Dec 6, 2013 
Press Release
Would open competitive-grant program to cities hit by Redevelopment Agency closures

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52) announced his support for H.R. 3518, the ‘Restarting Local Economies Act,’ which would expand opportunities for localities to compete more easily for federal redevelopment grant awards. This would be of particular benefit for cities in California, including San Diego, which were hit especially hard by the closure of redevelopment agency offices across the state.

“San Diego was hard hit by the state’s decision to close the redevelopment agencies,” Congressman Peters said. “Those funds were creating high-quality jobs in our city, and across the state. I’m proud to promote this legislation that would expand competitive-grant opportunities for San Diego and help mitigate this redevelopment loss.”

The bill, introduced by Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15), amends current law to allow communities injured by the closure of local economic development entities to qualify for federal Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) grants. Further, the legislation allows for greater federal contribution share in the grants for these communities from between 50 and 80 percent to up to 100 percent.

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria stated, “There’s no question San Diego took a huge economic hit when our state Legislature eliminated redevelopment funds. I want to thank Congressman Peters and Congressman Swalwell for recognizing this fact and proposing sensible legislation to help mitigate the impacts of Sacramento’s decision. Quite simply, this is a bill that would help create jobs in San Diego, which is why I support it wholeheartedly.”

“In San Diego, we owe many of our economic successes to redevelopment dollars; It has enabled us to build a Central Library we are proud of, transform a Naval Training Center at Liberty Station into a showcase of our vibrant economies, and create a downtown community that serves many,” said Mark Cafferty, president & CEO of San Diego Regional EDC. “Thanks to the leadership of Reps. Peters and Swalwell, we are hoping that redevelopment dollars come back to San Diego so that we have another tool to create jobs and spur further economic growth.”

Jerry Sanders, CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, said, “Our city and our local economy were clearly hurt by the closure of our State’s redevelopment offices. I commend Congressman Peters for promoting this legislative opportunity that would help the continued reinvigoration of our city and create good jobs for San Diegans. This is the type of job-growth focused legislation we need coming from Congress.”