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The Briefing Room

An Overview of President Clintonís Trip
To Americaís New Markets
November 4-5, 1999

 

Under President Clinton and Vice President Gore, America is Enjoying a Time of Remarkable Economic Expansion. The strength and historic duration of our current economic expansion has helped bring economic opportunity to millions of Americans once cut off from the economic mainstream. Wages are rising for all income groups and welfare rolls are shrinking. The economy has created more than 19 million new jobs since January 1993. Unemployment has dropped from 7.2 % to just 4.2 %. But there is more work to do, particularly in those communities that are economically underserved, such as Newark, Hartford, rural Arkansas, and Englewood (in Chicago).

President Clintonís Trip will Focus Attention on Americaís New Markets — Untapped Areas for Potential Investment. November 4-5, President Clinton will lead a delegation of CEOs, Members of Congress and Cabinet Secretaries on a second trip this year of untapped markets in the following communities:

  • Newark, NJ — In Newark, the President will highlight how professional sports organizations play a leadership role in catalyzing development efforts in underserved communities. The President will highlight the positive partnerships with representatives from the NFL, Major League Baseball, the NBA and owners and players from the New Jersey Nets. He will also highlight the significant existing and new commitments of the CEO community of Newark.
  • Hartford, CT — In Hartford, the President will highlight how corporations and universities can invest in New Markets. The President will appear with corporate leaders from Aetna, Citigroup, and other companies, as well as the President of Trinity College to announce new investments and highlight ongoing private/public partnerships that are having an impact on Hartford.
  • Hermitage, AR — In Hermitage, the President will highlight how to build on economic opportunities in rural agriculturally-oriented New Markets. The President will highlight the way that the Hermitage Tomato Cooperative enabled farmers, many of whom were on the verge of bankruptcy, to become suppliers for Burger King and other major retailers, as well as other new commitments.
  • Englewood, Chicago, IL — In Englewood, the President will highlight the partnerships between community leaders, the private sector, and others to help boost private investment in New Markets. The President will be joined by corporate and community leaders to make new announcements, and to highlight existing partnerships that have already attracted new investment to Englewood.

These Communities Are in Need of Capital and Investment. This tour will spotlight the great potential for growth, profit, and economic opportunity in these untapped markets. It will also show how long-term partnerships can be used as a model for tapping this potential.

Newark — The population of Newark, the largest city in New Jersey, has dropped from 329,248 in 1980 to an estimated 267,823 in 1998, a 18.7 % drop, while during that same time period, the overall U.S. population grew by 19.3%. (Bureau of the Census). The poverty rate, which increased from 26.3 % in 1989 to 35.3 % in 1993, dropped to 30.5 percent in 1995. (Bureau of the Census). The cityís unemployment rate for 1998 was 9.9%, down from 15.2% in 1993, but more than twice the national average and the 4.1% unemployment rate of Newark suburbs.

Hartford — The population of Hartford, has declined slightly from 136,392 in 1980 to an estimated 131,523 in 1998, a 3.6 % drop. (Bureau of the Census). In 1990, Hartfordís population was 36.3% African-American, 31.0% Hispanic and 30.7% white (non-Hispanic). (Bureau of the Census). The poverty rate, which increased from 27.5 % in 1989 to 38.3 % in 1993, dropped to 35.2 % in 1995. (Bureau of the Census). The cityís unemployment rate declined from 10.8 % in 1993 to 6.7 % in 1998. (Department of Labor).

Hermitage, AR — Hermitage is a town of about 700 people in Bradley County, Arkansas. For Bradley County in June 1999: the unemployment rate in Bradley County was 9.3 %, compared to 4.3 % nationally; the poverty rate in Bradley County was 20 % and the median household income in Bradley County was $21,644. (Economic Research Service, USDA)

Englewood — The population in Englewood was estimated to be 39,780 in 1998. (Claritas) The unemployment rate for the Englewood community was 14.8 % in 1998, compared to 5.7 % for the city of Chicago (Illinois Department of Employment Security). Median household income is estimated to be about $19,000 compared to $32,400 for the city of Chicago. (Metro Chicago Information Center – Metro Survey, 1999). Retail sales in Englewood were estimated to be $105 million in 1997. (Claritas) About half of the population of Englewood is estimated to receive food stamps, compared to 15 percent for the city. (Metro Chicago Information Center – Metro Survey, 1999).

A Record to Build On. President Clintonís effort expands on the innovative approach to community empowerment that he and the Vice President have pioneered for nearly seven years.

  • Creating the CDFI Fund. In 1994, President Clinton proposed and signed into law the CDFI Fund which, through grants, loans, and equity investments, is helping to create a network of com-munity development financial institutions in distressed areas across the United States.
  • Reforming CRA. In 1995, the Clinton Administration reformed the CRA regulations to emphasize performance. The private sector has pledged more than $1 trillion going forward in loans to distressed communities — and more than 95% of these financial commitments have been made since 1992. (NCRC)
  • Keeping CRA Strong & Relevant Under Financial Modernization. Under the new banking bill, for the first time ever, a bankís CRA rating will be relevant to its merger or expansion in non-banking activities — a new protection the President fought very hard for.
  • Creating the Empowerment Zones. President Clinton and Vice President Gore proposed and signed Empowerment Zone legislation in 1993 establishing 105 EZs and ECs across the country. Under the leadership of the Presidentís Community Empowerment Board, chaired by the Vice President, the EZ/EC effort has generated billions of dollars in new private sector investment in community development activities.
  • Brownfields and Second Round of EZs. The Administrationís Brownfields action agenda has marshaled funds to clean up and redevelop up to 5,000 properties, leveraging billions of dollars in private investment and creating and supporting 196,000 jobs. The President has also signed into law a second round of EZs — 15 new urban and 5 new rural zones.
  • Youth Opportunity Initiative and GEAR-UP. In addition to expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and raising the minimum wage, President Clinton has focused on bringing economic opportunity to young people through the Youth Opportunity initiative and GEAR-UP program. The Youth Opportunity initiative provides skills training leading to job opportunities for out-of-school youth aged 16-24. GEAR-UP helps disadvantaged high-school students prepare for college through mentoring and other forms of assistance. The President is fighting to keep these programs in the budget.

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