The Obama Administration announced it is expanding the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) Initiative to include Brownsville, TX; Flint, MI; Gary, IN; Macon, GA; Rockford, IL; St. Louis, MO; and Rocky Mount, NC. President Obama established SC2 in 2011as an innovative and flexible program designed to strengthen local capacity, coordinate federal investments, and spark growth in economically distressed communities. The SC2 Initiative was developed through engagement with mayors, Members of Congress, foundations, nonprofits and other community partners who are committed to addressing the challenges facing local governments as they work to create economic opportunity for all residents.
A Community Solutions Team from Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) will be embedded in Mayor Francis Slay's Office to work alongside City leadership, community organizations, local businesses and philanthropy to help carry out the City's Sustainability Plan, as well as the Northside Regeneration Project.
The federal government sometimes operates in silos. Under SC2, different federal agencies will coordinate and collaborate with one another to deliver more effective services focused on specific challenges and opportunities at the local level. In the City of St. Louis, at least one person, and maybe several, will live in St. Louis and work in the Mayor's Office for at least one year and up to two years. The team will align federal agencies and resources behind the Mayor's vision and strategy to make the City more sustainable, and to redevelop North St. Louis.
The president sent an SC2 team to St. Louis in November, 2013, to determine whether the City was ready and worthy. The team found that the City has momentum and creativity that the Obama Administration wants to support.
"I want to thank President Obama and Secretary Donovan for this opportunity," said Mayor Slay. "We will be looking to the SC2 team to help advance the City's Sustainability Plan and the Northside Regeneration Project. The team can help us better align federal programs and investments while building new partnerships that will serve us for years to come."
The SC2 Network is funded by a $10 million grant from HUD. Fifty-one cities applied for SC2. Seven were chosen: Brownsville, TX; Flint, MI; Gary, IN; Macon, GA; Rockford, IL; Rocky Mount, NC; and St. Louis, MO.
The SC2 Teams will aim to duplicate the record of success established in the original pilot cities: Chester, PA; Cleveland, OH; Detroit, MI; Fresno, CA; Memphis, TN; New Orleans, LA; and Youngstown, OH. SC2 Teams enabled those communities to more effectively use more than $368 million in existing federal funds and investments. They also provided advice and expertise that have helped these communities make significant progress toward their priorities in economic development, housing, transportation, public safety, and public health, among other areas.
"I look forward to welcoming the SC2 team to my office this March," said Mayor Slay. "We will give them a lot of work to do."
For more information about the SC2 Teams involvement and goals for the new locations please visit http://www.huduser.org/portal/SC2/home.html. For more information about accomplishments of the initiative in the original pilot locations and policy insights that have surfaced as a result, please review the first SC2 Annual Report.
Office of the Mayor