Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Community and Economic Development Committee Focuses on Local Economies

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Community and Economic Development Committee Focuses on Local Economies

Article excerpt

Members of NLC's Community and Economic Development (CED) Steering Committee met in Riverside, Calif., recently for the second of four annual meetings. The meeting was hosted by Councilmember Nancy Hart of Riverside and chaired by CED Committee Chair Jacquelyn Johnson of East Orange, N.J.

The committee is focused this year on economic development in difficult fiscal environments caused by the economic downturn.

Presentations from the City of Riverside, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and the U.S. Small Business Administration all touched on the theme. The committee also contributed to a request for recommendations on the future of federal housing policy and discussed NLC's legislative agenda for job creation and sustainable community development.

Riverside City Manager Brad Hudson presented a slide show on the Riverside Renaissance, a $1.57 billion investment in capital projects throughout the city. Approved by the City Council in late 2006, Riverside Renaissance has improved traffic flow; replaced aging water, sewer and electric infrastructure; and expanded and improved police, fire, parks, library and other community facilities.

Although it was approved prior to the economic downturn, the city has been able to maintain the high level of investment required. One reason cited was the city's decision to developed concrete plans for potential formulate without regard to funding availability. When different funding opportunities become available, the city is ready to quickly apply with strong proposals. …

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