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Revitalizing America’s Cities

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THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release January 28, 2000



PRESIDENT CLINTON AND VICE PRESIDENT GORE:
Revitalizing America's Cities

BRINGING PRIVATE ENTERPRISE AND CAPITOL TO DISTRESSED AREAS:
Encouraging Investment in Underserved Communities With the New Markets Initiative: President Clinton's New Markets Initiative is helping to bring economic development and renewal to communities that have not benefited from the soaring economy by prompting approximately $15 billion in new investment in urban and rural areas. President Clinton won funding in FY00 for America's Private Investment Companies and the New Markets Venture Capitol Program, two key elements of the Initiative.

Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. The President proposed and signed the CDFI Fund, which is helping to create a network of com-munity development financial institutions in distressed areas across the United States through grants, loans, and equity investments. The CDFI Fundís activities leverage private sector investments from banks, foundations, and other funding sources. The Fund has made more than $190 million in awards to community development institutions and financial institutions. This investment is expected in the next two to three years to leverage three to four times the amount of the investments in total capital raised for CDFIís.

135 Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities. The Clinton-Gore Administration has designated 135 urban and rural Empowerment Zones (EZs) and Enterprise Communities (ECs) across the country. Communities were chosen on the basis of their strategic revitalization plans, and receive special incentives and resources to help carry out their plans. The EZ/EC initiative has already leveraged over $10 billion in additional public and private sector investment in community revitalization efforts.

The Economic Development Initiative and Section 108 Loan Guarantee. EDI grants are used to infuse capital into community development projects, enhancing the debt financing provided by the Section 108 loan guarantee program. Together, the programs support critical economic development in distressed communities. Estimated jobs supported by EDI and the Section 108 loan guarantee have grown by 300,000 from 1994 to 1998. During this time period EDI and the Section 108 loan guarantee program have funded $3.5 billion for more than 650 separate project commitments.

EXPANDING ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY:
Creating New Tools to Help Families Move from Welfare to Work. Since enactment of the 1996 welfare reform law, millions of families have moved from welfare to work. With the Presidentís leadership, the 1997 Balanced Budget Act included $3 billion to move long-term welfare recipients and low-income non-custodial fathers into jobs. The Presidentís Access to Jobs initiative helps communities design innovative transportation solutions, such as van services, to help former welfare recipients and other low-income workers get to work. President Clinton succeeded in securing 110,000 new housing vouchers to help welfare recipients and hard-pressed working families move closer to job opportunities. And the Welfare-to-Work Tax Credit provides tax incentives to encourage businesses to hire long-term welfare recipients.

Community Development Block Grant Expansion. President Clinton's FY 2000 budget included an expansion of CDBG. The final budget increases funding for CDBG from $4.750 billion in FY 1999 to $4.775 billion in FY 2000, a $25 million expansion this year.

MAKING OUR COMMUNITIES SAFER:
Lowest Crime Rate in 25 Years. Under the Clinton-Gore Administration, America has experienced the longest continuous drop in the crime rate on record. Violent crime rate fell 7 percent in 1998 and 27 percent since 1993. The murder rate is down more than 25 percent since 1993, its lowest point since 1967. Juvenile violent crime arrests dropped 8 percent in 1998. And the overall crime rate is the lowest in 25 years.

Putting 100,000 More Police on the Streets. In 1999, ahead of schedule and under budget, the Clinton-Gore Administration met its commitment to fund an additional 100,000 police officers for our communities. As a part of the COPS Program, the President announced new grants to increase community policing in high-crime and underserved neighborhoods. To help keep crime at record lows, the President won funding in the FY 2000 budget for the first installment toward his goal to hire up to 50,000 more officers by 2005.

Giving Police the Tools They Need to Fight Crime. President Clinton won $230 million in FY00 to provide law enforcement with the latest crime-fighting and crime-solving technology. This funding will help make crime mapping technology -- which enables police agencies to track crime hot spots and target their resources to where they are most needed -- more widely available, to improve compatibility among law enforcement communications systems, and aid development and expansion of innovative tools to help law enforcement fight crime.

More than 470,000 Felons, Fugitives and Domestic Abusers Denied Guns. Since the President signed the Brady Bill into law, more than 470,000 felons, fugitives and domestic abusers have been prevented from purchasing guns through Brady background checks.

Keeping Assault Weapons Off of the Streets and Decreasing Gun Crime. The historic 1994 Crime Bill banned 19 of the deadliest assault weapons and their copies, keeping assault weapons off our streets. The homicide rate dropped 7 percent in 1998 Ė almost entirely due to a decrease in homicides committed with guns. Since 1993, there has been a more than 35 percent drop in gun-related crime and a 57 percent decrease in juvenile gun homicide offenders.

INVESTING IN EDUCATION:
Providing Early Education to Nearly 900,000 Children with Head Start. The President and Vice President have expanded Head Start funding by 90 percent since 1993. Head Start will reach approximately 880,000 low-income children in FY 2000 and, with the Presidentís proposed increase for the program, will be on the way to reaching the Presidentís goal of serving 1 million children and their families by the year 2002. The Administration also created Early Head Start, bringing Head Startís successful comprehensive services to families with children ages zero to three, and set high quality standards for both programs.

Turning Around Failing Schools. 11 million low-income students now benefit from higher expectations and a challenging curriculum geared to higher standards. The FY00 budget provides a $134 million accountability fund to help turn around the worst performing schools and hold them accountable for results.

Expanding Choice in Public Schools. President Clinton and Vice President Gore have supported the growth of public charter schools, which have increased from one in the nation in 1993 to more than 1,200 in 1998. With at least 1,700 charter schools expected to operate this year, the nation is more than halfway to the Presidentís goal of establishing 3,000 quality charter schools by 2002.

IMPROVING THE ENVIRONMENT:
Accelerating Toxic Cleanups and Brownfields Redevelopment. Cleaned up over 500 Superfund sites -- nearly three times as many in six years as the previous administrations did in twelve -- with clean up of more than 90 percent of all sites either completed or in progress. Leveraged nearly $1 billion in private sector investment for brownfields redevelopment.

Clearing the Air of Unhealthy Pollution. The Clinton-Gore Administration adopted the toughest standards ever on soot and smog, and has proposed significant reductions in tailpipe emissions from cars, light trucks and SUVs. Since 1993, the number of Americans living in communities that meet federal air quality standards has grown by 43 million.

Keeping Our Drinking Water Safe. The President proposed and signed legislation to strengthen the Safe Drinking Water Act to ensure that families have healthy, clean tap water. The Clinton-Gore Administration required Americaís 55,000 water utilities to provide regular reports to customers on drinking water quality. 91 percent of Americaís tap water from community drinking water systems meets all federal standards.


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