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Doug Smith

2013, Equal Justice Works Fellowships, Doug Smith

Doug Smith

Name of Host Organization: Public Counsel Law Center
City, State: Los Angeles, California
Issue area: Community Economic Development/Microfinance and Related Transactional Legal Projects
Sponsors: The Ottinger Family Foundation

The Project

Doug is equipping community-based organizations and low-income entrepreneurs with legal tools and strategies to capitalize on planned transit investment in order to enhance economic opportunities in Los Angeles’ low-income communities.

The Inspiration

Need Addressed By Project
An unprecedented expansion of the regional transportation system is fundamentally changing the urban landscape of Los Angeles. As planning and investment in new transit-oriented development intensifies, the impacts are being felt most acutely in the low-income neighborhoods that surround many of the city’s current and future transit corridors. This new investment could create opportunities for economic mobility in neighborhoods facing high levels of poverty and unemployment. But without meaningful input and participation, irreversible community destabilization and displacement could result instead. This project provides legal advocacy and policy support to community groups and low-income entrepreneurs working to create a sustainable framework for inclusive economic growth.