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February 1, 2010; United Neighborhood Centers of America | In the Building Neighborhoods blog, we consistently find quality government program analysis and reporting by Patrick Lester on behalf of the United Neighborhood Centers of America and the Alliance for Children and Families.

Lester reports that the President’s proposed FY2011 budget, released today, would appropriate $210 million for the implementation of the Promise Neighborhoods program modeled after the highly publicized Harlem Children’s Zone. The White House knows that the queue of nonprofits intending to apply for these funds is going to be lengthy, evidenced by the standing-room-only turn-out at the HCZ’s training program in November and the continuing news coverage of localities designing prospective Promise Neighborhood-eligible nonprofit initiatives, including in the past few weeks Tampa FL (, Austin TX (, Milwaukee WI (, and Albany NY (

Will the President’s recommendation, intended to create 20 replications of HCZ, survive the budget scrum on Capitol Hill, with competing programs and pay-as-you-go rules limiting how much the President might be able to do to support his favorite program initiatives? Nonprofit advocates are going to have to weigh in with their legislators about what they want in new programs versus what they need in expansions of existing programs as the nation enters yet another year of the Great Recession.—Rick Cohen