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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
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Repairs for South L.A. Sidewalks Take Step Forward

While money budgeted for sidewalk repairs goes unspent, Councilmember Bernard Parks is using discretionary funds to smooth over the problem.

Eighty-year-old Helen Young has been confined to her house, but not because of her age. A cracked sidewalk made her fearful.

"I could not go out my front door," Young told ATVN. "I couldn't walk on the sidewalk without tripping or falling."

But the city is starting to curb the problem: the sidewalk in front of her home is the first of 400 to be repaired in her district.

The city has vowed to double the funding for sidewalk repairs in next year's budget, bringing the allocated funding to $20 million, but last year's budgeted $10 million has not yet been spent. Sidewalks like Young's that are being repaired will be done by the Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative in collaboration with the office of Councilmember Bernard Parks, who is committing up to $350,000 from his discretionary fund to underwrite the construction.

While red tape has tangled the funding for sidewalk repairs, Young is glad that her sidewalk is being fixed. 

"It's my community and I want to see people be happy," Young said. "And that means a lot to me."

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