Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson is scheduled to speak to congressional members this afternoon in support of continued funding for Community Development Block Grants.
Freeman-Wilson, a native of Gary and former Indiana attorney general, will be joining Mayor Ed Pawlowski of Allentown, Pennsylvania, for a congressional roundtable discussion at 3:30 p.m. in Washington, D.C. The event will include community leaders from urban and rural areas to talk about how they utilize Community Development Block Grants and HOME Investment Partnerships for various projects and programs in their own communities.
The Trump administration budget blueprint, released Tuesday, calls for the elimination of both programs.
In response, more than 350 mayors from all 50 states sent bipartisan letters to leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, urging them to keep allocating federal money to the CDBG program. The mayors described the block grants as “one of the most effective federal programs for growing local economies and for providing a lifeline to families and communities with proven results” and called upon Congress to allocate $3.3 billion to the program in fiscal year 2018.
Indiana mayors James Brainard of Carmel, Thomas Henry of Fort Wayne, Joe Hogsett of Indianapolis, Dennis Tyler of Muncie, and Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, along with Freeman-Wilson, signed the letter.
Wednesday’s roundtable discussion is hosted by the House Committee on Financial Services ranking Democratic members, Maxine Waters of California, Dan Kildee of Michigan and Emanuel Cleaver II of Texas.