An investment of about $6 billion and the creation of 75,000 to 94,000 jobs are needed to revitalize the economy of Los Angeles' neglected areas, a management consultant for Rebuild L.A. told the organization's board of directors at its first meeting Tuesday.
The estimates by Robert D. Taylor of McKinsey & Co. presented a challenge even larger than Rebuild L.A. co-chairman Peter V. Ueberroth has described in interviews. Earlier this month, Uebberoth said 57,000 jobs must be created in poor neighborhoods in the wake of the riots.
Taylor emphasized that his figures were tentative and might be revised in coming months. However, he said that if the objectives were achieved, there would be a multiplying effect that would generate thousands of more jobs. He said more than 25% of the county's population--2.5 million people--live in "neglected areas."
Taylor's call for massive job creation in the inner city comes as Los Angeles County's economy is hemorrhaging from the loss of 208,000 jobs in 1991 alone and the state as a whole is mired in the deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression.
Nonetheless, Taylor said that the goals are achievable over the next five years.
"It is not overwhelming," he said. As to the $6 billion investment, he said: "This is about leadership choices. California's share of the savings and loan bailout already is $11 billion."
McKinsey has been commissioned by Rebuild L.A. to study the Los Angeles economy with the goal of developing strategies for the organization.
Taylor made the longest presentation at the board meeting, after Ueberroth, Mayor Tom Bradley and Gov. Pete Wilson made welcoming remarks to the 67-member panel which convened at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. As yet, said Taylor, who also is a member of the Rebuild L.A. board, there is no fully developed plan for meeting those objectives.
The meeting was held just hours after Ueberroth, made 18 more appointments to the urban revitalization group's massive board.
In another significant development, Ueberroth told the board that he had named two men to join him as co-chairs: Bernard Kinsey, the black executive who is Rebuild L.A.'s chief operating officer, and Barry Sanders, a white partner in Latham & Watkins, one of the city's most politically influential law firms.
Sanders has longstanding ties to Ueberroth. He served as a lawyer for the Los Angeles Olympics Organizing Committee, which Ueberroth headed. And he was executive director of the Council on California Competitiveness, the Ueberroth-chaired council that issued a stinging report on the state's economy last April.
On Tuesday, Sanders said he thought it was critical for the council's recommendations on workers compensation reform and regulatory streamlining to be achieved if a climate was to be fostered that would facilitate Rebuild L.A.'s work.
Ueberroth told board members that the chairman's job was truly daunting, adding that he still may name two more co-chairs. Last month, he said at a press conference that he was considering naming several minority group members to such posts.
Ueberroth said that "a lot of what we've done in the first 12 weeks is damage control." He said there had been numerous successes in convincing companies not to leave Los Angeles and persuading various organizations not to cancel conventions, but he did not provide specifics.
Although Ueberroth has said that the board primarily will play an advisory role, the competition to land spots on the panel has been intense. Hundreds of persons have been recommended and Ueberroth has been under pressure to appoint people aligned with rival political figures in the city.
The new board members named Tuesday include C. Michael Armstrong, Hughes Aircraft chief executive officer; Jane Small, president of the Los Angeles County Commission on Disabilities; Helen Bernstein, president of the United Teachers of Los Angeles; Monterey Park City Councilwoman Judy Chu; Yang Il Kim, national president of the Korean American Grocers Assn., whose market in the Pico-La Brea area was destroyed during the rioting, and Bea Stotzer, a Department of Water and Power employee who was among a group of feminists who criticized Ueberroth earlier this month for not including more women in the rebuilding process.
The new directors also include two former pro football players: Cleveland Browns running back Jim Brown, who runs an anti-gang program in Los Angeles, and Los Angeles Rams kicker Danny Villanueva, who is now a successful entrepreneur and was boxing commissioner for the 1984 Olympics.
Since Ueberroth announced the first two sets of board members in June, his critics have complained that he left labor unrepresented and named to the panel too few women and minorities, particularly Latinos.
Jane Pisano, dean of of the School of Public Administration at USC, said Tuesday's appointments appeared to be directed at those concerns.