On Thursday, a joint working group, led by Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Representatives Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Ron Kind (D-WI), announced its plan to develop legislation to spur private sector investment in distressed communities across the country. The group includes Reps. Peter Roskam (R-IL), Terri Sewell (D-AL), Todd Young (R-IN), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Charles Boustany (R-LA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Kevin Yoder (R-KS), and John Delaney (D-MD).

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In their announcement, the working group cited EIG swing state polling on voters’ views on the economy and shared data from EIG’s Distressed Communities Index, which highlights the severe economic challenges that many communities continue to face around the country.

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Here’s what our co-founders had to say:

“The Economic Innovation Group applauds this outstanding group of lawmakers, led by Senators Tim Scott and Cory Booker and Representatives Pat Tiberi and Ron Kind, for coming together to tackle one of the biggest economic challenges of our time,” said John Lettieri, Co-Founder and Senior Director for Policy and Strategy for the Economic Innovation Group (EIG). “Our country urgently needs policies that foster greater levels of investment and access to capital in economically distressed communities across America.”

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“EIG research shows that economic distress exists in communities of all shapes and sizes across the U.S. We are hopeful that this new working group can create bold, innovative solutions that unlock capital and lead to the creation of new businesses and jobs. EIG will continue highlighting these issues and looks forward to serving as a resource in this endeavor,” said Steve Glickman, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Economic Innovation Group.

Here’s what the working group members had to say in their joint statement:

“Six years after the end of the great recession, far too many Americans live in communities defined by a lack of economic growth and limited economic opportunity. At the root of this challenge is a lack of access to the capital needed to start and grow businesses, hire workers, and develop new enterprises that can offer opportunity to families struggling to get by. We are a geographically and politically diverse group, but we agree that finding new ways to connect struggling communities with the investment they need is an urgent national priority that demands innovative policy solutions. Fortunately, the United States is home to the best investors and entrepreneurs in the world. With the right policies, we believe we can identify the areas that need their resources and expertise the most. In the coming months, we will work together to highlight this issue on the national stage and introduce new proposals to help revive economically distressed communities.”

Distressed Communities Index (DCI) 

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