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Letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives Transmitting a Distressed Area Redevelopment Bill.

February 20, 1961

Dear Mr. Speaker:

On January 25, in letters addressed to you and to the Vice President, I recommended the enactment of legislation to redevelop areas of substantial and persistent unemployment. Enclosed for the consideration of the Congress is a draft of a bill which would carry out this purpose.

This matter has been the subject of long study by both the Federal Government and private interests. The need is urgent. The benefits to the national economy are clear. When enacted, the legislation will help develop long-term job opportunities in those parts of our Nation which are suffering most from unemployment. It will encourage new industry to locate and existing industry to expand in industrial areas and in underdeveloped rural and small urban areas which require a better balance of industry and agriculture.

The basic provisions of the bill are those which:

1. Provide technical assistance to local communities to enable them to plan intelligently their economic development and to explore methods of expansion of their industrial resources;

2. Provide for participating loans to meet the gap created when conventional lending facilities are unavailable to the local industry;

3. Provide for modernized public facilities, such as access roads, industrial water, industrial parks and public utilities, so that industry will be encouraged to locate in these areas;

4. Provide, in cooperation with State, local and private organizations, for the expansion of facilities and opportunities for training and re-training the labor force in new and improved skills.

I believe it is essential that we enact this legislation at the earliest possible date. It will constitute a major effort to revive and redevelop communities which have too long been handicapped.



John F. Kennedy, Letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives Transmitting a Distressed Area Redevelopment Bill. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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