Macon named part of federal initiative

pramati@macon.comJanuary 15, 2014 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will announce Thursday that Macon is one of seven American cities that will be added to the federal government’s Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative.

The formal announcement will be made during a morning teleconference featuring HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and White House Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz. HUD officials declined to comment Wednesday about the announcement.

Macon-Bibb County spokesman Chris Floore said Mayor Robert Reichert wouldn’t be making any comments until after the teleconference.

Macon will join St. Louis; Gary, Ind.; Flint, Mich.; Brownsville, Texas; Rockford, Ill.; and Rocky Mount, N.C., as part of the initiative, which begins this month.

President Barack Obama’s administration developed the Strong Cities, Strong Communities program to give the selected cities technical advice and expertise from federal interagency teams.

According to a news release, the goal of these teams is to help the cities more effectively invest existing resources, provide advice and expertise in support of local priorities, better align federal programs and investments, and facilitate new partnerships and peer learning opportunities.

The government created the Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative in 2011. The initial cities for the project were Chester, Pa.; Cleveland; Detroit; Fresno, Calif.; Memphis, Tenn.; New Orleans; and Youngstown, Ohio.

To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.

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