President Trump Participates in Economic Opportunity Zone Conference CSPAN April 18, 2019 3:27am-3:52am EDT
winners online. >> now, president trump talks about the importance of investing in low income communities also known as opportunity zones. other speakers include white house advisor larry kudlow and scott turner, who serves on the white house opportunity and revitalization council. [applause] >> thank you. you're very kind. thank you very much. i'll be extremely brief, especially by my own standards. [laughter] president donald trump has taken steps to rebuild the american economy. with tax cuts, and deregulation, and energy openings, and trade reform, and has reinstilled
the spirit of growth, prosperity, entrepreneurship. and today we're going to celebrate a part of this program coming out of the tax bill. these are the opportunity and revitalization zones, opportunity zones, which i think are going to grow and prosssper almost more than anybody believes. it's almost like a sleeper. but get ready from private investment capital, right? private investment capital, the old fashioned way. and folks, men and women, starting their own businesses. it will be in the cities and it will be in the rural areas, and my great hope is it will take this great trump prosperity into ever nook and cranie. something we really have never seen before. it's my great honor to serve. and my great honor to introduce president donald trump.
[cheers and applause] president trump: thank you very much. please sit down. please. it's a great honor. i want to thank larry. he's been fantastic. we've had a lot of good luck together over the years. he's stepped up to the plate and and our country is doing well with the hottest economy in the world who are by far the biggest economy of the world. we weren't. when i first came it was headed in the wrong direction. now we're in the right direction. our trade deal with china is moving along and moving along nicely. we're asking for a lot of things. i have a feeling we will be successful.
and it will be good for both countries. but that's moving along quite well. you'll be hearing about it very, very shortly. today, we are proud to be joined by state and local leaders from both parties ncluding mayors and county commissioners. people i know very well in some cases. some cases i hate to say it, i probably shouldn't admit it. people i've dwelt in my prelife. [laughter] and there are a lot of professionals, i will tell you. there are a lot of what you do. and they're professionals. it's not easy. conomic development officers and officers, tribal leader and faith leaders, paula white, thank you very much. thank you, paula. pastor paula. she's fantastic. thank you all for pouring your heart and your soul into rebuilding our communities and restoring hope in our land. we're here to create opportunity.
who would have thought this would be so successful? who would have thought when we first proposed the idea, they go things were talked about like this but they never happened. but the numbers are incredible. it's a crucial part of the our new tax law to help low income americans. as you know this vital provision gives business as massive incentive to create jobs in our nation's most underserved communities. want to thank secretary steve mnuchin and ben carson who were right here and they are. [applause] they're waving at me through the door. [laughter] and that's ok. just stay there, fellas. they've already heard from you. [applause] [laughter] and they're doing a great job, those two.
and for their tireless work on behalf of nearly 35 million americans living in opportunity zones. remendous community. since we passed our historic tax cuts and reform just over one year ago wages are rising fast and they're rising most quickly for the lowest income americans. you know, you keep hearing about for the wealthiest. not the wealthy. it's for frankly, blue collar workers. lower income people. african-american unemployment. hispanic-american unemployment. asian-american unemployment have reached the lowest levels in the history of our country. that's great. [applause] new jobless rates and new jobs of about 6,500 jobs added every single day. think of that. amazing.
and something i'm very proud of nd worked very hard with jared and everybody on was judicial reform and to give inmates a second chance at life. we passed the bipartisan criminal justice reform. so many things have happened since that's happened. [applause] very interestingly one of the things that we've done that has helped us so much, prisoners coming out, people don't want to hire them. they don't want to hire them. stigma, call it whatever you ant. i would say since our founding very hard for prisoners, this is the best they've done by far. they're having job offers but choice. i know some employers. and they are so thrilled with what they're getting. i can't say that in every case
because that's not the case no matter who you hire. but they are thrilled. i had one gentleman tell me -- a businessman saying i hired some people coming out of prison but i'm doing it and they're some of the best employees i have. and that was done because the economy is so strong. because frankly they're having a hard time getting people. and now they're taking people that they wouldn't have liked and they would have never taken and they're putting them in and they're finding them to be phenomenal. so it's never happened before like it's happening now. people coming out of prison are getting a second and in some case as third chance. i've also signed the single largest bill to combat the opioid crisis to help free americans from the scorge of addiction. what's going on is incredible. we're stopping them at the border. as soon as the wall is built, it will have a tremendous impact.
the border patrol, we have an amazing group of people in the border and homeland security generally. ice has been incredible. they've taken ms-13 out by the thousands. the gangs, rough people. they're getting them out. so ice has been unbelievable. and law enforcement generally has just been unbelievable, the job. you know, our numbers have been way down meaning in a positive way. crime is down. very substantially from even a year ago. we want all americans to share in our great economic renewal. that's why governors in all 50 states have designated 8,700 neighbors as opportunities. it's hard to believe 8,700. household income in these communities is 37% less than the medium income in a state as a whole. so it's 37% down.
and we're catching them fast. in order to revitalize these area, we've lowered the capital gains tax for long-term investment. all the way down to a very big, fat, beautiful number of zero. [applause] ero. that's why they're looking and they go, i don't want to go there. maybe i don't love the location. they'll hear about the zero and think i'm going to go there. and they want to stay in the location. great football player. i'll never fight you, i promise. great player, scott. our goal is to build communities that need it the most. and we have just -- i don't know we've hit something that's very unusual. this is a very surprising thing to everybody even to me. ou do things -- nobody thought
it was going catch on like it's caught on. so here with us today is mayor of vicksburg, nips george flags who worked with private investors to -- where's george? thank you very much. [applause] thank you, george. mayor, i want to thank you for your tremendous partnership. you helped inspire us, i must say. and you have done an incredible job and it wasn't easy all the way. and i'd like to ask if i could -- i'll get you up a second time because i would like mayor flaggs to talkability what this has meant and he really -- talk about what this has meant. and he has been a great leader. we appreciate you giving us some of that knowledge. please, mayor flaggs. [applause] >> thank you very much. thanks for on this nor be here this day.
and i will say first that i think we were the first opportunity zone that was created as a result of your tax cut and your -- the other opportunities. but let me just say this as a mayor of the city and former legislator for 25 years. i've never seen any piece of legislation that allow mrs collaboration between federal, state and local government. what we were able to do in vicksburg, we've created 54% new jobs in the state of mississippi was created in vicksburg, mississippi because of the economic opportunity we share here today. but the other thing is, i will never forget, it was a plant that was built in 189 and we were able to save that plant because technology had just worked its way out. but it's now called the vicksburg forest product because we were able to come to the white house and end -- and in
state government and local government and collaborate, use the opportunity, check all the boxes, be able to put money in our sales. city of vicksburg. 235,000 people. but at the same time was able to save 125 jobs for the city of vicksburg. and let me tell you that, that's bread on the table. that's meat in somebody's kitchen. and so we was able to do that. so mr. president, we thank you. [applause] president trump: fantastic job. thank you, mayor. >> across the country, we have erased debt. in counties with heavy opportunities, wages have risen by now it seems that we were talking about 8%. but it looks like it's going to be a much higher number than that. property sale prices in
opportunity is zones, have already skyrocketed by more than 20%. secretary mnuchin estimates that private businesses will invest $100 billion in opportunity zones and that's going to be in a very short period of time. to further support these communities, i recently established the white house opportunity and revitaliztion council. chaired by secretary carson who by the way is doing a fantastic job on hud. he's really doing a fantastic job. [applause] his vision is to marshal 16 federal agencies and coordinate dozens of existing federal programs to provide maximum support to opportunity zones. and here with us today is a man who i knew through watching him on television. and he was a great football player. he's a businessman. he's a former state legislator
and retired after nine years. not bad in the nfl. scott turner is working 25 hours a day. he's doing an incredible job. everybody loves him and they respect him. they respect him a lot. come on up, scott. come on up. [applause] >> well, good afternoon. thank you, mr. president. and i appreciate your vision and your leadership on this. and i just -- a couple of quick things i have to say. you know, i have a lot of joy in my heart and i a lot of resolve in my spirit. joy, because as i look out on the room what, a great representation of our country of the true heart of america and a culture of america. and that brings me great job. -- joy. i'm humbled to be here not because of the position but because of the mission because of the purpose that's been set forth by the president and our
great team here. and i have a lot of resolve because this is a big job. there's a lot of work to do. as you can see we're all here. there are big things to do. but i know that if we save our face like flint, we can do it. 've been able to play on a lot of teams, san diego, washington, denver but this is the greatest team because we have the opportunity to make a generational impact. together -- see revitalization doesn't have a color. it doesn't have a party. revitalization starts in the heart of every man. [applause] and i say that because if we focus on the true mission and the people, the grandmothers and grandfathers, the next generation coming out through us, the kids who are truant, the single mother who is have a job to restore dignity to their family i believe that's why i'm here. i'm ready to go get it. and i know you are.
so god bless you and thank you very much. [applause] resident trump: that was great. wow. [laughter] you've done that before, haven't you? that's pretty -- you might be better at that than football, i think. i hope, right? i think you will. this new council will streamline existing programs to invest in economic development, workforce training, entrepreneurship, training and opportunity zones. for example, the department of label will talk for reentry employment. the department of housing and urban development is launching a new pilot program to support additional low income housing in these areas and the department of justice will strengthen its comprehensive effort to address youth, violence and crime. we've been given a very special jolt to making sure these areas are safe.
and that's having already a very big effect. that's very important. our message to distressed american communities is your government is 100% committed to bringing jobs and safety and opportunity back to where you live. and in many cases this is where you want to live. you want to live there. some people were forced out by bad conditions and crime. you're now able to stay. and you'll say in the area. you know the people. you'll love the people. you're with your family. it's all of a sudden getting much safer. tremendous things are happening. today we're grateful to be joined by nelly vasquez, roland more than 20 years ago, she and her husband started a project called a safe haven which provides people in crisis with housing and drug treatment, workforce training and jobs. nelly has helped more than 100,000 men and women overcome
poverty and achieve a better life. this is a very inspirational story. nelly, tell us about the work in the opportunity zones. thank you, nelly. [applause] nelly: wow, what an amazing day. my husband and i founded a safe haven 25 years ago with this day in mind. i grew up in a poverty-stricken community. and my husband came home from the military. both of us had encountered challenges in our lives. nd we are grateful that we had the opportunity to get access to good education. and to get access to careers in finance. but it was never lost on us how lucky we were to get access to those types of
opportunities. so we decide that after 13 years in financing, we wanted to give back and make a difference. we started to look at the issues of poverty and specifically looking at abuse. back in 1994, we realized that the system was broken. people that were in crises ended up in the system, we found out had no way out. and we knew that we had to do something about it. we had the financial wherewithal, thank god, and we had the knowledge and the able to build something. and we took the risk. and we decided to start investing in opportunity zones, in areas that had distress property, and abandoned buildings. and we started renovating them and we started furnishing them. we started letting people live there for free as long as they fold the rules. as we started to bring people in, we noticed they started to get the treatment, the job training they've been needed. as the end of the day, no one would hire him.
we started businesses. so today we have a landscaping company for those of you who come to chicago. we employ hundreds of people doing those jobs. we have a catering business. and we have a staffing business. and you're right, the employers are calling us. we cannot fill those jobs fast enough. so we're grateful for being here today, mr. president and to thank you for everything you've done with the opioid epidemic and now the opportunity zones. our work has just begun. thank you. president trump: great, thank you. [applause] president trump: sounds exciting. real entrepreneur too. at the heart of opportunity zones is the belief that every merican community is worth
cherishing, protecting and renewing. from rural towns to inner cities we want to build new schools, bridges, hospitals and parks. that's what's happening all over. we want to see loving homes, safe neighborhoods and a gleaming main street, and above all, we want every family to have the opportunity to live heir great american dream. to every state, tribal and community leader with us today, and we have a lot of them, thank you again for your commitment to restoring prosperity, patriotism and pride across our beautiful nation. god bless you all, and god bless america. thank you all very much. thank you. thank you. [applause]
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