CINCINNATI, OHIO – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) attended a forum today with African American Ministers at the New Friendship Baptist Church in Cincinnati. Brown was joined by Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray. Rev. H.L. Harvey hosted the forum, which focused on education, healthcare, housing, the economy, and other issues important to Southwest Ohio.
“From Avondale to the West End, Cincinnati is home to an enduring legacy of African American scholars, civic leaders, and artists,” Brown said. “Meeting with clergy and community leaders helps address the needs of these storied communities. Today we discussed ways in which we can jointly move forward our mission of strengthening the economy, providing affordable housing and foreclosure prevention, while also bolstering educational opportunities in our state.”
Sen. Brown recently announced that the city of Cincinnati was awarded at $2.4 million Community Challenge Planning Grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The funds will help update zoning codes, building codes, and other city development regulations to attract small businesses and improve neighborhoods throughout Cincinnati.
Brown is a leading proponent of providing assistance to communities affected by the housing crisis and population loss. He fought for the creation of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 and the continuation of the program in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. In Sep. 2008, Brown announced that Ohio communities would receive more than $258 million in NSP funds authorized by the housing bill. In Sep. 2009, Brown wrote to Secretary Donovan in support of Ohio applicants to the second wave of funding through the NSP program.
Attendees discussed ways to improve education. In August, Ohio was one of ten states to receive Race to the Top Funding from the U.S. Department of Education. Ohio was awarded $400 million which will be distributed over the next four years. Brown wrote a letter of support to US. Dept. of Education Secretary Arne Duncan to help turn around persistently low-achieving schools. In July, Brown, along with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), introduced legislation to promote student achievement. The DIPLOMA Act responds to research by arming local leaders to identify and address the barriers students face so they can meet rigorous standards in the classroom and reach their full potential. More information on the bill can be found HERE.
During the State Work Period in August and September, Brown traveled around Ohio meeting with small business owners and workers as part of his “Made in Ohio Tour.” With the top priority of creating Ohio jobs, Brown is fighting for a multi-pronged effort to promote economic development. The key components of Senator Brown's jobs strategy are:
• Promoting the expansion of Ohio businesses by strengthening small business lending programs and aiding President Obama's goal to significantly boost U.S. exports.
• Transitioning away from our dependence on foreign oil to a clean energy future in which jobs are centered in the small businesses, manufacturing facilities, and universities of Ohio.
• Developing Ohio's workforce so that Ohioans are prepared to fill the jobs of the 21st century and revitalizing the state's infrastructure to attract those global industries.
• Making sure that Ohio industry isn't undermined due to unfair trade by pursuing remedies to counteract China's currency manipulation and subsidization of domestic industries.