March 29, 2002

Statement of New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial, President, U.S. Conference of Mayors, on National Community Development Week

"During the week of April 1, 2002, the nation's cities, counties, and states will engage in a week-long celebration of the accomplishments of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. The event, which started 16 years ago, has grown to include more than 500 cities sponsoring activities to educate their residents and decision-makers in Washington about the significant role CDBG plays in making neighborhoods better places to live.

"Always a strong supporter of CDBG, the U.S. Conference of Mayors has taken a renewed and more vigorous interest in National Community Development Week because of the many challenges that now face the program.

  • Last year, the program was cut by approximately $60 million, its first budget cut in more than a decade.
  • The Administration's FY2003 budget proposes reducing CDBG funding for several communities based on their per capita income.
  • Legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives to change the program's targeting requirements, reducing flexibility for communities.

    "CDBG is an incredibly effective and beloved program among America's mayors and city residents. It is critically important for the development and revitalization of urban neighborhoods. Mayors and cities rely on CDBG and look forward to shining a spotlight on its effectiveness and successes during National Community Development Week."

    Gene Lowe, (202) 861-6710


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