Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Wednesday announced an initiative being launched by the nonprofit Accelerator for America to help cities attract Opportunity Zone investments.

The 2017 federal tax bill created Opportunity Zone incentives to direct investments to underserved communities, and the nonprofit, of which Garcetti is the advisory council chair, is making its team of experts available to local communities to aid in securing Opportunity Zone grants.

Garcetti said local governments were left to their own devices to take advantage of the incentives, and they often do not have the necessary expertise or resources.

“To say the least, the private sector is very good at exploiting new tax incentives. We’re giving local communities the same ability, with the payoff coming in the form of jobs and investments that improve our most underserved neighborhoods,” Garcetti said. “I want to thank the Sean Parker Foundation for its generous support. It’s a truly smart investment that will pay dividends for hard-working Americans coast-to-coast.”

The Accelerator in September also announced the California Opportunity Zone Partnership, which aims help three small- to medium-sized communities compete for Opportunity Zone investments and then apply lessons learned to help shape state policy and help other communities.

The Opportunity Zone initiative was launched at the quarterly meeting of the Accelerator for America, which was held in Philadelphia Tuesday and Wednesday.

“The Accelerator’s mission is to replicate initiatives community-by-community to create improvements in people’s lives at scale,” said Accelerator CEO Rick Jacobs. “The potential for underserved communities is $100 billion, so we felt it was essential to step in and make sure local governments can access these investments. It’s remarkable how much this organization has accomplished in just one year. It’s a real contrast to the gridlock in Washington.”

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