Community Development Block Grants

I’m writing from Washington, D.C. this evening after my first day at the National League of Cities conference.  It is impressive, with thousands of city councilors and mayors from all over the country sharing stories and lessons.  It is interesting, though perhaps not surprising, that so many folks in other communities face challenges similar to those we face in Golden, and I’m asking everyone about their experiences, what’s worked and what hasn’t.

Community Development Block Grant funding is one priority issue for the National League of Cities.  The program provides annual grants to communities across America – including Golden – to help low- and moderate-income folks and neighborhoods. Golden applies for funds in conjunction with Jefferson County, Edgewater, Mountain View, and Wheat Ridge and since the beginning of the current Community Development Block Grant program in 1993 we have collectively received and spent more than $1.3 million on things like improving and constructing sidewalks in lower-income parts of town, Jefferson County Housing Authority programs, and handicap accessibility improvements.  President Bush proposed cutting the program by $1 billion, more than 25 percent of the program, on top of a 15% cut over the past two years.  Most everyone here is lobbying their delegation about the importance of at least maintaining current funding levels, and that will be among the things that Mayor Baroch and I bring up when we meet with the Colorado Congressional delegation over the next couple of days.

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