Supervisor Ridley-Thomas Leads Pastors on Tour of South L.A.
By Sentinel News Service
Published March 12, 2009

Faith-Based Economic Development Projects

Building on his accomplishments during his first 100 days in office, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas this week lead a group of 50 Korean and African-American pastors and community leaders on a tour of South Los Angeles to showcase successful public-private partnerships launched by churches in the community.

Touting economic development as a fundamental goal for his district of 2.5 million residents, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas said local churches play a huge role in strengthening communities and improving the quality of life for residents.

In addition to providing spiritual guidance faith-based institutions provide an array of social services, including housing, emergency food, financial and transportation assistance, job referrals, and referrals to countless other services.

The three-hour tour was organized in part by the Community Redevelopment Agency of the City of Los Angeles. Among the faith-based programs and developments visited were West Angeles Church in God in Christ and its Community Development Corporation's Senior Living Apartments; First African Methodist Episcopal Churches' Renaissance Center; and the Crenshaw Christian Center Faith Dome.

Defining economic development to include the education, health, safety and prosperity of communities, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas described the tour as a much-needed introduction to successful developments and programs spearheaded by South Los Angeles churches and the tour as a bridge builder between the Korean and African American communities.

"This includes everything that will enable constituents to pursue their personal ambitions and dreams," he said. "As such, I look forward to working with community-based organizations and faith-based initiatives to further our common goals. This tour is a first step on that journey."



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