Today, President Obama signed an Executive Order that will establish the White House Council on Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2). The Council will build on the SC2 pilot initiative launched June 2011 aimed at creating new partnerships between federal agencies and localities to spark economic development in communities that have faced significant long-term challenges in developing and implementing their economic strategies. Attached is the Executive Order signed by the President today on SC2.
Based at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the interagency Council will include 19 federal agencies and will coordinate the implementation of SC2 and build a foundation for expanding the program to cities across the country. Currently, dozens of federal agency staff work closely with six cities – Chester, PA; Cleveland/Youngstown, OH; Detroit, MI; Fresno, CA; Memphis, TN; and New Orleans, LA.
The Council will recommend policies to the President for building local expertise in strengthening local economies and changing Federal policies and programs to address issues to strengthen local capacity and spur economic growth.
In addition, to mark the six-month anniversary that SC2’s teams have been on the ground in the pilot cities, stakeholders – from mayors to philanthropic leaders to federal agency staff--gathered at the White House to discuss the pilot’s progress.