The Equity Advocate’s Guide to the Budget

As we get ready for 2012, and continue our work advancing economic and social equity, we have exciting news from Congress!

Here’s what we can look forward to in next year’s budget (in alphabetical order):
  • Choice Neighborhoods will receive $120 million to create communities of opportunity with stable affordable housing, up from $100 million last year.
  • Healthy Food Financing Initiative will receive $32 million–$22 million through the Department of Treasury, and $10 million through the Department of Health and Human Services–to expand access to healthy food in low-income communities. USDA will be able to use additional resources for related efforts.
  • New Starts will receive nearly $2 billion to expand public transportation systems across the country, an increase of over $300 million from last year.
  • Prevention and Public Health Fund will receive the full $1 billion authorized through the Affordable Care Act, including $280 million for Community Transformation Grants, which support community-level chronic disease prevention and the promotion of health and wellness. This is a $135 million increase from 2011.
  • Promise Neighborhoods will receive $60 million to support communities of opportunity centered around strong schools, based on the principles of the Harlem Children’s Zone. That’s up from $30 million in 2011, and $10 million in 2010.
  • The Sustainable Communities Initiative, which helps communities plan for their future economies and implement major infrastructure investments, will receive $2.6 million for operations–but will not receive funding for the grant program.
  • The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) will receive $500 million to create multi-use transportation hubs.
We will share more details about these programs in the coming months. Thank you for all you have done to help preserve and expand these programs, creating opportunity for children, families, and working people all across the country. Thank you for all you will do in the next year, as we work together to keep these programs sustainable, and fight for the programs that were underfunded, or didn’t make the cut this year.To a happy and equitable new year!

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