Shared Commitment to Empower America's Impoverished Communities


Office of the Press Secretary
(Hermitage, Arkansas)

For Immediate Release November 5, 1999


The President and House Speaker Dennis Hastert have agreed to work together to enact bipartisan legislation to help spur economic development in urban and rural communities that have not shared fully in the benefits of the nation's strong economy. The President's New Markets proposal and the Speaker's American Community Renewal proposal are both designed to spur private sector investment in these areas. The two leaders will appear together today at Englewood High School in Chicago.

"We must ensure that all of our people share the benefits of our extraordinary economy," the President said. "I am looking forward to working with the Speaker. We already share this goal, and I am confident that we will be able to agree on the means and convince the Congress to make this legislation a reality."

Following are the set of principles for legislation that the President and the Speaker have agreed upon:

Shared Commitment to Empower America's Impoverished Communities

  1. The Administration and the Congress should work in a spirit of good faith to develop a bipartisan effort to bring capital and new tools to the impoverished urban and rural parts of America so that individuals who live there will be empowered to renew their communities and develop new markets of economic opportunity.

  2. Since these solutions need to come from within these distressed communities, both political parties need to put aside politics and ideological constraints, and participate in a process that focuses on solutions that can work in those communities without being subject to waste or abuse.

  3. We believe that there are significant untapped new markets in both rural and inner city communities, which have unique competitive advantages that, given the tools, can enable individuals in those areas to renew their communities.

  4. To accomplish that, our goal is to responsibly and effectively empower impoverished communities with new equity capital, tax incentives, and other tools needed to address these problems within their neighborhoods, nurturing new enterprises while providing private sector and government resources to empower communities to solve their long term problems.

  5. These economic incentives must be seen as a complement to other efforts to strengthen education, housing, crime, and drug-abuse reduction.

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