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4/9/10 Urban Affairs Newsletter

A weekly 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

DOT, EPA Set Aggressive National Standards for Fuel Economy: Rules established this week by DOT and EPA could potentially save the average buyer of a 2016 model year car $3,000 over the life of the vehicle and, nationally, will conserve about 1.8 billion barrels of oil and reduce nearly a billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the lives of the vehicles covered. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said, “these historic new standards set ambitious, but achievable, fuel economy requirements for the automotive industry that will also encourage new and emerging technologies.”

HUD Celebrates April as Fair Housing Month: Each year HUD and communities and organizations across the country recognize Fair Housing Month by hosting an array of activities that enhance the public’s awareness of their fair housing rights and highlight the national commitment to end housing discrimination. The theme for this year’s activities, “Fair Housing in 2010: Time to Act,” reflects the urgent need to ensure fair housing. “Discrimination based on how you look, the religion you practice, or because you have children or are disabled is illegal and unacceptable,” said John Trasviña, Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity at HUD.

SBA Offers Free Webinar Series to Help Small Business Owners Get Fiscally Fit: The U.S. Small Business Administration will host a Webinar series April 7th, 14th and 21st in recognition of National Financial Literacy Month. Participants will learn basic money management and financial skills for today’s business world.

World Health Day: Bravo to the World Health Organization (WHO) for focusing global attention on the impact of urbanization on health.  On April 7th the WHO recognized World Health Day 2010 with the "1000 Cities - 1000 Lives" campaign, calling on cities around the world to hold events that open up streets for activities promoting health and wellness.


Center for American Progress on the Opportunities for Educational Reform in FY2011: In February, the President proposed a $3 billion increase in K-12 education programs in his budget even as his administration works to reduce the annual federal deficit. This was an obvious signal of the President’s domestic priorities, but the proposed budget was significant in other ways. Few federal appropriations cycles have held such opportunities for education reform. This article examines reform proposals in the Obama administration’s FY 2011 budget request, why they’re needed, and how they would improve our education system.

Economic Development Administration Efforts to Help Flint Retool: In an article titled “Torn From the Front Page: Our friends in D.C. want Flint to succeed,” online news bloggers at credit President Obama for his commitment to helping struggling towns like Flint, Michigan retool and rebuild through innovation and entrepreneurship.

Stimulus Opportunities Seminar in Philadelphia Draws 900 Minority Businesses: Minority Business owners received a crash course on connecting to city, state and federal procurement opportunities and got the chance to network with 41 exhibitors, including prime contractors and city and state agencies at this year’s Philadelphia Economic Recovery Procurement Summit. The summit, co-sponsored by the Enterprise Center, city of Philadelphia and the Small Business Administration, is among ongoing efforts to connect MBEs to procurement opportunities.

Funding Opportunities

$1.2 Million in Recovery Act Funds to Assist Workers Impacted by Foreign Trade, Deadline April 14th: One to four projects will be funded to provide technical assistance and outreach to dislocated workers impacted by foreign trade. Funding awarded through this competition will support grantees that provide direct training or technical assistance to ensure that Trade Adjustment Assistance petitions are complete and accurate. It also will allow organizations to improve the delivery of Workforce Investment Act Rapid Response services to trade-affected workers.

Drug Free Communities Support Mentoring Program Grants, Deadline April 23rd: 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.

U.S. Labor Department Announces Grant Competition to Serve Homeless Veterans, Deadline April 26th: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service has announced an $8.3 million grant competition to provide job training, counseling and placement services (including job readiness, and literacy and skills training) to expedite the reintegration of homeless veterans into the labor force through its Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program.

Community-Based Job Training Grants, Deadline April 29th: The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration announced the availability of approximately $125 million in funds for Community-Based Job Training Grants. Community-Based Job Training Grants will be awarded through a competitive process to support workforce training for high-growth/high-demand industries through the national system of community, technical and tribal colleges.

Energy Efficient Building Systems Regional Innovation Cluster Initiative, Deadline May 6th: This is the first pilot project of the Interagency Regional Innovation Clusters Taskforce (Taskforce). The Taskforce has been charged with developing a model for coordinated federal and regional efforts that foster and use regional innovation clusters to develop sustainable and efficient models for attaining national strategic objectives including creating good jobs, increasing regional gross domestic product and promoting innovation in science and technology.

Department of Labor Announces Grants Serving Young Adult Offenders and High School Dropouts, Deadline May 10th: The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced the availability of approximately $20 million for two grants to provide employment services to young adult offenders and high school dropouts ages 18 to 24 in high-poverty, high-crime communities.

Investing in Innovation (i3) Program, Deadline May 11th: The Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) Program will support local districts and nonprofit organizations—working in partnership with several districts and/or several schools—as they seek to implement educational innovations with promising or demonstrated effective outcomes for students.

Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Pilot Program, Deadline June 1st: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a Brownfields Area-Wide Planning Pilot program through which 20 pilot projects will receive funding and direct assistance (through Agency contract support) to facilitate community involvement in area-wide planning approaches to brownfields assessment, cleanup, and subsequent reuse.

Upcoming Events

April 12th
WH Office of Urban Affairs Director Adolfo Carrion with join senior administration officials from SBA, MBDA, HUD and GSA at an Economic Recovery Opportunity Event in Atlanta. Mayor K Reed will deliver the keynote address. 

April 13th
Director Carrion will deliver the closing keynote address at the 2010 American Planning Conference, which will take place from April 10th-13th in New Orleans.

Director Carrion will provide the opening keynote for a panel conversation about the state of New Orleans four-and-a-half years after Hurricane Katrina titled “Beyond Recovery: Talent, Capital and the Future of New Orleans”. The event is being hosted by Next American City.

April 14th
Director Carrion is giving a lecture at Harvard hosted by the Real-Estate Academic Initiative.

April 16th
Director Carrion will deliver the luncheon keynote at the Regional Plan Association’s 20th Annual Regional Assembly.

April 26th-27th
Registration is now open for The Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship, which will be held on April 26th-27th, 2010 at the Ronald Regan Building in Washington, D.C. More Here.