While much of the news these days feels fairly hopeless, we were happy to read earlier this week about the progress of a local competition that’s all about hope – the MyLA 2050 Grants Challenge. The competition for city funding asks non-profits around the LA area “What will you do to make LA the best place to Live/Learn/Create/Play/Connect?” And it offers a total of $1,000,000 the top 25 proposals to help those visions come to fruition.
Recently, the competition announced its 25 finalists – five in each of the five categories – and public voting to allocate fuding among the finalists opened yesterday. In each category, based on the voting, $100,000 will be awarded to the project that gets the most votes, second place finishers will receive $50,000, third place finishers $25,000, fourth place finishers $15,000 and $10,000 will go to each fifth place finisher (so all 25 finalists will receive at least some funding).
The finalist projects span a wide range of disciplines and community-supportive goals, and reading through them should provide more than a few strong rays of hope in this otherwise fairly gloomy week. Here’s the list of finalist projects by category:
- Strategic Actions for a Just Economy (SAJE) – Eviction Prevention Tool, During Coronavirus and Beyond
- Clinica Msr. Oscar A. Romero – Telehealth for Medically Underserved LA Neighborhoods
- Safe Parking LA, a Project of Community Partners – Neighbors for Home
- Crop Swap LA – Create a Residential Garden District in Los Angeles
- Jenesse Center, Inc. – Domestic Violence Intervention and Prevention Program
- Reading Partners LA – The Path to Fourth Grade Reading Proficiency for 1,000 Children
- Los Angeles Audubon – Urban Nature Network
- Southern California College Access Network – Project SOAR: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty Through Education
- Central American Resource Center-CARECEN-of California – CARECEN’s Parent and Youth Center
- Pediatric Therapy Network – Best We Can Be Early Education Program
- LA Sanitation and Environment – LA Industry: Circular Textiles
- Grid110 – Grid110 South LA
- Flintridge Center – Apprenticeship Preparation Program
- Las Fotos Project – A Girl-Powered Foto Studio by Las Fotos Project
- Lost Angels Children’s Project – Good Life Manufacturing
- City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks – Mobile Recreation Program
- Los Angeles Maritime Institute – Ocean Adventure Together!
- Public Matters – University Park Slow Jams
- Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation – Bigger than Baseball
- The Urban Warehouse – Skate-4-Education
- Creative Acts – Art Attacks
- LA Forward – The LA 101 Guide to Local Government and Civic Engagement
- Boyle Heights Beat/Radio Pulso – Voices/Voces
- Ready to Succeed – Creating Connection & Community for Youth in Foster Care
- Union Station Homeless Services – Union Station Homeless Services Community Allies Program
Voting in the competition opened to the public yesterday (Monday, July 13) and will close at 5 p.m. on Monday, July 20. Winners will be announced on Monday, July 27, 2020.
You can visit https://challenge.la2050.org/learn/finalists/ to read about each finalist project in detail, and go to https://challenge.la2050.org/vote/ to vote for your favorites (you can vote for one project in each category).
Also, every day this week at 11:15 a.m., MyLA 2050 is showcasing the finalists in each category live on YouTube, with an opportunity for audience Q & A. You can find the presentations at the following links. (Events are also archived at these links after the original streams.)
Monday, July 13: PLAY Finalists
Tuesday, July 14: LEARN Finalists
Wednesday, July 15: CREATE Finalists
Thursday, July 16: CONNECT Finalists
Friday, July 17: LIVE Finalists