The City of Tucson has been selected by the National League of Cities as one of eight communities in the U.S. for its Equitable Economic Mobility Initiative. This technical assistance program is aimed at boosting economic mobility for residents while addressing long-standing racial inequalities.
Mayor Regina Romero said this program is much needed in a post-pandemic period. “COVID-19 exacerbated societal inequities that have long existed, disproportionately impacting low-income communities,” said Romero. “This program will help us increase economic mobility from the bottom up, ensuring that our recovery uplifts our most vulnerable populations.”
The City of Tucson was selected for the initiative because of its demonstrated commitment to racial equity and resident economic mobility, along with the strong existing partnerships and capacity for data collection and analysis.
The City of Tucson Ward 3 Council Office, Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Office of Economic Initiatives are collaborating on this project which seeks to develop specific economic mobility strategies for public housing residents and other economically vulnerable populations in the Thrive in the 05 area.
“Our economic mobility efforts will develop resources to connect Tucson House residents and others in the Thrive in the 05 to the economic benefits available and to employment opportunities,” says Ward 3 Council Member Karin Uhlich. “By reducing the economic vulnerability and stresses that too many households face, I believe we can truly reduce poverty.”
The seven neighborhoods along Oracle Road and Miracle Mile are currently included in a City revitalization initiative. This area is characterized by high poverty rates and lower educational attainment along with the largest concentration of public housing. Using data and research, the grant program will help identify workforce development opportunities and create pilot programs to assist with job placement, financial literacy, and personalized counseling with the goal of greater economic stability for Tucson families.
“Many local governments are investing in programs that help people meet their basic needs, but few examine how existing systems can be improved to help families build wealth,” said Robert Blaine, senior executive and director of the Institute for Youth, Education and Families at the National League of Cities. “The National League of Cities is proud to work with the City of Tucson in its efforts to address long-standing racial inequality and help promote the inherent dignity of each of its residents by expanding opportunities for economic mobility within the community.”
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation generously supports the Equitability Economic Mobility Initiative.