Today, building on the Administration’s efforts to modernize the way the Federal Government works with cities, counties, and communities — rural, tribal, urban, and sub-urban – the President signed an Executive Order establishing a Community Solutions Council. The Council will provide a lasting structure for Federal agencies to strengthen partnerships with communities and improve coordination across the Federal Government in order to more efficiently deliver assistance and maximize impact.
Across the country, citizens and local leaders need a Federal Government that is more effective, responsive, and collaborative in addressing their needs and challenges. Far too often, the Federal Government has taken a “one-size-fits-all” approach to working with communities and left local leaders on their own to find Federal resources and navigate disparate programs. Responding to the call for change from local officials and leaders nationwide, and grounded in the belief that the best solutions come from the bottom up, not from the top down, Federal agencies have increasingly taken on a different approach to working with communities to deliver better outcomes in more than 1,800 cities, towns, regions, and tribal communities nationwide.
As a part of this new way of working, Federal agencies are partnering with local officials to support local plans and visions. They are crossing agency and program silos to support cities, towns, counties and tribes in implementing locally-developed plans for improvement – from re-lighting city streets to breathing new life into half-empty rural main streets. And by using data to measure success and harnessing technology, Federal agencies are focusing on community-driven solutions and what works, while monitoring progress to make investments that have a strong base of evidence behind them.
Building on this success, the President today signed an Executive Order (EO) that will continue to make government work better for the American people. The EO establishes a Council for Community Solutions to streamline and improve the way the Federal Government works with cities, counties, and communities – rural, tribal, urban and sub-urban – to improve outcomes. The Council includes leadership from agencies, departments and offices across the Federal Government and the White House, who together will develop and implement policy that puts local priorities first, highlights successful solutions based on best practices, and streamlines Federal support for communities. Further, the Council, where appropriate, will engage with representatives and leaders of organizations, businesses and communities to expand and improve partnerships that address the most pressing challenges communities face.
This Administration has been dedicated to leaving the Federal Government better and more effective than we found it. This Executive Order is just one part of accomplishing that goal and, as the work of government continues, will equip new leadership with an important tool as they undertake new policies and initiatives.
Local Partners Driving Progress
Local leaders are tackling the country’s toughest challenges and a more effective, responsive, and collaborative Federal Government has led to improved infrastructure, revitalized neighborhoods, and increased economic opportunities for their communities. Here, they highlight some of the benefits of a strong Federal-local partnership:
Building on Efforts to Further Federal Partnership with Cities, Counties, and Communities
Today’s Executive Order builds on the last seven years of work done by Federal leaders—many working behind the scenes–and the successful efforts of the Community Solutions Task Force (Task Force) launched in 2015. The Task Force worked to solidify progress made beginning with budget guidance issued in February 2009 to develop a customized Federal approach to working with cities and towns. The Federal programs launched since then—from Strong Cities, Strong Communities to the Partnership for Sustainable Communities and beyond— have revealed ways the Federal Government can work better with local places to drive desired outcomes.
This progress is further fueled by efforts such as: