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A Primer on Opportunity Zones

Tax incentives have been a hot topic in the news lately – from providing breaks to some of the wealthiest businesses, to the tax exemption homeowners get for owning their home. Businesses and residents both with low-income and immense wealth take advantage of these federal and local benefits, meaning they affect multiple levels of our … Continued


Financing Dreams: The Story of Tacos Árabes de Puebla

Last week, we celebrated an important milestone for one of our micro-loan clients: the grand opening of Los Originales Tacos Árabes de Puebla’s new food truck. The event was a remarkable ceremony that honored culture, family, entrepreneurship, and of course food. We met Merced and Alfredo Villegas, the owners and operators of  Tacos Árabes in … Continued


Finding our strengths: How we approach hiring at LURN

LURN is hiring and the process of interviewing and vetting candidates has made me reflect on what it takes to build a strong team. We are committed to building a team that not only works well together but is effective in carrying out our mission. Although this isn’t the first time we’ve hired, the process … Continued


The Government Shutdown: More than a Headline

The team and I were talking about the government shutdown and how anxious we are about the state of affairs in our country. We started talking about the different programs we have and how they might be affected so I thought we could look into it a little further. Thinking about the Semi’a Fund, COMPRA … Continued


Recipe for Food Justice: A Recap of the Food Equity Panel at Upswell 2018

There is beauty in Los Angeles’ far-reaching geography: it is composed of many small pockets of towns and communities that sometimes define themselves through food. As a city of immigrants, food is often a means of keeping traditions alive, maintaining an identity to call their own, and bringing people together. In Los Angeles, these elements … Continued


Yes on 10: A Costa-Hawkins Repeal is One Critical Piece of the Puzzle

Pretty much everyone in California – and across the country – knows that we are is in the midst of a housing crisis. Part of the solution is more units being built. But it’s especially important for development to be done at an affordable price for all parties so that the state doesn’t continue to … Continued


Building and Financing Community Resilience: the Social, the Technical, and the Terrifying

Did you know that 40% of Los Angeles is asphalt? Or that 50% of households in LA County don’t have access to an air conditioner? Jonathan Parfrey, the Executive Director of Climate Resolve, shared those statistics with us at an event on Building Resilience to Climate Change, held by Enterprise Community Partners and the Federal … Continued


Reinvesting in Small Businesses: How the CRA Affects Small Business Lending

A couple weeks ago, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency released an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) requesting comments on how to update the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977 (that was later updated in 1995). These typically come out when the government is preparing to update the Federal Regulations and there … Continued


Property Ownership: A Boyle Heights Case Study

  If you are familiar with our organization, you know that we care tremendously about a wide range of economic issues that disproportionately impact low-income communities of color, and that these issues directly shape and influence the projects and programs we develop. You may not, however, know that we also commit time and energy into … Continued


Thoughts from a Grant Writer: On the Illusion of Scarcity in the U.S.

Photo Credit: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters Working and volunteering in the nonprofit sector for over eight years, there’s one thing that I know to be true for most small to midsize nonprofit organizations: we are always operating from a place of scarcity. Never knowing when we’ll get that next general operating grant, or when/if that dependable sponsorship … Continued