What They Are Saying About the Investing in Opportunity Act

Last week, SenatorsTim Scott (R-SC) andCory Booker(D-NJ) and RepresentativesRep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) andCongressman Ron Kind (D-WI), introduced theInvesting in Opportunity Act. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation would create a new model for unlocking private investment in economically distressed communities in every state throughout the country. Currently, more than 30 percent of South Carolina’spopulation, or 1.4 million people, live in an economically distressed area, a number that rises to 50 million Americans nationwide. Following the announcement, see what they’re saying about theInvesting in Opportunity Act:

“Republicans and Democrats agree that access to the American Dream should not be a matter of chance; it should be a matter of choice – to climb as high as your effort, talent and dreams will take you. We need common sense, reality based policies that engage the millions of Americans who want to revitalize their own communities. I commend the sponsors of the Investing in Opportunity Act for their work to ensure economic opportunity exists in every zip code.” –Jimmy Kemp, President, The Jack Kemp Foundation

“The Economic Innovation Group was established to develop and champion policy solutions to connect communities with the capital they desperately need. The Investing in Opportunity Act of 2016 provides a vital new pathway for investors and entrepreneurs to kickstart economic growth in distressed areas across America. This bipartisan effort is a model for how policymakers can tackle tough issues in an innovative way.” –Sean Parker, Founder and Chairman,Economic Innovation Group

“Many Americans would welcome the chance to support economic revitalization in underserved communities, but simply don’t know how to help. The “Opportunity Fund” concept is a simple but powerful antidote to this problem. We need innovative ideas like this to fuel growth and expand opportunity for the millions of Americans living in economically distressed communities.” –Dr. Kevin A. Hassett, Culture and Director of Economic Policy Studies,American Enterprise Inst.

“A rising tide lifts all boats is a narrative policy makers can no longer afford to insinuate. As a country, we need aggressive policies that connect capital with communities in need. One of the greatest challenges for Black-owned businesses is gaining access to capital. The Investing in Opportunity Act speaks directly to that need by unlocking private capital and encouraging investors to pool their resources in support of economic revitalization. We’re in support of this common sense legislation that alleviates economic hardships that affect countless Black-owned businesses.” –Ron Busby, President, US Black Chambers, Inc.

“Entrepreneurs are the key to turning around struggling communities. However, throughout much of the country, the investment needed to power this next generation of new businesses and industries simply doesn’t exist. That must change, because genius, ideas, and grit exist in every one of our communities. The Investing in Opportunity Act provides an excellent framework to connect budding entrepreneurs and growing enterprises in struggling communities with the resources they need.” –Donna Harris, Cofounder and Co-CEO,1776

“Startup activity is not just limited to traditional tech enclaves in San Francisco and New York, but in many parts of the country, it’s virtually impossible to find the capital necessary for entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses. Too many communities are suffering from a lack of investment needed to create real economic opportunities for their local residents. The Investing in Opportunity Act will help ensure more communities see much-needed investment to fuel new growth, innovation, and enterprise – and enable aspiring entrepreneurs in more cities across America the chance to succeed.” –Evan Engstrom, Executive Director of Engine Advocacy

“In order to provide a more prosperous future for the next generation, we must expand opportunity to the communities that have been left behind by the recovery. The Investing in Opportunity Act of 2016 is an innovative policy solution that will help build broadly-earned, sustainable economic growth across the country. With this legislation, Senators Booker and Scott and Congressmen Kind and Tiberi demonstrated the kind of bipartisan leadership that will move our country forward.” –Debbie Cox Bultan, Executive Director, NewDEAL

“Venture for America works closely with entrepreneurs in distressed communities all around the country. One of the biggest obstacles they face is being able to access capital to start and grow their businesses. The investment funds created by this legislation will connect America’s most precious resource – human capital in the form of budding entrepreneurs – with the resources they need to create jobs and revitalize their communities.” –Andrew Yang, Founder and CEO,Venture for America

“Economic change is relentless, and navigating this change is the central economic challenge for millions across the country. But this challenge is even more pronounced for Americans living in distressed communities. These regions of the country, where economic progress is sluggish to non-existent, struggle even more to create jobs and prosperity in this new economy. If we are going to be successful in building an economy that supports all Americans, we need to ensure that federal policy helps direct a massive infusion of private capital into distressed communities. That’s why we are pleased to see leadership on this issue from Reps. Ron Kind and Pat Tiberi along with Senators Cory Booker and Tim Scott. Following extensive and impressive work from the Economic Innovation Group on understanding distressed communities, their legislation – the Investing in Opportunity Act of 2016 – is an important contribution to this debate. It is critical to get more capital into the areas of the country that need it most, and this bipartisan effort is an impressive step forward.” –Gabe Horowitz, Vice President for the Economic Program,Third Way

“The Columbus Partnership applauds Congressman Tiberi and his co-sponsors for their leadership through the Investing in Opportunity Act. This legislation provides an innovative new model for ensuring greater access to capital and higher levels of job-creating investment in underserved communities. We support the direct impact this bill will have throughout the communities in Ohio that are under economic distress, and hope the effort sparks greater national attention to this urgent issue.” –Alex Fischer, President & CEO, Columbus Partnership

“Advancing entrepreneurship and ensuring greater access to capital is essential to addressing the concentrated poverty and economic distress in rural, suburban and urban communities across Ohio. This legislation represents an innovative approach to addressing economic challenges prevalent in our communities and, if enacted, will create a critical new pathway for investors to direct resources toward economic revitalization. We commend Congressman Tiberi and his co-sponsors for their bipartisan leadership through the Investing in Opportunity Act.” –Falon Donohue, Executive Director,VentureOhio

“Even as our economy grows and the job market tightens, too many people are left behind in communities that offer little opportunity. One idea is to help families leave those areas, but the ‘Opportunity Fund’ concept recognizes that can’t be the only solution. By helping to steer capital to places with deep investment deficits, these funds can create new opportunities in places that have long been disconnected from the broader economy.” –Dr. Jared Bernstein, Senior Fellow, Center for Budget and Policy Priorities

“At a time when geographic disparities in economic growth and opportunity are rising, we need innovative new ways to promote greater private investment in communities that have fallen behind. PPI applauds the sponsors of the Investing in Opportunity Act for their bipartisan leadership on this critical issue.” –Will Marshall, President of the Progressive Policy Institute

“Both innovation and cooperation are needed to tackle 21st century economic challenges. The Investing in Opportunity Act is a strong example of bipartisan collaboration to empower a new generation of entrepreneurs across the United States. We applaud Sens. Booker and Scott, and Reps. Kind and Tiberi, for breaking through the gridlock to find this common ground solution.” –Steven Olikara, Cofounder and President, Millennial Action Project

“I grew up in upstate New York. It’s a beautiful area, but many rural communities there are in real economic distress. They suffer from many of the same basic challenges facing communities in impoverished urban areas: unemployment is high, credit is tight, and there’s little incentive for the private sector to make investments that would put people back to work and fund projects to benefit the community. That’s why I’m so enthusiastic about this new proposal from Reps. Pat Tiberi (R-OH) and Ron Kind (D-NJ), and Sens. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Cory Booker (D-NJ). This legislation has the potential to attract capital to some of the most distressed urban and rural areas in the country. It can bring jobs, growth, and hope to the places that need them most. This is a low-cost, high-return investment in widely distributed economic prosperity.” –Sarah Chamberlain, President, Republican Main Street Partnership

“Our economy is transitioning from an industrial base to one rooted in innovation; it is only natural to have innovative ideas to create funding pathways for entrepreneurs to grow and scale. The Investing in Opportunity Act provides that avenue, and will hopefully open doors for start-ups to get the backing they need to make an impact on their local economies.” –Chris Camacho, President and CEO, Greater Phoenix Economic Council

Senator Scott’s Opportunity Agenda includes theInvesting in Opportunity Act, as well as theCHOICE ActandLEAP Act, which focus on education and workforce development. To read more about his agenda, visithttps://www.scott.senate.gov/OpportunityAgenda.