Monday, March 31, 2008

GRD Policy Suggestion....

Grassroots “Opportunity Zones” for Economic Revitalization

Why not revitalize the HUD’s Renewal community program by providing block grants and technical assistance directly to Community Development Corporations (CDCs) for commercial activities and job-training programs? Such a policy will strengthen your grassroots political efforts by bring more financial services to the communities in-need. It will not only create a market-place effort for American communities to compete for federal financing (requiring private sector support for legitimacy and efficiency) but it will also provide direct technical assistance to strengthen the at-risk economy. Currently HUD’s Renewal community program is seeking congressional commitment for the third round of support. The CDBG, hosted separately, needs further revitalization for assisting American cities where the highest percentage of our poor resides. Your campaign could assist to strengthen America’s most prevailing community based programs CDC’s to perform better—by engaging citizens, assisting the poor and promoting economic development through urban revitalization. By transferring this public program to direct beneficiaries, instead of the government bureaucracies, this policy could make CDCs already successful role in development even stronger.

The ultimate result would be like a low-income housing tax credit but for commercial activity and job-training programs to speed-up local economies. Grassroots “Opportunity Zones” for Economic Revitalization is a similar policy I am working to execute in Latin America, the area of my expertise.

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