Working on Behalf of African Americans
Closing the Book on A Generation of Deficits. In 1992, the deficit was $290 billion, a record dollar high. This year, the Administration expects the budget surplus to be at least $76 billion, the largest budget surplus in history.
Saving Social Security First. President Clinton is committed to saving Social Security for the 21st Century. The President will fight to save every penny of any future surplus until a bipartisan plan to save Social Security is enacted.
Nearly 18 Million New Jobs. More than 90 percent of the new jobs have been created in the private sector, the highest percentage in 50 years.
Record-Low African American Unemployment. The unemployment rate for African Americans has fallen from 14.2 percent in 1992 to 8.9 percent in 1998 -- the lowest annual level on record (data first collected in 1972).
The Lowest Inflation in More than 30 Years. Since 1993, the inflation rate has averaged just 2.5 percent -- the lowest average inflation rate since the Kennedy Administration.
Strong Private Sector Growth. The private sector of the economy has grown 3.9 percent annually --the fastest rate of private-sector growth since the Johnson Administration.
Median Income of African American Households Is Up $3,354. The median income of African American households rose 4.3 percent (or $1,029) in 1997. And since 1993, the median income of African American households has increased from $21,696 to $25,050 -- $3,354 or a 15-percent increase, adjusted for inflation, between 1993 and 1997.
Real Wages Are Rising for African Americans. The real wages of African Americans have risen rapidly in the past two years, up about 5.8 percent for African American men and 6.2 percent for African American women since 1996.
Tax Cuts For Low-Income Working Families. President Clinton's 1993 Economic Plan provided tax cuts to 15 million hard-pressed working families by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The average family with two kids who received the EITC received a tax cut of $1,026. In 1997, the EITC lifted 1.1 million African Americans out of poverty.
Largest Four-Year Drop in African American Poverty in More than Twenty-Five Years. Since 1993, the African American poverty rate has dropped from 33.1 percent to 26.5 percent -- the largest four-year drop in African American poverty in more than a quarter century (1967-1971) and 26.5 percent is the lowest level on record (data collected since 1959). While this decrease marks significant progress, President Clinton will continue to fight for policies that help to raise incomes andreduce poverty.
Child Poverty Among African Americans Down To Lowest Level on Record. In 1997, the African American child poverty rate fell from 39.9 percent in 1996 to 37.2 percent -- its lowest level on record (data collected since 1959). Since 1993, the child poverty rate among African-Americans has dropped from 46.1 percent to 37.2 percent -- the biggest four-year drop on record.
Minimum Wage Increased. The President raised the minimum wage to $5.15 an hour -- directly benefitting 1.3 million African American workers.
Fighting for Paycheck Equity. The President has called on Congress to pass legislation to strengthen laws prohibiting wage discrimination. In 1997, the median earnings of African American women represented 65 percent of the median earnings for all men.
Two and a Half Times More Small Business Loans to African American Entrepreneurs. Between 1993 and 1997 the Small Business Administration (SBA) approved more than 9,000 loans to African American entrepreneurs under the 7(a) and 504 loan programs. In 1997 alone, the Small Business Administration granted 1,900 loans, worth $286 million, to African American small business owners, two and a half times the number of loans granted in 1992.
Supporting Minority Business Communities and Increasing Access to Capital. Building on the efforts of the SBA, Vice President Gore unveiled aggressive plans to increase lending and business services to the African American and Hispanic business communities nationwide. The SBA has set a goal of providing an estimated total of $1.86 billion in loans to African American small businesses over a three-year period. In addition, the Vice President announced an unprecedented agreement between SBA and the "Big Three" U.S. automakers to increase subcontracting awards to minority businesses by nearly $3 billion over the next three years -- a 50 percent increase over current levels.
Ensuring Minority Business Owners Have a Fair Opportunity to Compete. The President signed the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century into law on June 9, 1998. The Act protects the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Program, a program that ensures that minority and women owned businesses have an opportunity to compete for transportation projects. The Administration helped defeat an amendment to the House version of this bill that would have eliminated the DBE Program. In a different measure, the President also approved the creation of a new program to target assistance to minority-owned businesses in industries that continue to reflect the effects of discrimination. As a result, thousands of minority-owned businesses will be able to compete more effectively for government contracts.
Working on Behalf of Minority Farmers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is working to strengthen programs and increase outreach targeted to underserved communities, including increasing its lending to minority and women producers. Between 1993 and 1998, direct lending to these groups has nearly doubled -- from $46.5 million in FY93 to $91 million in FY98. The Administration is committed to righting any past wrongs by federal employees and worked with the Congress in 1998 to craft language contained in the Agriculture Appropriations bill that waives thetwo-year statute of limitations on discrimination complaints against USDA's farm and housing loan programs. This waiver allows compensation to be provided to many minority farmers who were victims of discrimination by USDA from the early 1980's through the 1990's. On Jan. 5,1999, Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman announced an historic agreement to settle the discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture brought by African American farmers. As President Clinton said regarding the settlement, "Today's action is an important step in Secretary Glickman's ongoing efforts to rid the Agriculture Department of discriminatory behavior and redress any harm that has been caused by past discrimination against African-American family farmers."
Expanding Access to Capital with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI). The President has expanded access to capital through the creation of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, which supports banks and other entities that specialize in lending and investing in under-served communities. The FY99 budget included a $15 million increase in CDFI funding (from $80 million to $95 million), a 19 percent increase.
Expanding Investment in Urban and Rural Areas. Spurring economic development in distressed communities, the Clinton Administration has created 31 Empowerment Zones and more than 100 Enterprise Communities that are creating new jobs, new opportunities and stronger communities. The FY99 budget included $60 million in flexible discretionary funding for the next round of Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities.
Helping People Get to Work. The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century authorizes $750 million over five years, and the FY99 budget included $75 million, for the President's Access to Jobs initiative and reverse commute grants to help communities design innovative transportation solutions so that families who need to work can get to work.
Providing Incentives to Save. The President signed into law a five-year, $125 million demonstration program for Individual Development Accounts, providing incentives for low income families to save for a first home, higher education, or to start a new business, effectively completing his 1992 community empowerment agenda.
Assisting Families with Housing Vouchers. Congress approved the President's full request for 50,000 new vouchers exclusively for people who need housing assistance to make the transition from welfare to work.
Homeownership Is Up. There are more than seven million new homeowners since the President took office. African American homeownership has increased 20 percent with 974,000 new African American homeowners since the first quarter of 1994.
Helping More Families Become Homeowners with the "Play-by-the-Rules" Homeownership Initiative. The FY99 budget included $25 million for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation to start this new initiative that will make homeownership more accessible to families who have a good rental history but have difficulty purchasing a home; 10,000 lower-income and minority families who are currently renting will benefit from this initiative.
Expanding Low-Income Housing Tax Credit by 40 Percent. In 1993, President Clinton fulfilled hispromise to permanently extend the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, spurring the private development of low-income housing and helping to build 75,000-90,000 housing units each year. President Clinton has proposed to expand the credit by 40 percent. Over the next five years, this expansion would mean an additional 150,000 to 180,000 quality affordable rental units.
Fighting for Equal Opportunity
Building One America. The President has led the nation in an effort to become One America in the 21st Century: a place where we respect others' differences and, at the same time, embrace the common values that unite us. Dr. John Hope Franklin, Advisory Board Chair, and Rev. Suzan Johnson Cook served on the Advisory Board to the President's Initiative on Race, which the President charged with overseeing this effort. The President, the Administration and the Advisory Board were actively involved in public outreach efforts -- including holding numerous public meetings and town halls -- to engage Americans across the nation in this historic effort. One of the critical elements of the President's Initiative on Race was identifying, highlighting and sharing with the nation promising practices -- local and national efforts to promote racial reconciliation. The Advisory Board presented their final report to the President on September 18, 1998, and recommended that conversations on race continue.
Creating an Administration that Looks Like One America. The President appointed the most diverse Cabinet and Administration in history. The Clinton Cabinet includes three African Americans: Rodney Slater, Secretary of the Department of Transportation; Togo West, Jr., Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Alexis Herman, Secretary of Labor. Additionally, African Americans serve in the Administration as Surgeon General, Deputy Attorney General for the Department of Justice, Director of the National Park Service, Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Department of Education General Counsel and as the Department of Education's Chief of Staff. Thirteen percent of Clinton Administration appointees are African American, which is twice as many African Americans as any previous administration. White House appointees include: Bob Nash, Assistant to the President and Director of Presidential Personnel; Thurgood Marshall, Jr., Assistant to the President and Director of Cabinet Affairs; Minyon Moore, Assistant to the President and Director of Political Affairs; Cheryl Mills, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Counsel and Ben Johnson, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of Public Liaison; Alphonso (Al) Maldon, Deputy Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs; and Tracey Thornton, Deputy Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs.
Increasing the Number of Judicial Appointments. President Clinton has named 14 African Americans as U.S. Attorneys and 12 African Americans as U.S. Marshals. The President has nominated 57 African Americans to the Federal bench, 16 percent of his total Federal bench nominations.
Ordered an Assessment of Affirmative Action Programs. The President ordered a comprehensive review of the government's affirmative action programs which concluded that affirmative action is still an effective and important tool to expand educational and economic opportunity to all Americans. This review of federal affirmative action programs has helped to ensure that these programs are fair and effective and that they can survive legal challenges. As a result, programs that benefit African Americans, including students, working men and women, and business owners, remain in effect andare more likely to be upheld by the courts.
Reducing Backlog and Expanding Alternative Dispute Resolution at Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The FY99 budget included $279 million -- a $37 million increase over the previous year -- to significantly expand EEOC's alternative dispute resolution program and reduce the backlog of private sector discrimination complaints. The final budget fully funds the President's request -- providing the first real increase for EEOC in several years.
Creating a National Memorial to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In July of 1998, President Clinton signed a new measure authorizing the creation of a national monument to Dr. King on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Opposed California Prop. 209 and Similar Measures. The Clinton Administration strongly opposes state and local initiatives to eliminate affirmative action programs that expand opportunities for African Americans and others. The Administration opposed Proposition 209 in California and filed amicus briefs opposing Prop. 209, which currently prohibits state affirmative action programs. The Clinton Administration opposed a similar initiative in Houston, which was defeated and opposed an initiative in Washington that is similar to Prop. 209. In all these cases, representatives of the administration have spoken out strongly against these initiatives as unfair and a barrier to equality.
Ensuring Election Fairness. The Clinton Administration defended racially fair redistricting plans against claims that they were unconstitutional and prevented election day discrimination against minority voters and voter intimidation and harassment by monitoring polling place activities in a record number of states and counties.
Increasing Voter Registration. During 1995 and 1996, the National Voter Registration Act or "Motor Voter" law registered nearly 14 million new voters and made voting easier for millions more. Notably, 1996 saw the highest percentage of voter registration since 1960. [FEC, 6/97]
Working for Fair Housing. To respond to the increase in reported cases of serious fair housing violations, HUD will double the number of its civil rights enforcement actions by the year 2000. HUD has also committed $15 million to 67 fair housing centers around the country to assist in fighting housing discrimination. In addition, the President proposed and won a major expansion of HUD's Fair Housing programs. The FY99 budget expands HUD's Fair Housing programs from $30 million in FY98 to $40 million in FY99. That 33-percent increase includes $7.5 million for a new audit-based enforcement initiative proposed by the Administration.
Working to Ensure Fairness and Remove Barriers to High Quality Education. The Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Education is working to eliminate discriminatory educational practices within schools that contribute to deficiencies in minority student achievement. These priorities included the inappropriate placement of minority students in special education, limited access of minority students to challenging curricula and programs such as gifted and honors classes and the lack of comparable resources.
Defended Fairness. The Clinton Administration has filed more cases between 1993 and 1997 to enforce fair housing laws than any other Administration (more than 500 cases). For instance, this Administration desegregated a Vidor, Texas, public housing complex and ordered a Mississippi bankto implement remedial lending plans for minority customers who were unfairly denied loans by the bank.
Eliminated Discriminatory "Redlining" Practices. The Clinton Administration negotiated agreements with health care agencies to eliminate discriminatory "redlining" practices denying home health care services based on residential location.
Apologized to the Victims of Tuskegee. President Clinton apologized to the victims of the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment and their families, and directed Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala to issue a report about how best to involve communities, especially minority communities, in research and health care. HHS awarded a planning grant to Tuskegee University to help it establish a center for bioethics in research and health care.
Working to Ensure a Fair and Accurate Census. The Clinton Administration is working to ensure that Census 2000 is the most accurate census possible using the best, most up-to-date scientific methods as recommended by the National Academy of Sciences. According to the Census Bureau, the 1990 Census missed 8.4 million people and double-counted 4.4 million others. Nationally, 4.4 percent of African Americans were not counted in the 1990 census. While missing or miscounting so many people is a problem, the fact that certain groups -- such as children, the poor, people of color, city dwellers and people who live in rural rental homes -- were missed more often than others made the undercount even more inaccurate. A fair and accurate Census is a fundamental part of a representative democracy and is the basis for providing equality under the law. The President is determined to have a fair and full count in 2000.
Children and Families
Protecting Families. The Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA) -- the first piece of legislation the President signed into law -- enables workers to take up to 12 weeks unpaid leave to care for a new baby or ailing family member without jeopardizing their job. Sixty-seven million Americans -- over half of all workers -- are covered by the FMLA and millions of workers have already benefited from FMLA since its enactment.
Eliminating Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. In 1998, President Clinton announced an initiative to end racial and ethnic health disparities. The effort sets a national goal of eliminating the longstanding disparities by the year 2010 in six key health areas: infant mortality, diabetes, cancer screening and management, heart disease, AIDS and immunizations. For example, African Americans suffer from diabetes at 70 percent higher rates than white Americans. The President announced a five-step plan -- led by Surgeon General and Assistant Secretary for Health Dr. David Satcher -- to mobilize the resources and expertise of the Federal government, the private sector, and local communities. In the FY99 budget, Congress took a critical first step in investing in the President's multi-year proposal.
Addressing HIV/AIDS in Minority Community with an Historic $130 Million Effort. Minority communities make up the fastest growing portion of the HIV/AIDS caseload (44 percent of all new HIV cases). In FY99, there will be an unprecedented $130 million investment that will improve prevention efforts in high-risk communities and expand access to cutting edge HIV therapies and other treatment needed for HIV/AIDS.
Focused Health Efforts. Established the Office of the Minority Health Research and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health. Helped communities develop culturally-competent systems for the care of children with serious emotional disturbances through the Comprehensive Mental Health Services for Children and Families program.
Fighting to Pass a Strong, Enforceable Patients' Bill of Rights. President Clinton has called on the Congress to pass a strong, enforceable patients' bill of rights that assures Americans the quality health care they need. The bill should include important patient protections such as: assuring direct access to specialists; real emergency room protections; continuity of care provisions that protect patients from abrupt changes in treatment; a fair, timely, and independent appeals process for patient grievances; and enforcement provisions to make these rights real.
Protected and Strengthened Medicare, Benefiting the 3.4 Million African Americans Enrolled in Medicare. The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 extended the life of the Medicare Trust Fund for at least a decade; expanded choices in health plans; and provided beneficiaries new preventive benefits. The President has also put forth a proposal that, if enacted, will provide greater access to health insurance for Americans ages 55 to 65, including an option to buy into Medicare.
Extended Health Care to Millions of Children with the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Because of the President's leadership, the Balanced Budget of 1997 included $24 billion to provide real health care coverage to up to five million more children, the largest children's health care budget increase since Medicaid was created in 1965. Minority children make up a disproportionate number of the over 10 million uninsured children. African American children make up 25 percent and Hispanic children make up 30 percent of all uninsured children -- more than twice their percentage of the overall population. The Administration is actively reaching out to communities to target and enroll eligible, uninsured children in CHIP.
Increased WIC -- $1 Billion Higher. Under President Clinton, participation in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) has expanded by 1.7 million -- from 5.7 million in 1993 to 7.4 million women, infants, and children in 1998, with funding rising from $2.9 billion to $3.9 billion (FY99). Research shows that every $1 increase in the prenatal care portion of the WIC program cuts between $1.77 and $3.90 in medical expenses in the first 60 days following childbirth. In 1996, 25 percent of the infants who benefited from WIC were African American.
Expanded Head Start By More than 60 Percent. Since 1993, President Clinton has expanded Head Start by 57 percent, from $2.8 billion in FY93 to $4.4 billion in FY98. Of the estimated 830,000 children that were enrolled in Head Start in 1998, 36 percent of the children were African American. The President proposed and won an increase of $313 million to Head Start in FY99, meaning Head Start funding will be 68-percent higher in 1999 than in 1993. The President is committed to meet his goal of enrolling one million children in Head Start.
Proposed the Largest Single Investment in Child Care in the Nation's History. In 1998, the President proposed an historic initiative to improve child care for America's working families by helping families pay for child care, building the supply of good after-school programs, improving child care quality and promoting early learning. The President won $182 million to improve the quality of child care for America's working families in the FY99 budget.
Providing Safe After-School Opportunities for A Quarter of A Million Children Each Year. In the FY99 budget, the President and Vice President proposed and won $200 million for after-school programs, expanding the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program to provide safe and educational after-school opportunities for up to 250,000 school-age children in rural and urban communities each year.
Made the Largest Investment in Education in 30 Years. Maintaining his longtime commitment to education, the President enacted the largest investment in education in 30 years -- and the largest investment in higher education since the G.I. Bill -- by signing the 1997 Balanced Budget Act.
Established the First African American Advisory Board. Established the President's Board of Advisors for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to strengthen the capacity of historically black colleges and universities to provide quality education and advised on ways to increase the private sector's role in these institutions. In addition, the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Education has been vigilant in its efforts to expand college opportunities through enforcement to eliminate vestiges of discrimination in formerly racially segregated higher education systems. The Office for Civil Rights at Education works to ensure minority student access to higher education, impacting both HBCUs and historically white universities.
Increased Funding and Grants for HBCUs. Increased funding for Historically Black Colleges by over $250 million between FY92 and FY98 -- an increase of nearly 25 percent. Today, America's 105 HBCUs are educating almost 300,000 African Americans.
AmeriCorps College Support. Since 1993, more than 100,000 people have had the opportunity to serve through AmeriCorps, with African Americans comprising 20 percent of all participants (1996 data). In 1998 alone, nearly 50,000 young people had the opportunity to serve and earn an award of up to $4,725 to pay for college or repay student loans.
Expanding Investments In Youth Education And Training. While House Republicans attempted to eliminate the successful Summer Jobs program in FY99, President Clinton prevailed with his request for $871 million in funding, which will finance up to 530,000 summer jobs for disadvantaged youth. The Summer Jobs program provides an estimated 25 percent of the summer jobs held by African American 14-15 years olds and at least 16 percent held by Hispanic 14-15 year olds. The Youth Opportunity Area Initiative program provides high school dropouts between the ages of 16 and 24 with academic and job-skills training, as well as apprenticeships building and rehabilitating affordable housing. The President proposed and won $250 million for this new innovative program in the FY99 budget.
Record Enrollment. A record percentage of African Americans were enrolled in post-secondary education in 1996 -- 35.7 percent of African American high school graduates.
Expanding College Opportunity with Tuition Tax Credits, Education IRAs, and Largest Increase in Pell Grants in 20 Years. The President is making the first two years of collegeuniversally available with $1500 HOPE Scholarship credits and a 20 percent tax credit helps offset tuition costs for college or lifetime learning. The expanded education IRA allows penalty- and tax-free withdrawals for education. And in 1999, nearly four million students will receive a Pell Grant of up to $3,125, the largest maximum award ever. In the 1995-96 school year, 57 percent of all African American students enrolled full-time in college received a Pell Grant.
Fostering Diversity. In 1998, the White House awarded Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring Grants to both individual mentors and institutions that foster mentoring, helping to ensure that America's future scientists and engineers come from all of the nation's racial and cultural segments of the population.
Modernizing Our Schools. The President has proposed federal tax credits to help rebuild, modernize, and build over 5,000 public schools nationwide.
Reducing Class Size. In the FY99 budget, the President won a down payment on his initiative to reduce class size to a national average of 18 students in grades 1-3, by helping local schools hire an additional 100,000 well-prepared teachers. Research shows that minorities, and low-income students in particular, benefit academically from smaller classes.
Teaching Every Child to Read by the 3rd Grade. More than 1000 colleges have committed work-study students to tutor children in reading, and thousands of AmeriCorps members and senior volunteers are organizing volunteer reading campaigns. In the FY99 budget, the President won $260 million for a new child literacy initiative, consistent with the President's America Reads proposal.
Greater Access to Education Technology. The President has made an unprecedented commitment to bringing technology into schools. In the FY99 budget, President Clinton won $75 million to fund technology training for teachers and $10 million for new grants to public-private partnerships in low-income communities to provide residents access to computer facilities for educational and employment purposes. Education technology has always been a top priority for the President and Vice President; since 1993, they have created the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund and increased overall investments in educational technology by thirty-fold, from $23 million to $698 million this year. The Administration has also secured low-cost connections (the e-rate) to the Internet for schools, libraries, rural health clinics and hospitals.
Striving for Excellence. Thanks to President Clinton's leadership, the Title I program is helping millions of disadvantaged students reach high academic standards by giving them extra help with basic and advanced skills. The FY99 budget provides $7.676 billion for Title I, a $301 million increase over FY98. This funding will support educational services for nearly 11 million students, over 400,000 more than last year. In the 1994-95 school year, 26 percent of the children benefiting from the Title I program were African American.
Establishing the GEAR-UP: College Mentoring Initiative To Help Up to 100,000 Students Prepare for College. The President won $120 million to create a new mentoring initiative to help low income middle school children prepare for college. GEAR-UP (a program that incorporates the President's "High-Hopes" proposal) will expand mentoring efforts by states, and provide new grants to partnerships of middle schools, institutions of higher education, and community organizations, to provide intensive early intervention services to help prepare up to 100,000 students at high-povertymiddle schools for college.
Getting Good Teachers to Underserved Areas. The FY99 budget contained $75 million for new teacher quality initiatives -- programs that will help recruit and prepare thousands of teachers to teach in high-poverty urban and rural communities and will strengthen teacher preparation programs across the country.
Enhanced Penalties for Hate Crimes. As part of the historic 1994 Crime Act, the President signed the Hate Crimes Sentencing Enhancement Act which provides for longer sentences where the offense is determined to be a hate crime.
White House Conference on Hate Crimes. President Clinton hosted the first White House Conference on Hate Crimes, which examined laws and remedies that can make a difference in preventing hate crimes, highlighted solutions that are working in communities across the country, and continued the frank and open dialogue needed to build One America. The President announced significant law enforcement and prevention initiatives to get tough on hate crimes, including: support for legislation to expand the federal hate crimes law to cover crimes based on sexual orientation, gender, or disability; the creation of a network of local hate crime working groups; the addition of approximately 50 FBI agents and federal prosecutors to enforce hate crimes laws; improved collection of data on hate crimes; and the production of materials to educate the public -- especially youth --about hate crimes.
Took Action Against Church Burnings. Focused the nation's attention and resources to help stop the rash of church burnings across the country, prosecuted those responsible, and sped the rebuilding process.
Falling Crime Rates. Overall crime rates are down to the lowest levels in a generation --and all incomes and races are benefitting. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics' National Victimization Survey, property and violent crime victimization rates are at their lowest levels since 1973. Between 1993-1997, decreasing victimization trends were experienced about equally for all race, sex and income groups. In addition, the murder rate is down more than 25 percent since 1993, its lowest point in 30 years.
Putting 100,000 New Police on the Streets and Providing COPS Grants to Underserved Areas. In 1999, ahead of schedule and under budget, the Administration will meet its commitment of 100,000 police officers for our communities. As a part of the COPS Program, the President announced new grants to increase police presence and community policing in underserved neighborhoods. Under this initiative, 18 cities will share $106 million to hire 620 new community policing officers. The pilot cities were selected following an analysis of crime, demographic and economic data.
Safe and Clean Environment
Environmental Justice and Redevelopment. President Clinton issued an Executive Order on Environmental Justice to ensure that low-income citizens and minorities do not suffer a disproportionate burden of industrial pollution. The Administration identified pilot projects to be undertaken across the country to redevelop contaminated sites in low-income communities, turn them into useable space, create jobs and enhance community development.
Toughest New Air Quality Standards in a Generation. The Administration approved new clean air standards for smog and soot that will prevent up to 15,000 premature deaths a year and improve the lives of millions of Americans who suffer from respiratory illnesses.
Accelerating Toxic Cleanups and Brownfields Redevelopment. This Administration has cleaned up nearly three times as many Superfund sites in six years as the previous administrations did in twelve. Brownfields grants have leveraged nearly $1 billion in private sector investment for brownfields redevelopment.
Keeping Our Drinking Water Safe. President Clinton proposed and signed legislation to strengthen the Safe Drinking Water Act to ensure that our families have healthy, clean tap water. The Clinton Administration required America's 55,000 water utilities to provide regular reports to their customers on the quality of their drinking water.
Reducing the Threat of Global Warming. The Administration negotiated an international treaty to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in an environmentally strong and economically sound way; and secured $1 billion in FY99 for research incentives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency and clean energy technologies.
Committed to Preserving Our Land. The Clinton Administration has protected or enhanced nearly 150 million acres of public and private lands, from the red rock canyons of Utah to the Florida Everglades. And the Administration has reached agreements to protect Yellowstone from mining and save the ancient redwoods of California's Headwaters Forest.
Made an Historic Presidential Trip to Africa. In 1998, President Clinton made the first trip by a sitting U.S. President to Ghana, Uganda, Botswana and Senegal. While in Africa, President Clinton focused on key issues of development, trade, investment, empowerment of women and the environment. The trip increased and enhanced ties with Africa and built upon the work and achievements of late Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, Transportation Secretary Slater and Presidential Special Envoy Jesse Jackson.
Assisted South Africa's Transition to Democracy. Provided over $600 million in the first three years to the newly-elected democratic government of South Africa to support democracy and development. Established the Gore-Mbeki Bi-National Commission to promote cooperation in trade, development, the environment and security.
Hosted the First-Ever White House Conference on Africa in July 1994. This Conference brought together key American policy-makers and leaders to discuss the future of US-Africa relations.
Restored Democracy for Haiti. Restored democracy to Haiti and ended the military dictatorship.
Launched the President's Partnership for Economic Opportunity in Africa Initiative. This initiative deepens trade and investment between Africa and the United States and is the cornerstone of the Administration's Africa policy. The President supports passage of the bipartisan African Growth and Opportunity Act which complements his "Partnership Initiative" by further strengthening U.S.-Africa trade relations.