[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1995, Book II)]
[August 3, 1995]
[Pages 1199-1200]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Message to the Congress Transmitting the National Urban Policy Report
August 3, 1995

To the Congress of the United States:
    I transmit herewith my Administration's National Urban Policy 
Report, ``Empowerment: A New Covenant With America's Communities,'' as 
required by 42 U.S.C. 4503(a). The Report provides a framework for 
empowering America's disadvantaged citizens and poor communities to 
build a brighter future for themselves, for their families and 
neighbors, and for America. The Report is organized around four 
    First, it links families to work. It brings tax, education and 
        training, housing, welfare, public safety, transportation, and 
        capital access policies together to help families make the 
        transition to self-sufficiency and independence. This linkage is 
        critical to the transformation of our communities.
    Second, it leverages private investment in our urban communities. It 
        works with the market and the private sector to build upon the 
        natural assets and competitive advantages of urban communities.
    Third, it is locally driven. The days of made in Washington 
        solutions, dictated by a distant Government, are gone. Instead, 
        solutions must be locally crafted, and implemented by 
        entrepreneurial public entities, private actors, and a growing 
        network of community-based firms and organizations.
    Fourth, it relies on traditional values--hard work, family, 
        responsibility. The problems of so many inner-city 
        neighborhoods--family break-up, teen pregnancy, abandonment, 
        crime, drug use--will be solved only if indi-

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      viduals, families, and communities determine to help themselves.
    These principles reflect an emerging consensus in the decades-long 
debate over urban policy. These principles are neither Democratic nor 
Republican: they are American. They will enable local communities, 
individuals and families, businesses, churches, community-based 
organizations, and civic groups to join together to seize the 
opportunities and to solve the problems in their own lives. They will 
put the private sector back to work for all families in all communities. 
I therefore invite the Congress to work with us on a bipartisan basis to 
implement an empowerment agenda for America's communities and families.
    In a sense, poor communities represent an untapped economic 
opportunity for our whole country. While we work together to open 
foreign markets abroad to American-made goods and services, we also need 
to work together to open the economic frontiers of poor communities here 
at home. By enabling people and communities in genuine need to take 
greater responsibility for working harder and smarter together, we can 
unleash the greatest underused source of growth and renewal in each of 
the local regions that make up our national economy and civic life. This 
will be good for cities and suburbs, towns and villages, and rural and 
urban America. This will be good for families. This will be good for the 
    We have undertaken initiatives that seek to achieve these goals. 
Some seek to empower local communities to help themselves, including 
Empowerment Zones, Community Development banks, the Community 
Opportunity Fund, community policing, and enabling local schools and 
communities to best meet world-class standards. And some seek to empower 
individuals and families to help themselves, including our expansion of 
the earned-income tax cut for low- and moderate-income working families, 
and our proposals for injecting choice and competition into public and 
assisted housing and for a new G.I. Bill for America's Workers.
    I am determined to end Federal budget deficits, and my balanced 
budget proposal shows that we can balance the budget without abandoning 
the investments that are vital to the security and prosperity of the 
country, now and in the future. I am confident that, working together, 
we can build common ground on an empowerment agenda while putting our 
fiscal house in order. I will do everything in my power to make sure 
this happens.

                                                      William J. Clinton

The White House,

August 3, 1995.