Obama Administration selects final Promise Zone communities


Today the Obama administration named its final nine Promise Zones, high-poverty areas in select urban, rural and tribal communities that will receive help to spur economic growth.

These nine zones were selected out of 82 applications from 38 states and Puerto Rico. The federal government will work with leaders of each community in order to boost economic activity and job growth, improve educational education opportunities, reduce crime and leverage private investment to improve the quality of life in the community.

“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 Julián Castro, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development secretary.  “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.”

These are the nine communities that the administration selected:

  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Nashville, Tennessee
  • Evansville, Indiana
  • South Los Angeles, California
  • San Diego, California
  • Southwest Florida Regional Planning Commission
  • Spokane Tribe, Washington
  • Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, Rolette County, North Dakota
  • Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico

“Rural and tribal areas face unique challenges and we are ready to take on those challenges with creative solutions that strengthen communities,” said Tom Vilsack, U.S. Department of Agriculture secretary. 

“The Promise Zone initiative delivers proven results by encouraging collaboration between the federal government, community organizations, the private sector and state and local governments,” Vilsack said. “Through these partnerships, we are supporting jobs and economic opportunities that enable rural areas to thrive.”

In addition to the nine communities selected today, the administration chose 13 others in 2014 and 2015. Here are the communities previously selected:

  • 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 government has already started its work in these communities. For example, in San Antonio, the George Gervin Youth Center was awarded a $1.1 million YouthBuild grant from the Department of Labor to establish an education and training program for at-risk young people.

In their application, communities put together a description of how a Promised Zone designation would accelerate and strengthen the community’s own efforts at comprehensive community revitalization.

The Promise Zones will be coordinated by a lead community-based organization partnering with the Obama administration. 

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