Impact Investment & Tech: Catalysts LA Needs

World War Two sparked an economic boom the likes Los Angeles had never seen. The city became a center of manufacturing, housing many industries from aerospace to automobiles.  This allowed for recently emigrated African-Americans as well as Latinos and Asian-Americans to enjoy new-found economic prosperity. While such era barriers as restrictive covenants and police brutality remained, the new-found economic prosperity inspired a sense of hope in under-served communities.

Unfortunately, this would be short lived as de-industrialization in the 1970s in conjunction with an increasingly unfriendly business environment created disastrous results for these ascendant communities. Currently, unemployment is an astonishing 11.6 percent and even worse in the city’s more under-served areas. Los Angeles is the most socioeconomically divided city in the country. The jobs that remain are often inconveniently located, low wage, and insecure. Los Angeles deserves better.

The communities in the South and East sides of LA, and the East Valley have shown the capacity to boom when the proper investment is provided. Los Angeles needs a mayor who not only recognizes this, but has the expertise and feels the urgency to make it happen. In the upcoming Los Angeles mayoral election, you have the opportunity to choose that mayor, and his name is Emanuel Pleitez.

One of the most promising industries to fuel this kind of boom is technology. Talks of a rising “Silicon Beach” have inspired the same kind of hope that the tire and airplane factories once did. Los Angeles has the assets to foster growth in this industry. Academic powerhouses like USC, CalTech, and UCLA can be feeders into tech companies. The entertainment industry can provide a cross-disciplinary and uniquely Angeleno twist to “Silicon Beach”. The creativity and innovation of Angelenos provide fuel and the final piece in this puzzle.

While hubs are developing along the Expo line and on the West Side, barriers remain to reaping the full benefits of a rising technology industry. The restrictive covenants are gone, but Los Angeles schools continue to severely under-serve our youth, as evidenced by a higher drop-out rate than graduation rate from LAUSD high schools. Our business environment remains troublesome with arbitrary taxes and poor infrastructure.

In Emanuel Pleitez, we get a mayor who will eliminate the barriers to Silicon Beach and strategically leverage our assets. Emanuel will balance the city’s budget by addressing our unfunded liabilities, freeing up resources to bring our education, public safety, and infrastructure into the 21st century. Traditional education will be supplemented with skill building in data, technology. Critical thinking and educational opportunities will be provided beyond the final school bell, for all ages. This will give Angelenos from all walks of life the skills necessary to qualify for  good jobs in the technology industry.

In terms of leveraging our assets, Emanuel plans to invest over a billion dollars in designated economic development zones over the next ten years. These areas include South LA, the Eastside, Pico-Union, Westlake, and the East Valley– areas that for too long have been undervalued and overlooked by our city’s political establishment. Entrepreneurship hubs will be created across the city, one for each council district. This will provide the support, consultation, resources, and the “meeting of the minds” necessary for start-ups to be successful.

Lastly, Pleitez will improve Los Angeles’ business environment, getting rid of arbitrary taxes and simplifying regulation to decrease bureaucratic red tape that discourages both start-up investors and small business creators. This will help create an easier platform from which to lobby for investment into our city and for technology companies to come to LA and take advantage of the many resources we have to offer.

The potential of a new tech boom brings jobs, more responsive and efficient services, and new hope for the city, especially in its under-served areas. Imagine the next Google setting up shop in Boyle Heights, Crenshaw, or Pacoima? The tire factories may not be coming back but Silicon Beach as a driver of prosperity does not have to remain a pipe dream. All it needs to become a reality is the right catalyst, and that catalyst is Emanuel Pleitez for Los Angeles Mayor.

Read more about Emanuel Alberto Pleitez’ policy plans for technology and the economy at, and

Blog written by Luis Garcia, Fellow and Field Organizer for the Emanuel Pleitez for Los Angeles Mayor 2013 campaign.

Emanuel Alberto Pleitez is a progressive Los Angeles native, he’s committed to uniting, serving, and inspiring his community. Son of Mexican and Salvadoran immigrants, and experienced in the private and public sector, he hopes to re-energize Los Angeles with a grassroots campaign the likes of which the city has never seen before.

Paid for by Emanuel Pleitez for Los Angeles Mayor 2013, 1972 E Cesar E Chavez Ave., Los Angeles CA 90033. Additional information is available at

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