Congressional Leaders Planning to Hold Town Meetings

Center for Social Inclusion Report Argues Effective Economic Recovery Depends on Stimulus Aid to Low-Opportunity Communities

New York, NY, March 16, 2009– A report released today by the Center for Social Inclusion finds that communities of color, the fastest growing population of the New York metropolitan area, have not benefited from infrastructure development, job creation and other crucial services, and bear the heaviest burdens in today’s economic climate.

Using New York as a microcosm for the nation, One Region: Promoting Prosperity Across Race, argues that communities of color are ground zero for the economy. Examining environmental injustice, housing deprivation, job exclusion and a host of related issues, the One Region report shows that unless we make sustained investment in the infrastructure and needs of non-white and other low opportunity areas, beginning with federal stimulus funding, the long term effects of this crisis will hurt the entire region and hamper economic recovery for years to come.

The Center for Social Inclusion report states that bad government policy is the cause of these disparities. Inadequate infrastructure investments a n d economic development subsidies that favor wealthy suburbs are chief causes. However, the current crisis and the stimulus money flowing into New York from the federal government provide a critical opportunity to re-invest in communities that must be part of the solution to our economic woes.
Our state and local leaders must work to use stimulus funds to invest in jobs, infrastructure development, and foreclosure prevention in communities where unemployment and foreclosure are highest. Elected officials are responding to the report. Representative Nydia Velázquez, 12 Congressional District and other local leaders, are planning to hold town hall meetings in their districts. “The Center for Social Inclusion is doing important work to help all New Yorkers have an equal chance to succeed,” said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez. “The report released today is evidence that we still have much to do to end the disparities afflicting our communities. It is essential that we preserve the character of our neighborhoods and city by expanding opportunities for residents– from decent housing and schools to good-paying jobs.”

Maya Wiley, Director of the Center for Social Inclusion, states. “We have to stimulate equality if we want to stimulate the economy. We need solutions that build opportunity for everyone, not just a select few. One Region is a roadmap for investing stimulus dollars fairly and effectively: this money should go to making sure that all New Yorkers can contribute to and benefit from a strong regional economy.”

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