Atlanta is one of nine new Promise Zones that join 13 others to expand economic opportunity in distressed areas. The Obama Administration named the final nine Promise Zones across the country – high poverty areas in select urban, rural and tribal communities. Through the Promise Zone Initiative, the Federal government will work strategically with local leaders to boost economic activity and job growth, improve educational opportunities, reduce crime and leverage private investment to improve the quality of life in these vulnerable areas.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julián Castro traveled to Atlanta to make the announcement. “Promise Zones bring the power of partnership to a whole new level as we seek to bring opportunity to neighborhoods long locked out of their area’s prosperity,” said HUD Secretary Castro. “As a former mayor from a city that includes a Promise Zone, I know just how powerful these collaborations are when it comes to building stronger, economically vital neighborhoods.” The other eight new Promise Zones include Nashville, TN; South Los Angeles, CA; Evansville, IN; San Diego, CA; Spokane Tribe of Indians, WA; Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, ND; Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council; and Puerto Rico’s Ceiba, Fajardo, and Naguado Municipalities.
Background on Promise Zones:
The newly designated Promise Zones join 13 others that President Obama designated in 2014 and 2015. These Promise Zones include targeted neighborhoods in the following communities:
- San Antonio, Texas
- Los Angeles, California
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Southeastern Kentucky Highlands
- the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
- Camden, New Jersey
- Hartford, Connecticut
- Indianapolis, Indiana
- Minneapolis, Minnesota
- Sacramento, California
- St. Louis/St. Louis County, Missouri
- Pine Ridge Indian Reservation of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, South Dakota
- The South Carolina Low Country
The latest round of Promise Zone communities were selected from 82 applications from 38 states and Puerto Rico. Each urban, rural, and tribal Promise Zone applicant was asked to put together a clear description of how the Promise Zone designation would accelerate and strengthen the community’s own efforts at comprehensive community revitalization. Each Promise Zone will be coordinated by a lead community based organization in partnership with the Obama Administration. HUD will be the federal lead for the 14 urban designees, while USDA will serve as the lead federal partner to the tribal and rural Promise Zones.
All Promise Zones will receive priority access to federal investments that further their strategic plans, federal staff on the ground to help them navigate federal resources, and five full-time AmeriCorps VISTA members to recruit and manage volunteers and strengthen the capacity of the Promise Zone initiatives.