Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

CED Focuses on Economic Development, Housing

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

CED Focuses on Economic Development, Housing

Article excerpt

NLC's Community and Economic Development (CED) Steering Committee discussed how member communities can address economic development and housing issues during its recent meeting in Grand Junction, Colo.

Under the direction of CED Chair Ed Reyes, council member, Los Angeles, and hosted by Grand Junction Council Member Bruce Hill, the committee shared ideas, challenged perceptions and developed strategies.

Economic Development

Regarding economic development, committee members asked candid questions and shared promising practices about how to maintain and strengthen each city's economy.

Some strategies included:

* Finding the balance between developing a niche, but continuing to diversify;

* Clarifying the role of local elected officials as partners with their economic development teams;

* As part of growing small businesses in each community, strengthening city leaders' function of planning and zoning to streamline the process of building while maintaining quality and standards:

* Recognizing the importance of education, especially regarding science and math, as the basis for new research and development, innovation and entrepreneurship;

* Learning how to cooperate in a regional manner, despite strong competitiveness in regions driven by businesses asking for subsidies, abatements and other incentives;

* Promoting the need for more infrastructure, especially water and transportation, as critical to economic development across America;

* Working effectively with North American partners in the global economy to compete against markets that have cheaper labor and produce lower priced goods; and

* Addressing the challenges in our economy, such as high school drop-outs and prisoner re-entry into our communities.

Housing

Focusing again on local challenges, CED members gave informal presentations related to housing issues and shared perspectives from their cities and professional expertise. …

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