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3/05/2010 Urban Affairs Newsletter

A look at recent and upcoming events in urban policy from the Office of Urban Affairs.

Each week, please look out for the White House Office of Urban Affairs Newsletter, which provides information related to the Administration’s urban policy initiatives, funding opportunities, featured articles and upcoming events.

Top News

President Obama Speaks on Jobs, Energy and Strengthening the Economy (Coastal President Obama spent the day in the Savannah area on Tuesday speaking to Georgians about the challenges they face and listening to their ideas for working together to turn the economy around. At Savannah Technical College, the President met with leaders of an innovative job-training initiative that puts at-risk students through a combined GED/construction program and prepares them for quality jobs in the construction industry. At a town hall meeting that followed a tour of the facilities, President Obama promoted the “Cash for Caukers” program, which rewards homeowners who make their homes more energy efficient, and acknowledged the work of Youth Build and Savannah Tech in preparing students for the clean energy construction jobs of the future.

Vice President Biden Announces States Meet Deadline to Put 100 Percent of Recovery Act Highway Dollars to Work (Department of Transportation): On Monday, at a Recovery Act construction site outside Orlando, Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that every state and the District of Columbia met the March 2nd Recovery Act deadline to “obligate” 100 percent of their highway Recovery funds.  Once funds are obligated to a project, contracts can be bid upon, workers can be hired, equipment and supplies can be purchased and work can begin on construction projects that create jobs and drive economic growth.  Every state met the target by February 26th, putting a total of $26.6 billion to work on some 12,000 highway projects nationwide.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Announces $1.1 Million Grant to Create Jobs, Strengthen Economy in Attala County, MS (Economic Development Association): On March 1st, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced a $1.1 million Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to Attala County, Miss., to help build a business incubator facility as part of the Kosciusko-Attala County Technology, Training and Jobs Center. The project is expected to create 382 jobs and generate $19.6 million in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

HUD Announces $13 Million in Grants to Protect Thousands of Children from Lead Paint and Other Hazards in Their Homes (Department of Housing and Urban Development): The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded more than $13 million in grants to 25 local projects to conduct a wide range of activities that include eliminating lead and housing-related hazards in thousands of homes; training workers in lead and healthy homes interventions; supporting research to improve home safety efforts; increasing public awareness; and evaluating outreach on controlling housing-based hazards. A complete project-by-project summary of grants can be found on HUD's website.


Stimulus in Action: Federal Officials Tour Oakland Sites ( WH Office of Urban Affairs Director Adolfo Carrion traveled to Oakland, CA with HUD Deputy Ron Sims and U.S. Minority Business Development Agency Director David Hinson to meet with local officials and community leaders and tour stimulus projects that are saving jobs and creating opportunities for Oakland residents.

Funding Opportunities

More than $1.1 Million in Grants for Community-Based Drug Prevention Coalitions (Office of National Drug Control Policy): The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, in partnership with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is announcing the availability of more than $1.1 million for new Drug Free Communities Support Mentoring program grants. An estimated 15 new Mentoring grants will be awarded (up to $75,000 per grant, per year) to drug and alcohol prevention community coalitions from across the nation.

Upcoming Events

March 5th: Director Adolfo Carrion will speak at the County Executives of America annual legislative conference in Washington, D.C.

March 8th: Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes, WHOUA Director Adolfo Carrion, and WHOUA Associate Director Alaina Beverly will speak at the National Association of County Officials’ (NACO) Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C.

March 10th: The White House Office of Urban Affairs will join Next American City in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the launch of the magazine’s 26th issue.

March 11th: U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) seeks your input on the Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program! A webcast Listening Session will stream live on March 11th from 1:00-2:00pm and is open to everyone. A full list of events can be found on HUD’s website.

Alaina Beverly is the Associate Director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs