A child's zip code should never determine her destiny; but today, the community she grows up in impacts her odds of graduating high school, her health outcomes, and her lifetime economic opportunities. For kids who do not get an equal start in life, the President is committed to partnering with local leaders to give them proven tools to rebuild and put people back to work. It will take a collaborative effort between private business and federal, state, and local officials; faith based and nonprofit organizations; and striving kids and parents to ensure that hard work leads to a decent living for every American in every community.
Since 2009, the President has provided proven tools to combat poverty, investing more than $350 million in 100 of the nation's persistent pockets of poverty.
Building on those efforts, in his 2013 State of the Union Address, the President laid out an initiative to designate a number of high poverty urban, rural and tribal communities as Promise Zones, where the federal government will partner with and invest in communities to create jobs, leverage private investment, increase economic activity, expand educational opportunities, and improve public safety.
Communities will compete in a transparent process, and be required to demonstrate the strength and effectiveness of their local commitment, to become Promise Zones. Each designated Promise Zone will be asked to identify a set of outcomes they will pursue to revitalize their communities, develop a strategy supporting those outcomes, and realign resources accordingly. For communities selected, the federal government will partner to help the Promise Zones access the resources and expertise they need.
In addition to the five communities designated the first round, the Obama Administration will designate 15 more communities over the next three years with an intensive and layered approach to revitalizing communities.
This approach includes working with local leadership and bringing to bear the resources of a number of the President's signature revitalization initiatives from the Department of Education, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Agriculture to ensure that federal programs and resources support the efforts to turn around 20 of the highest poverty urban, rural and tribal communities across the country.