State Associations Urged to Support the Economic Development Administration

5/23/2005

IEDC strongly supports funding and maintaining the Economic Development Administration (EDA) at the 2006 authorized level of $450 million, including $27 million for the partnership planning program for economic development districts. Now is a CRITICAL TIME for you to weigh in on the continuation of this program.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The administration’s proposed Strengthening America’s Communities Initiative (SACI) calls for the elimination of 18 federal community and economic development programs—most notably the US Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program— and an overall reduction in federal spending by $1.6 billion each year. As the current lead federal economic development agency, EDA has accumulated a record of success while developing the partnerships and tools required to effectively serve the economic development needs of the nation’s distressed regions and areas. Congress should fully fund EDA at the authorized level of $450 million and work to improve the coordination, focus and performance of the remaining programs slated for elimination under the President’s 2006 budget plan.

PROVEN TRACK RECORD OF PERFORMANCE

EDA received overwhelming bipartisan congressional and presidential support of a multi-year reauthorization in 2004 and is currently authorized through fiscal year 2008. In recognition of the agency’s outstanding performance and dedication to program accountability, EDA was recently inducted into the prestigious Balanced Scorecard Hall of Fame, joining only three other distinguished federal agencies.

EDA JOB CREATION EFFECTIVENESS UNMATCHED

In 2004, EDA investments helped create 125,604 new jobs, retain more than 34,000 jobs and leverage $10.4 billion in private sector investments in the nation’s distressed communities. For every $1 million in EDA investments, another $10 million is typically leveraged in private sector funds. The average cost per job created or retained is only $3,058 – among the lowest of any government program. EDA investments are typically the seed funds or gap financing that make locally identified projects a reality in the nation’s poorer areas. Whether it is through infrastructure grants, strategic planning assistance, business development capital or technical assistance, EDA programs help communities address chronic poverty and sudden and severe economic situations caused by manufacture plant closings, military base closures, natural disasters and declines in traditional industries such as coal, fisheries, textiles and timber.

EDDs PROVIDE ECONOMIC PREPAREDNESS AND PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION SERVICES

The network of 320 EDA-funded economic development districts (EDDs) effectively develop and coordinate regional strategic action plans, implement specific community and economic development projects, and provide vital professional expertise and organizational support to the nation’s distressed and underserved communities.

THE ADMINISTRATION’S SACI PLAN WOULD ABOLISH THIS COST-EFFECTIVE PROGRAM

The success of EDA originates from its unique comprehensive economic development strategy process, which is conducted primarily by the network of EDDs. By pooling limited local resources through these regional organizations, our cities and counties develop and sustain a professional team of community and economic development practitioners—assets taken for granted in wealthier areas but historically absent in distressed regions until the creation of the EDA district planning program.

GRASSROOTS ACTION NEEDED

Urge your Senators to express their personal written support for fully funding EDA at the 2006 authorized level of $450 million (including $27 million for the planning program) to Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Ranking Member Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science. Urge your House members to express their personal written support for fully funding EDA at the 2006 authorized level of $450 million (including $27 million for the planning program) to Chairman Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Ranking Member Alan Mollohan (D-WV) of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Science, State, Justice and Commerce.

SAMPLE CONSTITUENT E-MAIL LETTER ON EDA FUNDING

(Letters to House Members—)
The Honorable [first name & last name]
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

(Letters to US Senators—)
The Honorable [first name & last name]
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510

Dear [Representative or Senator] [insert last name]:
On behalf of the [insert your organization name], I am writing to urge your active support of the Economic Development Administration (EDA). Specifically, I urge you to personally contact the Chairman and Ranking Member of the [Insert either House State, Science, Justice and Commerce Appropriations Subcommittee or Senate Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee] and express your support for fully funding EDA at the 2006 authorized level of $450 million, including $27 million for the agency’s proven planning grant program. As the current lead federal economic development agency, EDA has earned a solid reputation and proven track record. In 2004 alone, according to the agency, EDA investments helped create more than 125,000 new jobs and leverage more than $10 billion in public and private sector commitments.

These impressive results helped EDA earn the highest performance ranking by the President’s Office of Management and Budget. Last year, Congress and the administration also recognized this impressive performance by adopting a multi-year reauthorization bill for the agency. Unfortunately, now the administration is proposing to abolish this proven and vital economic development assistance program.

EDA funds are typically the glue or seed capital that make economic development and job creation projects a reality in distressed regions and areas that are often overlooked or underserved by the private sector. In our region alone, EDA resources helped us to [insert examples of your local EDA projects.]

At a time when nearly every business and community within our region is being confronted with intense competition from emerging and developing nations, Congress and the administration should be expanding its efforts through EDA and its partners to assist local community and economic development efforts. For these reasons, I strongly urge you to support EDA and its planning program for economic development districts by contacting appropriations leaders and personally requesting full funding for this critical program dedicated to investing in the economic future of our nation’s distressed and transitioning communities. Thank you for your consideration to this important request.

Sincerely,

[Your name]
[Your title]
[Your contact information]

EDA APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEES

If your Senators or Member of Congress are on the list below, it is especially important that you e-mail them a letter:

SENATE COMMERCE, JUSTICE AND SCIENCE APPROPRIATIONS SUBCOMMITTEE

[*]Richard Shelby (R-AL), Chairman
[*]Christopher “Kit” Bond (R-MO)
[*]Sam Brownback (R-KS)
[*]Pete Domenici (R-NM)
[*]Judd Gregg (R-NH)
[*]Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)
[*]Mitch Mcconnell (R-KY)
[*]Ted Stevens (R-AK)
[*]Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Ranking Minority Member
[*]Byron Dorgan (D-ND)
[*]Tom Harkin (D-IA)
[*]Daniel Inouye (D-HI)
[*]Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
[*]Herb Kohl (D-WI)
[*]Patty Murray (D-WA)

HOUSE SCIENCE, STATE, JUSTICE, COMMERCE AND RELATED AGENCIES

[*]Frank Wolf (R-VA), Chairman
[*]Rodney Alexandar (R-LA)
[*]John Culberson (R-TX)
[*]Virgil Goode (R-VA)
[*]Mark Kirk (R-IL)
[*]Ray Lahood (R-IL)
[*]Charles Taylor (R-NC)
[*]Dave Weldon (R-PA)
[*]Alan Mollohan (D-WV), Ranking Minority Member
[*]Bud Cramer (D-AL)
[*]Chaka Fattah (D-PA)
[*]Patrick Kennedy (D-RI)
[*]Jose Serrano (D-NY)

International Economic Development Council

734 15th Street NW / Suite
900 Washingon, DC 20005


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Smart Growth: Land Use, Regionalism & Transportation
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