CCA's Draft Vision and Advocacy Priorities

CCA is moving into the future with a commitment not only to lead, but to also serve as a convener and collaborator with business, government, elected leaders, residents, educational institutions, nonprofits and other organizations and individuals to advance policies and initiatives that enhance Downtown's vibrancy and increase investment in the region. CCA is dedicated to building on DTLA's successes and expanding its role as the region's leader on city centers.

This draft document is intended to serve as the framework to guide CCA's advocacy priorities and to set priorities for its resource allocations. The framework will also help CCA set the policy agendas for its standing committees so that the organization can grow its role as the leading advocate and coalition-builder on the issues that matter most to DTLA and the region.

CCA seeks input from its members regarding this framework. Once the priorities are finalized through this process, each advocacy priority will be further refined by developing an implementation strategy and communications plan.

CCA's Draft Mission Statement

CCA's mission statement has not been updated for several years and, with new leadership at CCA, there is an opportunity to revise our mission statement to better reflect our goals. The draft statement for consideration:

The Central City Association advances policies and initiatives that enhance Downtown's vibrancy and increase investment in the region.

CCA's Draft Advocacy Priorities

Objective I: Plan for DTLA's Future

CCA will lead all efforts to plan for DTLA’s future. Our city center is the place where people converge, discussideas, and discover new connections. Downtown is the region’s center for growth, and we must embrace therole that development plays in animating the social fabric of Downtown and, by extension, the City of LA.

DTLA 2040, which is the merging and update of the Central City North and Central City Community Plans, is an excellent opportunity for CCA to play a leading role in shaping Downtown’s growth. Our goal is to drive the conversation surrounding this effort.

We will also be highly engaged in the update of the Downtown Design Guidelines to promote high-quality development. We recognize the need to reach out to Downtown residents about the benefits of long-range planning and the impacts of new development. We are committed to engaging residents in this process. 

CCA will utilize our Housing, Land Use and Development Committee and DTLA 2030 Committee to plan for Downtown’s future.

Objective II: Support Thriving Businesses and Institutions

Downtown is the region’s center for growth, and CCA is dedicated to creating an environment where businesses and institutions can thrive. We will advocate for policies that support investment and facilitate introductions to create strategic partnerships to encourage more investment.  

DTLA will continue to be a regional employment center, and these jobs must pay good wages and employ a broad spectrum of workers, ranging from highly educated individuals to those with a high school diploma. CCA strongly believes the creative industries offer these opportunities. CCA will be committed to cultivating the creative industries in DTLA through targeted marketing and programming. 

In addition, Downtown’s vibrancy is supported by its unique commercial districts like the Jewelry, Fashion, Flower and Produce Districts. These were the first significant job creators, and CCA will promote them as well. As DTLA evolves, CCA will ensure these dynamic districts thrive by attracting new industries and by enhancing the sustainability of these districts by focusing on zoning, construction, parks, streets, mass transit, bikeways and other factors of the built environment that have an impact on these districts and their industries.

Tourism is essential to DTLA’s future, and CCA will continue to grow that sector of Downtown’s and the region’s economy by leading policy initiatives that support tourism, including encouraging the development of new hotels and an improved convention center. 

CCA will engage our DTLA 2030 Committee and convene regular meetings with the nine downtown Business Improvement Districts to implement all of these initiatives.  

Objective III: Enhance DTLA's Quality of Life

We support a Downtown that is welcoming to families as well as singles and retirees, to existing businesses and industries as well as new ones, and to pedestrians and transit users. To attract and retain a wide range of residents and create a world-class Downtown, CCA will advocate for increased school options, greater access to green space, and more innovative public art. CCA will seek changes in suburban regulations that limit new schools in Downtown. CCA will also promote public art and green space by partnering with the development community to ensure impact fees are effectively utilized.

CCA recognizes that access to transit is an important asset for Downtown, and we will work to enhance the connections between and among Downtown neighborhoods by seeking improvements in pedestrian and transit connectivity. 

Walkability, access to culture and entertainment are key factors when deciding where to live. Growth industries, like new media, will locate in areas where their employees want to live.  Downtown has the potential to be the hub for this kind of activity, especially with the many strong institutions already in DTLA, including: SCI-ARC, FIDM, USC, UCLA, LA Trade Tech and Loyola Law School. CCA will build on these strengths through marketing and programming. It also will become the go-to source for information regarding DTLA. 

CCA will implement these strategies through our Transportation, Infrastructure and Environment Committee and our DTLA 2030 Committee. 

Objective IV: Make Downtown the Place for New Housing

Los Angeles has a severe shortage of housing, and Downtown is no different. It has approximately 500,000 Downtown workers and is home to only 65,000 residents. Clearly, Downtown needs more housing. 

Because Downtown has a strong network of transit options that support high-density housing, it is the place that can meaningfully address LA’s housing crisis. CCA will continue to support broad-based policies that encourage the production of new housing and will leverage the DTLA 2040 effort and other policy initiatives to make Downtown the place for housing. 

CCA will engage our Housing, Land Use and Development Committee to advance policies and initiatives that encourage housing production. 

Objective V: Advance Comprehensive Solutions to Homelessness

For many years, DTLA has been home to Skid Row, which is one of the largest concentrations of homeless people in the nation. Skid Row shows us first-hand that homelessness is a complex issue that requires a multi-faceted approach. 

CCA will continue to advocate for proven solutions, such as permanent supportive housing and specialized outreach. CCA also will continue to support bridge housing, increased mental health and addiction services and jail-in-reach services.  Jail-in-reach services are intended to help individuals find a home prior to being released from incarceration. This is especially important in Downtown, as the Men’s Central Jail and Twin Towers are located in our city center. It is also important to end the well-established cycle of jail and homelessness. In addition, CCA will expand its advocacy for housing and services to be provided throughout Los Angeles, creating diverse mixed-income communities that will be healthier communities.

CCA already has been a leading voice for Measure HHH, which voters approved to in November to dedicate $100 million over the next ten years to develop permanent supportive housing, and for Measure H. Voters approved Measure H in March to generate about $355 million annually for ten years to support homeless services. We will continue to be a leading voice in seeking the implementation of these measures and advancing other strategies at our Homelessness Policy Committee. 

NEXT STEPS

CCA requests input from our members about our Draft Vision and Advocacy Priorities. Please send your remarks and your interest in joining a working group to craft the associated implementation plans to Vice President of Public Policy, Marie Rumsey, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by May 4, 2017.

For a downloadable PDF of this document, click here.