The trend of place-based investments has been growing in recent years, as demonstrated by First 5 LA's new Strategic Plan, and the Obama Administration is also riding the wave of targeted community-based investment strategies. Last August, a White House memo outlined interest in place-based activities, and defined the administration's approach in the following statement:
Place policies target the prosperity, equity, sustainability and livability of places -- how well or how poorly they function as places and how they change over time. Place policy leverages investments by focusing resources in targeted places and drawing on the compounding effect of cooperative arrangements.
The federal government's investment in this strategy is exemplified by several of the programs within President Barack Obama's proposed 2011 federal budget. The proposed budget includes a wide range of place-based investments which include:
- The Promise Neighborhoods Initiative, a prominent place-based investment for the administration, with $210 million proposed for 2011 which greatly expands the 2010 allocation of $10 million. Promise Neighborhoods are designed to be modeled after the successes of the Harlem Children's Zone, providing comprehensive community building with the intent of impacting outcomes from birth to college.
- An additional $150 million requested to invest in a new Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) fund.
- $250 million to expand Housing and Urban Development's Choice Neighborhoods program which leverages efforts from other public and private community investments.
- To combat obesity, the budget includes funding for the USDA to provide incentives for communities to invest in healthy food retailers, and for a New Market Tax Credit program to facilitate communities' access to farmer's markets and other healthy food options.
- Finally, the budget includes $2.5 billion (consistent with the allocation from last year's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act) to expand community health centers.
First 5 LA will continue to track the requests and implementation of federal budget items with place-based components, and will advocate for those aligned with the First 5 LA Public Policy Agenda. Please contact Aleece Kelly at [email protected] with any questions.