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Thursday, August 4, 2011

My update from the White House on Intergovernmental Affairs

Just received this briefing:

White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Local Update
Welcome to the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs local update. In this week’s issue we hear about the Vice President's call with local officials, give you details on HUD's latest Sustainable Communities grants, introduce the SBA 100, and learn about the benefits of green infrastructure.

Keep an eye on your inbox and check out the
White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Website for more information.

Vice President Biden Speaks with Local Leaders about Debt Deal

On Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden joined over 440 state, local, tribal and territorial officials on a call to talk about the debt ceiling deal signed by President Obama on August 2 and the Administration's ongoing economic priorities.
Vice President Biden thanked the many state and local officials who spoke out during the debate for a balanced, bipartisan approach to the debt negotiations. He talked about the tough budget choices that state and local officials make every day, and discussed the President's insistence that costs not be passed on to state and local governments that can ill afford more budget cuts during these times. He also highlighted the significance of preserving funding for infrastructure, education, and innovation to help grow the economy and create jobs.
Following the Vice President, Jason Furman of the National Economic Council took questions from local officials on the call. These city and county leaders echoed the President’s remarks that now, with the debt ceiling raised and calamity averted, the conversation urgently needs to turn to job creation. Officials from North Carolina to Pennsylvania to Utah thanked the Administration for their efforts to stimulate job growth and encouraged federal officials to continue to push for programs that create jobs in states and cities.
We encourage you to send your additional questions about the debt deal, the President’s commitment to helping state and local governments, the Administration's jobs agenda, and other topics to and we’ll answer some of them in an upcoming blog post.
For more information on the bipartisan compromise, check out the deal explained in three steps and an overview of the myths and facts.
HUD Announces New Sustainable Communities Grants  

    Last week, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan announced the availability of $95 million to support sustainable local initiatives through the FY 2011 Regional Planning and Community Challenge Planning Grant Programs from HUD’s Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities.
This year’s Regional Planning Grant program will encourage grantees to support regional planning efforts that integrate housing, land-use, economic and workforce development, transportation, and infrastructure developments in a manner that empowers regions to consider how all of these factors work together to enhance their economic competitiveness and catalyze community revitalization. This year’s Regional Planning Grant program will set aside $17.5 million for jurisdictions with populations under 200,000.
The Community Challenge Planning Grant program will be competitively awarded to state, local and tribal governments for efforts such as amending or replacing local master plans, zoning and building codes to promote mixed-use development, building more affordable housing, and the rehabilitation of older buildings and structures with the goal of promoting sustainability at the local and neighborhood levels. In addition, this year’s Community Challenge Planning Grant program will set aside $3 million for jurisdictions with populations under 50,000.
Community Challenge Planning Grant program applications are due September 9, 2011, and the pre-applications for the Regional Planning Grant Program are due August 25, 2011.
To read the full text of the advance funding announcement, visit HUD's Sustainable Communities Grants website.  
Introducing the SBA 100

This week, Small Business Administrator Karen Mills announced the
SBA 100, a showcase of 100 small businesses that got SBA help to create at least 100 jobs. These include Main Street businesses ranging from a small brewery in Delaware to a Dairy Queen owner in Alaska. They also include high-growth, high-impact firms that have made a major impact on our economy.

Enter the SBA 100 Gallery
What they all have in common is that they directly benefited from SBA help at a critical moment in their growth. Some received great advice from SBA staff or counselors. Many got SBA loans. Others won federal contracts. Still others used unique programs like Small Business Investment Companies or the Small Business Innovation Research program.
Browse through the gallery of stories and see how the SBA can help businesses in your community build, expand, and hire.
Working Together for Clean Water and Strong Communities  

This week, EPA Deputy Administrator Bob Perciasepe explained on
our blog how green infrastructure is helping communities across the country:
    EPA is always looking for new ways to keep communities clean and healthy, while creating jobs and fostering economic growth. One way we’re accomplishing this goal is through innovative, sensible and cost-effective investments like green infrastructure. When it rains, stormwater picks up oil, pesticides and other chemicals on our streets and buildings and carries those pollutants into nearby waters. Communities have traditionally considered this stormwater to be wastewater that needs to be stored and treated – something that’s very costly to cities and towns on a budget. Green infrastructure manages stormwater by treating it like the valuable resource it is, working with Mother Nature, not against her. By using permeable pavements, rain barrels, landscape changes and other techniques, green infrastructure changes capture and filter stormwater so our waters will stay clean. We’ve seen the success green infrastructure investments can have in communities throughout the nation. Like in Seattle, Washington, where adding trees and shrubs to a city block reduced 99 percent of the stormwater runoff – leading local residents to advocate for similar changes on their streets. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where innovative strategies and investments like planting trees and installing green roofs have helped the city save about $170 million since 2006, according to city estimates. These cities and many more have realized the benefits of coordination and are working with EPA to determine how green infrastructure plans can best help them meet their stormwater management needs now and in the future.

Learn more about how communities across the country are incorporating green infrastructure and other innovative techniques into their long-term clean water plans.Get Updates 

For more information, visit the
White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs website.

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