Broad Agenda Chosen for NLC Community, Economic Development Unit
Parkhurst, David, Nation's Cities Weekly
The Community and Economic Development (CED) policy committee, led by CED Chair JoAnn Boscia, Council President of Lakewood, Ohio, and a veteran leadership team, has charged its 1996 steering committee with an enormous policy agenda covering land use, banking, community investment, and affordable housing.
The CED steering committee will review land use policy, one of the few sections not updated during last year's chapter rewrite. Related sections, including language on the use of federal properties, will also be consolidated into the land use section.
The policy committee noted land use is a key element of a city's effective and comprehensive strategy for community and economic development. Specifically, land use policies intertwine with many pressing policy issues including economic viability, affordable housing and urban sprawl, "brownfields," deteriorated infrastructure, urban blight, regional cooperation, and community turbulence.
Revolution in Finance
Policy committee members agreed that CED policy on banking should be revised to address the current revolution in finance. This revolution is changing the basics of banking with tools like ATMs and electronic banking. It is also driving cities to rethink traditional relationships with financial institutions and explore creative partnerships and incentives to accomplish policy objectives.
Related to finance, the policy committee voted to examine community investment policy for its consistency with the economic and community development sections revised last year. Discussions exposed that for cities, community investment is a comprehensive matter that must unite, for instance, infrastructure development, education and job training, social services, and transportation to be successful. Current community investment policy features specific recommendations for federal involvement in local economic development. It neither acknowledges social and economic issues comprising the broad topic of "investment," nor recognizes the transforming roles and responsibilities among the levels of government, community, and private sector.
The steering committee will also continue refining NLC's policy on affordable housing. …