On February 28 at 3:00 p.m. EST, HUD Secretary Donovan and myself will host a Twitter town hall to launch the Strong Cities, Strong Communities Fellowship Program.
Launched by the Obama Administration last summer, the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) initiative is a new way the federal government is working with cities in a more responsive and collaborative manner. Thirteen different federal agencies are working together with mayors and local governments across the U.S. to help them use existing federal resources more effectively to achieve their economic vision and goals. SC2 is at the heart of the Administration’s commitment to help revitalize and strengthen American cities, which have historically been, and continue to be, the backbone of our nation’s economy. Federal agencies engaged in SC2 work closely with local elected officials and leadership in the philanthropic, nonprofit and private sectors to improve the capacity of these cities to respond to immediate and future challenges.
To pilot this new, collaborative approach, five cities and one region were selected to receive Community Solution Teams comprised of federal staff from multiple agencies. Over the last four months, these teams have worked on the ground with local governments and their partners to accomplish tangible outcomes in Chester, PA; Detroit, MI; Fresno, CA; Memphis, TN; New Orleans, LA, and the Northeast Ohio cities of Cleveland and Youngstown.
Today, I am also pleased to announce the progress of another vital component of SC2 Fellowship Program. Over the next few months, a group of highly-skilled professionals who are committed to public service will be selected through a nationally competitive process to serve in these seven cities. To award these fellowships, HUD is partnering with the German Marshall Fund of the United States, Cleveland State University, and Virginia Tech University. Underwriting for the fellowships is provided by a generous gift from the Rockefeller Foundation.
During the Twitter town hall, Secretary Donovan and I will provide more details about how you can apply for the SC2 Fellowship Program and be a part of this new generation of innovative leaders committed to public service. We will tweet about eligibility, timing, selection criteria, and other details you will want to know to apply. The event will be streamed live on HUD’s website. Twitter users will be able to ask questions in advance and during the Town Hall using the hashtag #AskSOHUD.
SC2 is about effective government and fostering the type of change that can positively impact communities. By creating long-lasting partnerships with local governments, philanthropies, academic institutions, business, and non-profits, we can help revitalize and strengthen America’s cities.
The Secretary and I look forward to this conversation – join us next week.