St. Louis is one of seven cities that the Obama Administration chose in the second wave of a program designed to push economic development forward in struggling cities. As a result of the Strong Cities, Strong Communities Initiative, the city will get a full-time federal employee who will work out of Mayor Francis Slay’s office for at least a year. A team of federal employees and fellows also will provide technical assistance and inter-agency support.
U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said in a conference that eligible cities had experienced decades of disinvestment. He said of the 91 cities that met the criteria, 51 applied. But Donovan said the seven cities chosen demonstrated they have a plan for moving forward.
St. Louis officials highlighted the city’s Sustainability Plan and the Northside Regeneration Project. Slay’s deputy chief of staff Mary Ellen Ponder said winning the initiative is big for the city.