Have you ever noticed, Obama likes to give his legislation long, convoluted names?
At the same time, this is an important one.
It might be more appropriately called Aid to Industrial Cities. (But obviously that might be politically sensitive. How does the old double-standard go again: farm aid = good, city aid = bad?) This piece of long-overdue legislation would establish competitive grants for revitalizing older industrial cities through the department of Housing and Urban Development. The Community Regeneration, Sustainability and Innovation Act would mostly help eliminate vacant housing, the profusion of which has been an intractable problem in neighborhoods and a drain on strained city budgets across the Industrial Midwest.
In a new blog, Youngstown’s Mahoning Valley Organizing Collaborative has more information. The group is trying to lobby the national government to take a more active role in helping Rust Belt cities through the painful process of economic restructuring.
It’s good to see the national government finally starting to recognize that while Rust Belt cities’ problems may be regional in nature, they are truly national in scope.