US Mayor Article

Cities Celebrate National Community Development Week

By Eugene T. Lowe
May 15, 2000

Hundreds of cities and counties celebrated the 14th Annual National Community Development Week campaign during the week of April 24 - 30. As in previous years, the week long celebration gave local jurisdictions as well as the states the opportunity to demonstrate how the flexibility of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program has helped address the physical, economic, and human services needs of low-and moderate income citizens. The theme of this year's celebration was CDBG: People Strengthening Communities Strengthening People.

Below are a few of the cities and their activities during National Community Development Week:

In Burlington, Vermont, Mayor Peter Clavelle hosted a Community Development Luncheon as he has every year during National Community Development Week. Senator James Jeffords (VT) and Representative Bernard Sanders and a representative from Senator Patrick Leahy's office participated in the event.

In Richmond, California, the focus was on a graduation ceremony for 17 participants in micro-enterprise business start ups - new strategies for promoting housing opportunities for low-income residents.

In Fall River, Massachusetts, Mayor Edward M. Lambert, Jr. praised CDBG as a program that affects the quality of community life more than any other federal program. He said during a lunch kicking off National Community Development Week, "We give them dollars. The project directors make it work."

In Auburn, New York, an open house and block party was held in an area that included 16 adjacent properties being rehabilitated by non-profit partners using CDBG, HOME and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit. Celebrating the contribution of the CDBG program, the event provided a marketing opportunity for both potential owners and tenants.

In Greenville, South Carolina, the Greenville Recreation District, and the Freetown Community celebrated the groundbreaking of a new $600,000 (CDBG funded) community center, which will provide recreation activities, services for elderly, parenting classes, boys and girls clubs, after-school programs, early childcare, neighborhood socials, and musicals.

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