Friday, February 25, 2005

The Maine Community Development Association held a teleconference meeting on Friday, February 25, 2005 at approximately 10:00 a.m. Present were:

Matthew Eddy, Joella McBreairty, Mary Walton, Chris Spruce, Paul Bernier, Don Keiser, Carolee Hallet, Tony Levesque, Dan LaPointe, Jim Brown, Mike Baran, Laura Mitchell,  Jeff Fitzgerald


* Mike Baran reported on the White House Teleconference regarding the President’s “Strengthening America’s Communities” Initiative that was held on Tuesday, February 22, 2005. The teleconference call did not reveal much more information than what we currently know. Funding under this program will be allocated to entitlement cities, states, and the balance will be on a competitive basis. The focus is on poverty. Poverty factors will be determined on a formula that has not yet been developed.

* Tony Levesque reported that through his conversations with Dianne Taylor of COSCDA that Sen. Snowe has signed on to the letter “Support the Community Development Block Grant Program”. Sen. Collins has been out of the country, but according to conversations with the local office and COSCDA, is expected to sign on before the March 3 deadline. Tony will continue to follow up with COSCDA and the local office.

* Mary Walton has expressed interest in attending the COSCDA Legislative Conference in Washington DC on March 22 and 23, 2005. Mary will contact Orman Whitcomb regarding his intentions in attending this conference.

* Mathew Eddy will continue his conversations with MMA and the Housing Authorities. He will set up a combined press release among MCDA, MMA and DECD. He requested that all resolutions and support letters be forwarded to Margaret Langhill at MMA.

* Mike Baran discussed CD Day at the Legislature. He is looking at a different approach this year. Setting up booths or tables by region so that the regional organizations may present photos or stories on the impact of CDBG in their region are a possibility. Mike Baran reported that Governor Baldacci will be attending a meeting in Washington next week. All of the information compiled by the Office of Community Development has been provided to the governor. Gov. Baldacci opposes the elimination of the CDBG Program.

* Mike Baran also reported that if the CDBG budget allocation is not listed under this FY06 HUD budget and is reallocated to the Department of Commerce, it will be virtually impossible to ever reverse that action.

* Other Discussions:

- Reaching out to other organizations, regionals, Community Development offices, etc. to get them on board with MCDA’s advocacy of the CDBG program;

- Promoting more press releases in the media; and

- Some communities have already signed resolutions and forwarded them to their congressional delegation.

The next teleconference meeting is scheduled for Friday, March 11, 2005 at 10:00 a.m. Mike Baran will make available the conference room at DECD for those wishing to attend the meeting in person. Everyone is encouraged to reach out to as many people as possible.

Respectfully submitted by,

Joella R. McBreairty