Our Mission

Our mission is to bring people together to build strong, local economies that uplift low-income urban communities through advocacy and transformative economic development initiatives.

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Our History

Inclusive Action for the City (formerly known as Leadership for Urban Renewal Network - LURN) was founded in 2008 as a laboratory for innovative community development initiatives.

The organization’s founders, a multi-disciplinary group of young professionals, wanted to inject creativity, innovation, and boldness into the mainstream efforts to alleviate poverty and improve the quality of life of residents in low-income neighborhoods; efforts that have historically been undertaken without a sense of urgency. What’s more, traditional large-scale initiatives to catalyze “urban renewal” in Black and Brown communities were tainted with racism. The founders of our organization wanted to “reclaim” these initiatives and center them on equity and the experiences of marginalized communities.

In this way, Inclusive Action for the City was founded to prototype new ways to address income inequality, invest in the built environment, and improve the quality of life of residents. The organization’s work is based on the belief that equitable community development must begin by engaging the true experts of the city - the residents who have lived there for many years.

In the early years, this “laboratory for the city” was volunteer driven. The founding board members convened its network through thematic meetings and social gatherings that highlighted important issues in the city like affordable housing and small business development. The founders also partnered with local universities to study issues that were impacting low-income neighborhoods like the criminalization of street vendors.

In 2013, the organization hired its first full-time staff member and has since then continued its work to redefine community development. Inclusive Action does this with research-centered advocacy that seeks to change the systems that have created such disparities in our cities, and pairing this advocacy with transformative economic development initiatives that seek to build community wealth. Inclusive Action recognizes that passing policy isn’t enough, we must also work urgently to get capital into the hands of micro-entrepreneurs and families. The organization should not just be a “think tank” it should also be a “do tank.”

Inclusive Action has become a leader in the citywide campaign to create a permit system for street vendors; hosted over 7,000 Angelenos in topical events; developed a purchasing cooperative to bring healthy produce to small markets located in "food desert" communities; launched micro-finance programs to support small businesses in low-income neighborhoods with capital and coaching; and advised major cities and organizations on how to engage communities effectively.