by Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes, is headed to the Senate with great support from the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink, Youth Policy Institute, and other stakeholders and practitioners in the field.

Read on for the press release from Ideate California, which includes a quote from our own Michael McAfee, Director of the Promise Neighborhoods Institute!

Promise Neighborhoods Get Support from Assembly: Bill Heads to Senate

Sacramento-  On Thursday afternoon, AB 1072 (Fuentes) the California Promise Neighborhood Initiative  passed out of the Assembly  Floor with a vote of 51 to 26. As the bill heads to the Senate, the Youth Policy Institute continues to work with Assemblymember Fuentes to increase support from stakeholders and other practitioners in the field.

“We applaud Assemblymember Fuentes’ leadership in introducing the California Promise Neighborhoods Initiative, and are deeply grateful to his colleagues for stepping up to support sustainable Promise Neighborhoods,” said Michael McAfee, Director of the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink. “In this climate of budget challenges, investment in California’s children is needed more than ever. This legislation deserves bipartisan support and swift passage, as it will have a meaningful impact on improving the lives of children living in poverty throughout California, and serve as a model for other states.”

The bill as drafted establishes a structure within California to support the development and sustainment of 40 promise neighborhoods.   Specifically the bill, authorizes the Governors’ Office of Economic Development (GOED) to establish promise neighborhoods throughout California, choosing from eligible applicants that have established partnerships with local government, schools, businesses, community organizations, and other stake-holders.  Applicants would define specific areas to concentrate efforts and meet the educational and developmental needs of children from cradle to career, replicating the successful placed based model of the Harlem’s Children Zone.

Assemblymember Fuentes stated “I’m thrilled that the Promise Neighborhood Initiative passed the State Assembly today.  This bill would make California the first in the nation to set up a statewide effort to reward collaborative efforts to combat generational poverty in our most distressed communities.”

Dixon Slingerland , Executive Director of the Youth Policy Institute added  “We applaud the Assembly for realizing the overall benefits of a placed based approach to improving the quality of life of the most distressed communities. We intend to build upon this momentum and generate additional support from stakeholders and policymakers as the bill moves forward.”

The legislation has been referred to Senate Rules Appropriations and will be assigned policy committees in the coming weeks.

Supporters of the bill included:  PolicyLink, Youth Policy Institute, Proyecto Pastoral, Inner City Struggle, Los Angeles Unified School District, Alliance for a Better Community, Salvadoran American Leadership Educational Fund, Los Angeles Education Partnership, Boyle Height Learning Collaborative, Hollywood Community Studio, Hollywood High School, Board Member Nury Martinez, LACER After School Programs, Thai Community Development Center, The Champions Adventure, Paramount Pictures and 15 individual letters.

For more information on the legislation or for information on how to support the legislation, please contact Jose Atilio Hernandez at