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White House Talks Up Economic, Environmental Renewal to Replace Blight


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Entrepreneurs have been unleashed inside blighted communities to bring economic opportunity where it is needed most, thanks to President Donald Trump’s deregulation and revitalization initiatives, administration officials said Friday. 

Scott Turner, executive director of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council, discussed such progress with Andrew Wheeler, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, during a conference of conservative activists near Washington.

Turner, a former pro football player, told the audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference that opportunity zones created during the Trump administration are bringing “stakeholders” back into “stressed communities” for the first time in decades.

“Poverty has no color, poverty has no party,” Turner said. “Poverty affects all of us and when you’re in poverty, you don’t care about party.”

A total of 8,764 opportunity zones have been identified in economically depressed areas throughout the country, according to government figures. Opportunity zones, created as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that Trump signed into law in December 2017, give investors tax benefits in exchange for providing capital in such neighborhoods. 

The zones have both an economic and social impact, Turner said, in places where 35 million Americans live.

“Opportunity zones are bringing long-term sustainability,” he said. “Our vision is for generational impact on our country. Conversations are changing around the table with families, and when conversations change, this brings generational change.”:snip:

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