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Give Community Control and Access to funds for Ladders of Opportunity

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“If we gather together what works, we can extend more ladders of opportunity for anybody who’s working to build a strong, middle-class life for themselves. Because in America, your destiny shouldn’t be determined by where you live, where you were born. It should be determined by how big you’re willing to dream, how much effort and sweat and tears you’re willing to put in to realizing that dream. 

And that’s why on Tuesday I announced -- and that's part of what I want to focus on here in Chicago and across the country -- is my intention to partner with 20 of the hardest-hit communities in America to get them back in the game.”  President Barack Obama


In President Obama's State of the Union and Chicago Hyde Park Academy Address, he made the following statements about the redevelopment of the hardest hit communities and the violence. In response to his statements, we want to make sure that the community based groups and people have the ladders of opportunity to participate in the redevelopment of their communities across the nation!


President Obama on community participation:


"First, we’ll work with local leaders to cut through red tape and improve things like public safety and education and housing. And we’ll bring all the resources to bear in a coordinated fashion so that we can get that tipping point where suddenly a community starts feeling like things are changing and we can come back."


1.We the Community ask that President Obama remove any red-tape that restricts grass roots community based groups from participating and mandates any participant to hire from the community it is working in.

President Obama on Local Business and Community Based Job Training:


"Let’s offer incentives to companies that hire Americans who’ve got what it takes to fill that job opening, but have been out of work so long that no one will give them a chance anymore. Let’s put people back to work rebuilding vacant homes in run-down neighborhoods.”


2.We the Community ask that President Obama create a special budget and pilot program that will allow grass roots community based groups, small businesses, and unemployed contractors to work collectively in training the youth and the community on rebuilding vacant homes.


3. We the community ask President Obama to create a community controlled fund that will finance small businesses, award grant money to new grass roots community based groups with experience in public safety, education and housing organizing who are willing to work on rebuilding vacant commercial spaces into safe, encouraging environments. These vacant properties can be utilized as social, cultural, educational, feeding, skills training, and community organizing centers.


President Obama on Redeveloping Safe Communities:


“. . . because it’s very hard to develop economically if people don't feel safe. If they don't feel like they can walk down the street and shop at a store without getting hit over the head or worse, then commerce dries up, businesses don't want to locate, families move out, you get into the wrong cycle. So we’re going to target neighborhoods struggling to deal with violent crime and help them reduce that violence in ways that have been proven to work.”


4. We the Community ask that President Obama ask that the US DOJ National Foreclosure Settlement Fund and Office of the Comptroller of Currency set aside a portion of the Bank Foreclosure Settlement money to be used by community based groups, developers, and youth groups working to redevelop hardest hit communities to address the issue of violence, homelessness, poverty and unemployment.


President Obama on Community Participation in Rebuilding Neighborhoods:


“And finally, we’re going to keep working in communities all across the country, including here in Chicago, to replace run-down public housing that doesn’t offer much hope or safety with new, healthy homes for low- and moderate-income families.”


5. We the Community ask that President Obama mandate community participation with any public housing program or project. Section 3 enforcement should be strengthened and independently monitored. Resident owned businesses and management companies should have mandatory budget lines on contracts and grants pertaining to new, healthy homes for low and moderate-income families.

Our message is simple We the Community want to make sure we can climb the Ladders of Opportunity in our Community! 

The violence stops when economic opportunity starts!



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