WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) today applauded the Obama Administration’s expansion of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Initiative to include Rocky Mount, NC and six additional cities. President Obama established SC2 in 2011 as an innovative and flexible program designed to strengthen local capacity, coordinate federal investments, and spark growth in economically distressed communities. The SC2 Initiative was developed through engagement with mayors, Members of Congress, foundations, nonprofits, and other community partners who are committed to addressing the challenges facing local governments as they work to create economic opportunity for all residents.
Butterfield said, “I am pleased that the Obama Administration has recognized the city of Rocky Mount as a community that would benefit from the Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative. The Twin Counties region is at crossroads where the right investment, training, and strategic planning will position Rocky Mount for unparalleled economic success. This is an exciting time of change and opportunity for Rocky Mount. I thank U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan for this inclusion, and I look forward to working with Rocky Mount Mayor David Combs on this initiative.”
In July 2013, Congressman Butterfield sent a letter to President Obama requesting the Rocky Mount region be designated as Promise Zones, the umbrella housing and economic development federal program that the SC2 Initiative is a part of. In his letter, Butterfield noted that the designation signals to residents, businesses, and local governments that with targeted investments, Rocky Mount can revitalize their economy and see tangible benefits for their residents.
As part of the SC2 Initiative, federal inter-agency expert teams will be deployed to work alongside city leadership, community organizations, local businesses, and philanthropic foundations to support the city’s visions for economic growth and development. The primary goal is to help the city of Rocky Mount more effectively invest existing resources, provide advice and expertise in support of local priorities, better align federal programs and investments, and facilitate new partnerships and peer learning opportunities wherever possible. In addition, AmeriCorps VISTA members will aid this effort as on-the-ground liaisons with local leaders and citizens to help implement the solutions that meet the community’s needs.
The SC2 Teams will aim to duplicate the record of success established in the original seven pilot cities. SC2 Teams enabled those communities to more effectively use more than $368 million in existing federal funds and investments. They also provided advice and expertise that have helped these communities make significant progress toward their priorities in economic development, housing, transportation, public safety, and public health, among other areas.
The seven additional cities selected are: Brownsville, TX; Flint, MI; Gary, IN; Macon, GA; Rockford, IL; St. Louis, MO; and Rocky Mount, NC.
For more information, visit: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/press/press_releases_media_advisories/2014/HUDNo.14-006.