This Dispatch will outline strategies that include crafting
outreach and education initiatives that integrate city and state
government agencies with grassroots organizations and local media to
ensure 'Hard-to-Count' residents are included in the Census; enacting
state legislation that mandates prisoners are counted in their home
districts rather than in that of their prisons, and proactively
considering principles for redistricting legislative districts that move
beyond uniquely partisan concerns to addressing the needs of district
residents. This Dispatch will also aim to provide some of these
best practices and highlight resources, all with a view toward preparing
states to engage effectively with the 2010 and — looking forward — 2020
In order to comply with new transparency requirements under the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, state governments across the
country are scrambling to report to the public how they spend recovery
dollars. Unfortunately, no existing state government Web sites that are
accounting for the recovery funds report the number of jobs created by
private contractors. Without such data, the sites are close to
Fortunately, Oregon is leading an effort to require contractors to
report the number of jobs they create, as well as the hours worked and
wages received by their employees. These proposed requirements would
ensure Oregonians' tax money actually goes toward creating quality
President Barack Obama's $787 billion federal stimulus package, now
known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, is
designed to jumpstart the nation's failing economy not only through
grants and middle-class tax cuts, but by funding state ''shovel-ready''
construction projects that will hopefully produce thousands of jobs and
small business opportunities, especially in the black community.
Just last week, Pres. Obama unveiled new proposals to allow small
businesses easier access to loans and capital through the US Small
Business Administration in an effort to empower them to take better
advantage of stimulus package opportunities.
But even before North Carolina fully determines how to distribute
its $6.1 billion in federal stimulus funding, questions are being
raised as to how African-Americans can best access their share of the
PORTLAND, Ore. (NNPA) - Rep. Chip Shields (D-Portland) this week
introduced a bipartisan bill that would provide oversight of how
state-chartered banks are spending money disbursed through the Troubled
Assets Relief Program (TARP).
The move comes at the same time another new bill would create a
statewide “stimulus czar” to oversee the influx of money expected from
President Barack Obama’s economic plan.
If passed, Shields’ House Bill 2784 would convene a bipartisan
group of Oregon state senators and representatives, as well as members
of the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services and
representatives of the financial industry, to provide oversight and
evaluate the need for regulation of operations of financial
institutions licensed, certified or chartered in this state that
receive funds from the TARP program.
Salem, OR - Representatives of some national "good government" groups will be in Salem today for the first hearing on two bills that would tighten requirements for who gets government contracts and how they use the money. The Oregon legislation could be used by other states that are looking for ways to track job creation and increase accountability.
In fact, Oregon has some ideas that other states may soon be anxious to copy. This morning, a House committee in Salem discusses two bills that propose turning up the heat on government contractors by setting quality standards and tracking their progress. With billions of dollars of federal stimulus money at stake — and a president who says it must be used to create jobs — states are scrambling to figure out how to meet federal requirements.