What's Behind the Haynes Foundation's Big Grant to An Urban Policy Wonk

As we mentioned in our post "Three Things SoCal Nonprofits Should Know About the Haynes Foundation," most of the Haynes Foundation’s grants go toward research. And the most recent Haynes grantmaking headline is no exception to the rule.

The John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation recently awarded a $203,488 grant to fuel Dr. Christopher Weare’s research at the University of Southern California. Weare is a serious urban policy wonk, and the project Hayne is funding looks at how well data is being used to drive management reforms in the City of Los Angeles. This, of course, fits right in with Haynes’ grantmaking priorities. But given that most Haynes grants fall in the $12,000 to $20,000 range, the grant to Weare is big news (at least in certain circles).

This award is part of Haynes’ 2014 Major Research Grant Awards, within the Local Government program area. These types of grants are restricted to the greater Los Angeles area for research on major economic, social, and political problems in the city. The Haynes board gravitates toward programs that aim to influence policy, have publication potential, and can be easily implemented in the community. Considering that lots of Los Angeles funders don’t hand out any research grants at all, Haynes should be on the radars of every urban scholar and policy wonk focused on LA. 

Almost as much as it favors research, Haynes loves to see programs that deepen the public understanding of the history of Los Angeles. Major Research Grants in particular give priority to research projects that concern the history of Southern California.

Dr. Christopher Weare’s expertise lies in public policy, civil engagement, and municipal governance. He’s the deputy director of the Civic Engagement Initiative and Research Associate Professor within the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. He’s also a principal investigator with the Neighborhood Participation Project and co-leads the Neighborhood Council Evaluation Project, which provides long-term evaluation of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council system.

Weare is one of Los Angeles’ leading researchers in reforming Los Angeles city government. In 2007, he and his colleagues co-authored an Urban Policy Brief titled “Toward Community Engagement in City Governance: Evaluating Neighborhood Council Reform in Los Angeles.” He co-authored a list of other publications like “Neighborhood Governance Reform and Networks of Community Power in Los Angeles” and “Implementing Electronic Notification in Los Angeles: Citizen Participation Politics by Other Means.” And with a little help from Haynes, it’s likely that Weare will be adding another publication to that list soon.

To learn more about Haynes’ research funding programs, take a look at the foundation’s How to Apply page.