Controller Galperin Proposes New Framework to Boost Youth Development in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES — L.A. Controller Ron Galperin today released the report “Room to Grow: A Framework for Youth Development in Los Angeles,” urging the City to take concrete steps that would make L.A. a better place for young people to thrive and mature into successful adults. Accompanying the report is the first comprehensive online map charting all of the City’s youth programs. 

The City has long put a premium on developing the next generation, spending nearly $180 million to fund 160+ youth programs last year alone, but there is no master plan and no single department, office or commission in charge of youth initiatives. Twenty-six different departments run these programs separately, leaving the City’s youth strategy without a cohesive vision or common goals.

“Challenges like poverty, homelessnes, domestic violence and other social and economic concerns take a toll on too many of our youth,” said Galperin. “It is imperative that we focus the City’s resources on programs that allow young Angelenos to grow up in supportive environments surrounded by positive community influences. The best way to ensure that happens is by creating a comprehensive, data-driven approach to youth development with clear goals and a method for tracking how well existing programs are serving those who use them.”

Los Angeles formerly had a youth strategy manager and a commission to coordinate youth initiatives, both of which were cut during the Great Recession. Since then, the process has been decentralized, something the City Council recently began working to change. Galperin’s report complements those efforts and offers specific steps to ensure the City’s youth services meet the needs of people in all of L.A.’s diverse communities. 

Galperin’s report proposes this framework for youth success:

  • Designate a City department or other official body responsible for overseeing youth programs.
  • Use demographic, wellness and achievement data to identify where City youth programming is falling short.
  • Develop a master plan that establishes citywide goals.
  • Partner with outside stakeholders to get more youth involved in programs.
  • Create a reporting platform to allow policymakers and the public to track the well-being of L.A.’s youth.

“There is no better investment we can make than in the future of our children,” said Councilmember David Ryu, Chair of the Health, Education, Neighborhoods, Arts, Parks, River and Entertainment Committee. “Their future is our future, and whether its a Children’s Savings Account program or quality libraries and playgrounds, we need to be doing all we can to ensure that Los Angeles’ children grow up supported, empowered and ready to take on the world. I applaud Controller Galperin’s report focusing on youth development, as well as his commitment to lifting up young Angelenos.”

“Too often our youth do not have a seat at the table in making decisions that impact their futures. A comprehensive youth development strategy will help us evaluate current funding, and maximize and leverage our limited resources to ensure that we help the most number of kids in Los Angeles,” said Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, who authored a City Council motion to develop a Citywide Youth Development Strategy in March 2018.

City’s First Comprehensive Youth Program Map

Controller Galperin’s release includes the City’s first online map tracking the youth programs currently offered in Los Angeles. Users can search by address or click on the points to reveal information about each program, where it is located and which department oversees it. The map is part of Galperin’s ongoing efforts to use data, technology and innovation to connect the public with resources and services offered by the City. His previous maps covered resources for LGBTQ youth, tax prep, affordable housing incentives, domestic violence assistance and more.

Read the report at lacontroller.org/youthprogramsreport

View the map at lacontroller.org/youthprogramsmap

Follow him at @LAController on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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