Clinton/Gore '96 The Briefing Room
Bill Clinton & Al Gore on the Issues



Community Empowerment
We need a new partnership between Washington and the communities and the individuals of this country, and we need a way of doing business in which we try to create the conditions in which people can seize opportunities.”

—President Bill Clinton

President Clinton is working to empower our nation’s distressed urban and rural communities and create greater opportunity for all Americans.  The President is creating jobs and revitalizing neighborhoods, not with top-down, big-government solutions, but by encouraging partnerships between the government and private sector. He recognizes that the private sector is the driver of economic opportunity, creating bottom-up, community-driven solutions that bring people together.

The Clinton Administration is investing in communities by:

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Challenging communities to develop their own strategies for revitalizing their neighborhoods. By fostering the involvement of community leaders and providing tax incentives and other tools, this Administration has already designated 105 communities in 42 states for revitalization.
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Creating a network of community development banks and financial institutions in low- and moderate-income communities. The Community Development Banks and Financial Institutions Fund (CDBFI) leverages $10 of private investment for every federal dollar invested. It is also creating and expanding community development banks and financial institutions by providing matching capital and other assistance.
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Revising regulations under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) to require financial institutions to lend in their host communities. Under the CRA, banks are now judged on performance—actual lending, investments, and basic banking services. For the first time, banks will have the opportunity to receive CRA credit for loans made for redeveloping old industrial waste sites (“Brownfields”). CRA reform will unleash billions of dollars in new credit to distressed communities.
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Cleaning up old industrial-waste sites and returning them to productive use. A new $2 billion Brownfields tax incentive is expected to leverage some $10 billion in private cleanups nationwide and return to productive use as many as 30,000 properties in America’s distressed communities.
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Working to distribute millions in loans and investment for small and minority-owned businesses over the next five years. One-stop capital shops are being opened in a number of cities—all in accessible neighborhood locations. To encourage capital investment in small and minority-owned businesses, the President signed legislation to provide capital gains tax relief for investments in certain venture capital companies.
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Creating the White House Community Empowerment Board to help ensure coordination and responsiveness to communities in implementing these initiatives.


Building on Our Progress

President Clinton is giving people the tools to rebuild distressed communities and providing economic opportunity to all Americans. He is helping to create working partnerships between the private and public sectors and to ensure that working families do not have to raise their children in poverty.

President Clinton is helping people help themselves by:

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Proposing in his 1997 budget that Congress designate a second round of Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities.
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Announcing a bold commitment to accelerate Superfund toxic waste cleanup, nearly doubling the pace of cleanup so that approximately two-thirds of priority sites will be cleaned by 2000.
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Calling for measures to expand the Brownfields initiative to cleanup and redevelop approximately 5,000 contaminated and abandoned urban properties by 2000, strengthen penalties for the worst criminal polluters, expand right-to-know laws about toxics in our communities, and make our nationís drinking water safer and cleaner.
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Continuing to stimulate private-sector investment and economic opportunity in America’s urban and rural communities. The President continues to challenge Americans to develop their own plans for revitalizing their communities. The Administration will provide tax incentives and grants to those communities that develop the most innovative plans and get significant local and private-sector commitments.
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Offering special incentives for government contract awards to businesses in distressed communities through President Clinton’s new Empowerment Contracting Program.
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Announcing that every school in every Empowerment Zone in the country will be connected to the Information Superhighway so that at all children -- rich and poor, urban and rural -- will have access to the benefits of the communications revolution.

Meeting Our Challenges * Protecting Our Values



Paid for by Clinton/Gore ’96 General Committee, Inc.