South L.A designated a Federal Promise Zone

first_imgSeveral South Central neighborhoods surrounding the University Park campus have been designated as Promise Zones as part of the Obama administration initiative to improve quality of life and expand opportunities in under-developed areas.The South Los Angeles Transit Empowerment Zone, also known as SLATE-Z, is home to almost 200,000 residents and encompasses the neighborhoods of Exposition Park, Central Vernon, South Park, Leimert Park, Florence, Vermont Square and parts of the Crenshaw-Baldwin Hills area. These areas have been identified by the federal government as in desperate need of fiscal and community-wide assistance due to poor economic growth in recent decades. In 2014, President Obama created Promise Zones to prioritize certain disadvantaged areas for support after the 2008 recession.According to a White House press release, workforce participation in SLATE-Z is low among residents; the unemployment rate is 11.8 percent in contrast to the 5.3 percent average across California. The education of locals is also suffering, with almost half of all residents dropping out of high school, and around 45 percent of SLATE-Z residents are living at or below the poverty line, three times the national average. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti came out in support of the federal program, and described SLATE-Z as necessary for the wellbeing of South Los Angeles.“The SLATE-Z plan is rooted in strategies for ensuring physical and economic mobility for geographically and economically isolated communities,” Garcetti said in a statement. “It will succeed by building strong public and private pathways between educational and job training agencies so more students receive a high-quality education that leads to long-term educational and career success.”Yet, the Promise Zone designation was not without its controversies. In 2014, other districts of metro Los Angeles were selected to receive federal assistance during the program’s first round of designations. The neighborhoods of Pico Union, Westlake, Koreatown, Hollywood and East Hollywood saw federal grants and support directed to their community, much to the chagrin of citizens and politicians in other impoverished districts. Developments in the initial Los Angeles Promise Zone included a local STEM high school increasing its students’ college acceptance rate to UCLA and the growth of the area’s scientific and technical industries to attract high-wage job opportunities.The South Central community only won Promise Zone status after years of unsuccessful attempts, and on June 6 it was selected as one of the final nine Promise Zones, alongside cities such as Atlanta, San Diego and Nashville. Los Angeles is the only area in the program to have two zones within its city limits. Two Native-American territories were also selected for the program: the Spokane Tribe of Indians and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. Councilman Curren D. Price Jr., representative of the Ninth Council District where SLATE-Z’s is primarily located, spoke on the struggle to gain eligibility for the program and to direct national attention to the impoverished neighborhoods of South Central.“This is a defining moment for South Los Angeles,” Price said. “Now, we have another tool to rewrite the South L.A. story and create the future we want for our children. The kind where one’s ZIP code or skin color does not determine the benefits or burden we bear.”Key support for the measure came from L.A. Trade Technical College President Larry Frank, who pioneered the SLATE-Z coalition to fight poverty in the area and organized multiple reapplications for Promise Zone recognition for the area. USC was also a key partner in pushing for the designation. Associate Senior Vice President of Civic Engagement and Economic Development Craig Keys spoke on the improvements to SLATE-Z neighborhoods and how they may promote change to the USC ecosystem.“The Promise Zone designation is important because it positions us to leverage new development in the area to foster local job creation and business expansion,” Keys said in a statement. “We hope the designation will help secure new and additional funding for job training, job placement and small business expansion services.  For example, our MBDA business assistance program is now better situated to extend its services through additional federal funding sources.”last_img read more

Comms pro Annika Billberg joins RakeTech corporate advisory

first_img Genesis to appeal UKGC’s ‘disproportionate suspension’ July 23, 2020 Share Ray Wilson, AMLGS: Industry deserves praise for its reaction to a new normal July 23, 2020 Share StumbleUpon Related Articles TVBET passes GLI test for five live games in Malta and Italy August 25, 2020 Industry affiliate marketing network RakeTech has confirmed the appointment of Annika Billberg as a new member of its Board of Directors.Advising RakeTech’s corporate strategy, Billberg is a seasoned leadership executive in media, communications and commercial development.Billberg currently serves as Chief Brand & Communications Officer for Stockholm-listed financial services and credit management firm Intrum SA.Christian Lundberg, Raketech Chairman, commented on the appointment of Billberg as a corporate advisor: “Over the last year, Raketech has undergone a substantial transformation journey, both in terms of staff and its way of working. We have doubled the number of employees to more than 100 people, acquired several leading assets, and rolled out a new operational model based on three clear growth pillars. To have the right expertise on the board is vital for our continued development, and both the board and management team welcome Annika to the company.”RakeTech moves to strengthen its corporate advisory, has undertaken a series of acquisitions in 2017 and 2018. Furthermore, the company details that corporate guidance is further needed as the betting industry’s places a higher emphasis on responsibility for all stakeholders.Annika Billberg commented on joining RakeTech governance: “Raketech is an exciting company with lots of opportunities ahead. I look forward to supporting the management team in the continued journey, with more acquisitions as well as new products and markets on the agenda. The company has also made solid progress in looking over its activities within sustainability and responsibility, where there is good potential to take the lead and push the entire industry in the right direction.” Submitlast_img read more

Lodsys targets Angry Birds maker Rovio for infringing inapp purchase pa

first_imgLodsys is earning quite a reputation for patent trolling, and they don’t seem to show any signs of letting up. Now the company has sued Rovio for violating its patents by giving users the ability to make in-app purchases of new levels while playing Angry Birds.Lodsys’ “scatter-shot lawsuit” approach to enforcing its patents has been a point of contention for mobile app developers, smartphone OS companies like Apple and Google, and Lodsys’ legal teams for months now. Lodsys started by sending shadowy cease-and-desist orders requesting money and royalties from indie app developers for iOS and Android, but then backed off when Apple and Google stood up for their devs.Since then, Lodsys has sought to reinterpret their patent to include not just in-app purchases, but links inside of mobile apps to buy additional content from the same developer. Lodsys says purchasing or linking to purchasable material inside a mobile application is their technology and they should be paid if anyone uses it.This has been Lodsys’ approach to all of its lawsuits thus far, bullying developers into either paying them royalties or facing a drawn out legal battle to defend themselves. Rovio is just their latest target, and one of the most highly notable and visible.The problem with Lodsys’ lawsuit this time is that Rovio isn’t an American company. Rovio is based in Finland, and EU trademark and patent law says that patented technologies must have some physical or tangible effect to be patentable, which is much more stringent than American “ideas can be patents” approach to tradmarks and rights-holding. Lodsys will likely attempt to locate the case in the US, but Rovio would have every right to request it be relocated.Since Rovio is so large, it’s likely they’ll fight Lodsys in court. However, money and royalties may not be Lodsys’ true intentions. A number of EU developers have already complained about Lodsys’ patent trolling, and say they’re hesitant about releasing their games and apps in the US market because of the state of the patent system and worries Lodsys will sue them. It’s just as possible that Lodsys is less interested in money as they are in sabotaging the mobile application market instead.Read more a Mashablelast_img read more