State-Level Promise Zones

State leaders can adopt the Promise Zones model to support innovative localities, explain the authors.

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idea light bulbEarlier this year, President Barack Obama announced the launch of the Promise Zones initiative, an effort to strengthen the federal government’s relationship with local leaders and to increase access to the resources and expertise necessary to improve mobility and economic opportunity for high-poverty communities. The Promise Zones model supports innovative localities as they implement comprehensive, evidence-based strategies to revitalize high-poverty communities. But there is no need for the model to be restricted to the federal level, particularly since many states are pursuing strategies to address these same goals. Rather than waiting for a federal Promise Zones designation, state leaders can take the initiative to adopt this model to increase opportunity for their residents who live in high-poverty areas. Action of this type would be an unprecedented step by state officials to join local and federal leaders to drive cross-sector, evidence-based solutions to fight poverty.

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