[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 principles: 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- [[Page 1200]] 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 country. 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.