Friday, October 14, 2011


An announcement that the city is getting federal funds and there's no mention of how our very own federal representative worked to get said funding?!!!!  How can that be?!!!!  Where's the fanfare?  Where's the House seal and podium?  Where are the cameras?!!!!!!!


I find the press release pictured above interesting for several reasons.  First, some of the language used in the "Special To The Times" was used in a press release from September where the state of Louisiana was going to be receiving funds too.  

Secondly, some wording was also used in a press release yesterday, this time talking about Florida's award money.  But one line stuck out like a sore thumb.

It's that last sentence:  "Annual CDBG funds are distributed to communities according to a statutory formula based on a community's population..."

So if that's the case, then why must Henry Cuellar put out a press release like this?

Laredo, Texas – Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28) today announced $4,669,005 in combined federal funding for the City of Laredo for several community projects from various federal grant programs. The City of Laredo will receive $3,290,569 from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program, $1,218,954 from the HOME Program and $159,482 for the Emergency Shelter Grant (ESG) Program. 

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) helps develop urban areas by bettering housing and living conditions and by expanding the economic opportunities to moderate and low income communities. The HOME program provides funding for communities to partner with local nonprofit groups-to fund a wide range of activities that build, buy, or rehabilitate affordable housing for low-income families. The Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG) Program provides grants for local emergency homeless shelters.

“Throughout my career as a public servant, ensuring that our residents have access to basic services is an issue I have tirelessly worked on,” Congressman Cuellar said. “This grant will improve living conditions for many South Texans. I congratulate the City of Laredo for ensuring their residents are provided with the much-needed basic services to carry on with their daily lives.”

The CDBG grant will target park improvements, code enforcement, graffiti removal and housing rehabilitation. The HOME program will use funds to provide down payment assistance and elderly tenant-based rental assistance. Funds for the Emergency Shelter Grants Program will be used for homeless prevention, shelter operations and essential services for the homeless.

“I will continue to work with Mayor Salinas and City Manager Villarreal to ensure we can secure the resources needed in Laredo to continue to improve our city,” Congressman Cuellar said. “Our work on behalf of the people we represent must continue in all earnest efforts.” 

I really don't know why he's taking credit for the funds, and including city staff, if monies are allocated to communities each year.  One thing he didn't mention is that CDBG funds were lowered by 16.5 percent this year, and the HOME program was lowered by 11.7 percent.  (See second link above)  

I don't doubt that he's been working "tirelessly," but it must be for other things.


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