Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 1999 5:09 PM
Subject: SDCOUNTIL> 1999-05-04 VP Announces Commitments to Build a
Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release May 4, 1999
VICE PRESIDENT GORE ANNOUNCES NEARLY 50 FEDERAL COMMITMENTS
TO HELP BUILD A MORE SUSTAINABLE AMERICA
Also Calls on Congress to Approve Administration's
Livable Communities Initiative
Detroit, MI -- Vice President Gore today announced nearly 50
commitments by federal agencies to help build a more sustainable
America, and he called on Congress to approve the Administration's
proposals for helping state and local governments build more livable
communities for the 21st century.
In an address to the National Town Meeting for a Sustainable
America at Detroit's Cobo Convention Center, the Vice President said the
gathering of 3,000 business, community and elected leaders represented a
growing movement across the country supporting new, innovative
strategies that promote a high quality of life, a healthy environment,
and strong economic growth.
"Many of you have worked for years to promote the kind of growth
that is good for families, good for communities, and good for our
economy," the Vice President said. "When we consider what is at stake --
our economic strength, our public safety, our air and water and open
space, the strength of our families, and our very sense of community --
we realize that this truly is a great national challenge for the
The National Town Meeting, cosponsored by the President's Council
on Sustainable Development and the nonprofit Global Environment &
Technology Foundation, is highlighting sustainable practices pioneered
by businesses and communities across the country. The Town Meeting's
co-hosts are the City of Detroit, Wayne County, the State of Michigan,
General Motors Corporation, and the Metropolitan Organizing Strategy
Enabling Strength (MOSES). An estimated 60,000 people are participating
by satellite at more than 100 sites across the country.
One of the goals of the Town Meeting is to stimulate 2,000
commitments from individuals, businesses, and communities by the year
2000 to undertake new efforts to ensure sustainable growth and a better
quality of life.
As a demonstration of the federal government's dedication to the
Town Meeting's goals, the Vice President announced 47 commitments from
11 federal agencies, including:
The Department of Agriculture will expand its efforts to promote
local farmers' markets that help sustain family farms while providing
fresh produce directly to consumers.
The General Services Administration is creating a new Center of
Expertise for Urban Development and Livability to strengthen the
agency's efforts to leverage its huge urban real estate holdings in
support of downtown revitalization, for instance by locating new federal
The Federal Emergency Management Agency will accelerate efforts to
acquire or elevate homes and other structures in high-risk floodplains,
protecting both people and property from recurring natural disasters,
and ensuring communities a more sustainable economic base.
The Department of Transportation is launching a Transportation
Livability Initiative to help communities improve their transportation
decisionmaking. The Department will develop a toolkit and a website,
outline available transportation resources, showcase success stories,
convene regional working groups on livability, and collaborate with
other Federal agencies on livability activities.
"As people across America pull together to create more livable,
sustainable communities, we in the federal government are fully
committed to doing our part," the Vice President said. "We are
reinventing the way we do business to be a full partner in building a
more sustainable America."
In his remarks, the Vice President also called on Congress to
approve the Administration's proposed Livable Communities Initiative,
which would provide communities with new tools and resources to preserve
green spaces, ease traffic congestion, and pursue "smart growth"
The initiative includes $700 million in new tax credits for Better
America Bonds, which would help communities leverage nearly $10 billion
over five years to improve water quality, protect green spaces, and
clean up brownfields. It also proposes a record $6.1 billion for public
transit, and $1.6 billion to support state and local projects that
reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality.
"Our goal is to provide more choice for communities. We can empower
people at the grassroots level by giving them the tools and resources
they need to create the communities they want," the Vice President said.
"When we work together, we can craft solutions that are good for cities,
suburbs, and rural areas. We can sustain our prosperity, improve our
quality of life, and restore a sense of community -- for all Americans."
# # #
Summaries of the federal commitments announced at the National Town
Meeting are available by request at 202-456-7035.
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