Trump selects former NFL player to lead inner-city program, Dem mayor touts its success

 

President Donald Trump’s support among black Americans has been ticking up, but it’s because of a fluke.

While former President Barack Obama paid a lot of lip service to helping the black community, he has little to show when it comes to results. On the other hand, Trump has been hard at work on policy initiatives, be it criminal justice reform or economic initiatives like the “Opportunity  Zone” program, which is intended to spur economic development in struggling communities by providing tax benefits to investors.

Programs like this from Trump, unfortunately, don’t get much attention from the mainstream media. In similar fashion, the media paid little attention to the recent remarks of Vicksburg, Mississippi, Mayor George Flaggs, who thanked President Trump for his efforts to help the black community.

The first Opportunity Zone was created in Vicksburg, a city were 68 percent of the population is black or African American. And even though Flaggs is a Democrat, he did not hesitate to share the stage with Trump or to tout the success of the new program.

“As a mayor of the city and a former legislator for 25 years, I’ve never seen any piece of legislation that allows more collaboration between federal, state and local government,” Flaggs said.

Trump’s appearance at an Opportunity Zone conference last week at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington saw little press coverage, so few Americans know of the success Flaggs spoke of when the president called him up to the stage.

“And just to tell you what we was able to do,” the mayor said. “In Vicksburg, we have created — 54 percent of our new jobs and the new jobs in the state of Mississippi was created in Vicksburg, Mississippi, because of the economic opportunity we share here today.”

The mayor continued by saying that these new jobs are making a big impact on people’s lives.

“The City of Vicksburg — 24,000 people, rural as you get. But, at the same time, we was able to save 125 jobs for the city of Vicksburg,” he said. “And let me tell you, that’s bread on the table. That’s meat in somebody’s kitchen.”

The president also introduced former NFL player Scott Turner as executive director of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council, which is led by Ben Carson, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Praising Trump for his “vision and leadership,” Turner told the room of state and local leaders that they can do big things together.

“I’ve been able to play on a lot of teams — San Diego, Washington, Denver — but this is the greatest team because we have the opportunity to make a generational impact, us together,” he said.

“See, revitalization doesn’t have a color,” the former athlete continued. “It doesn’t have a party. Revitalization starts in the heart of every man.”

He continued by saying that he wants to restore “dignity and hope” to struggling families and communities.

“And I’ll say that because, if we focus on the true mission and the people — the grandmothers, the grandfathers; the next generation coming out through us; the kids that are truant and now they’re working; the single mothers who now have a job — to restore dignity and hope in their family and in the community, that’s why I’m here,” he said. “And I believe that’s why you’re here.”

 

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