Of Vice President Gore, Dec. 21:When...


January 05, 1995

FROM REMARKS of Vice President Gore, Dec. 21:

When President Clinton successfully pushed for the creation of empowerment zones . . . what [he] said to this country was, look, what we've been doing has not been working well enough, nearly well enough; we can't just look at separate individual problems in communities and define these communities in terms of what's wrong and then set up a separate effort to try to deal with each of the problems; these communities have to be approached as the living communities of people that they are and we have to focus on the whole community and remedy the mistakes in the past.

Some previous proposals to simply give -- to do nothing more than to give a tax benefit hasn't worked, either, because virtually every state has tried that approach and what a lot of them got were these isolated buildings right by the exits from the freeway with no windows and one door and the cars would drive into the self-contained parking lot and the people would go to work and earn the money and the company would get the tax breaks and the community would never even see any of the benefits.

President Clinton's approach has been completely different from that and completely different from the old government approach of trying to focus on each of the problems. His approach, that is being announced here today at this ceremony, is to approach the whole community and bring all of the elements of the community together, public and private, ask the corporations to put resources on the table, ask the neighborhood citizens groups to get actively involved, foster communication among all elements of the community, and lift up the whole community; and bring the federal government in as a partner with the people already in the community who have the ideas, who have the initiative, who have some of the resources but need more resources and more help from an entity that's going to be a partner, not a lecturer, not somebody that just tells them Washington knows what's best. That's the way this program is going to work.

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