Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

CEOs Hit the Street Clinton Leads Inner-Atlanta Market Tour

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

CEOs Hit the Street Clinton Leads Inner-Atlanta Market Tour

Article excerpt

ATLANTA -- With 15 corporate chiefs in tow, President Clinton toured an inner-city market yesterday in an effort to encourage investment in America's stubborn pockets of poverty.

"Our economy is now in the best shape it's been in at least a generation; some people think it's the best economy America's ever had," the president said. But he said there still are ailing areas where "there's been almost no new investment, almost no new businesses, almost no new jobs."

Clinton announced he will take business chief executives and members of Congress on a tour of depressed areas at the beginning of July. They will visit Appalachia, Indian reservations, the Mississippi Delta and struggling cities, such as Gary, Ind., Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo said.

After a White House greeting, Clinton loaded corporate executives onto Air Force One and flew them to Atlanta. The executives, accustomed to their own corporate jets, marveled at the furnishings on the president's plane, with its large bedroom, shower, conference room, private office, minihospital and dozens of telephones.

The visit returned Clinton's attention to domestic problems after a heavy focus on the air war against Yugoslavia.

The CEOs accompanying Clinton yesterday came from Citigroup, Bell South, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Goldman Sachs, Aetna, AT&T Wireless, Rite Aid, New York Life, BET, AFLAC, United Bank of Philadelphia, BankBoston, Bankers Trust and Sloan Financial Group.

Arriving in Atlanta, the corporate chiefs climbed into vans and followed Clinton's limousine to the Sweet Auburn Curb Street Market, a 76-year-old municipal market in a mostly black neighborhood where Martin Luther King Jr. lived.

They were greeted by produce vendors, bakers and butchers offering salted pigs' tails, oxtails and goat meat along with more traditional goods. "You guys see the cows' feet and pig ears back there?" Clinton asked, recalling a time when Russian President Boris Yeltsin tried to persuade him to eat a roasted pig's ear. …

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