Blog for Rural America

The Center for Rural Affairs, a private, non-profit organization, is working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities. Permission to reprint items from this web log is hereby granted, on the condition that clear credit is given to the original source of the material. If the blog provides information for a story, please let us know by sending an email to johnc@cfra.org.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Center for Rural Affairs signs on with the National Community Capital Association to oppose Bush's Proposed Budget. You can too.

-- from the desk of Jon Bailey, Director Rural Research and Analysis Program,
Center for Rural Affairs

The Center for Rural Affairs has signed its name to the following letter sponsored by the National Community Capital Association. You can show your support for Rural Development by clicking here and adding your name to the letter.


President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500


Dear President Bush:

We, the undersigned, oppose your "Strengthening America's Communities Initiative" that would reduce 18 proven community development programs into a single Department of Commerce block grant strategy. While we share your goal of "creating the conditions for economic growth, robust job opportunities, and livable communities," we strongly disagree that the federal government would best stimulate these conditions with the initiative you propose.

We welcome your decision to shine the spotlight of American public attention on the role that government can and should play in creating an inclusive economic prosperity. We believe deeply that every person in the United States deserves the chance to succeed.

The 18-targeted programs in the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Treasury have produced jobs, affordable housing, and capitalized public-private partnerships benefiting tens of millions of people and communities across America. Together these programs represent a vital investment in our nation’s emerging domestic markets. Eliminating these programs and significantly reducing the aggregate budget by some 30% would weaken those communities and dramatically reduce living conditions for millions of people across the nation.

Like you, we believe that an efficient and prudent use of public investment best serves all Americans. Replacing proven programs with a new, undefined initiative will not meet the goals you have laid out, in our view.

We urge you to withdraw this proposal and restore funding to the 18 programs you propose to eliminate.

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