The SIPA Capstone team worked with the Los Angeles Mayor’s Operations Innovation Team (the O-Team) to promote a strategic vision for coordinating citywide economic development. The economic development sector in the City of Los Angeles (LA) is extremely fragmented with functions and processes divided across various City, County, and State government agencies. The team were asked to design a strategy to improve the coordination of economic development across LA, enabling the City to leverage its real estate assets and financial tools to promote job creation, physical development, and industry growth to benefit all citizens of LA.

After meeting with stakeholders and experts to gain an understanding of the history and current state of economic development in LA, the Capstone team proposed a framework for a nonprofit economic development corporation that is both practical and politically palatable to serve LA, its residents, and businesses.

One of the team’s suggestions included expanding the Los Angeles Development Fund (LADF), a nonprofit organization responsible for LA’s New Market Tax Credits program, to coordinate citywide economic development. Expanding and enhancing its responsibilities will include strategic planning, a business portal, transactional services, and a supportive third-party relations arm that would enable LA to better synthesize citywide economic development. Furthermore, the team suggested a revamped governance structure and internal financing model to bolster LADF’s role within the City. Lastly, the team provided a scalable and flexible framework that best capitalizes on LA’s economic resources to serve its constituents.