THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE ANNOUNCES TREASURY SECRETARY SUMMERS AS
SOUTHWEST BORDER ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INTERAGENCY TASK FORCE CHAIRMAN
Washington, D.C. -- Vice President Al Gore announced today that Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers will serve as the first annual chairperson of the Interagency Task Force on the Economic Development of the Southwest Border.
"I am very pleased that Secretary Summers has agreed to take on this new responsibility," Vice President Al Gore said. "I am confident that Secretary Summers will provide the critical expertise and direction to improve the living standards of those working families living in border region communities"
The Southwest Border region, stretching from the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, across New Mexico and Arizona and continuing through California to the Pacific Ocean, is an area that remains severely distressed. A strategy for investing in and empowering this region to meet the challenges of the 21st century is vital, not only to the people and communities along the South West Border, but to the entire country.
Under the leadership of Secretary Summers, the Task Force will issue an interim report in November and its first annual report to the Vice President by April, 2000. The reports will describe the actions taken by, and progress of, the Task Force.
In May 1999, President Clinton, through Executive Order 13122, created the Task Force to coordinate and better leverage existing Administration efforts aimed at the Southwest Border, in concert with locally led efforts, in order to improve the standard of living and overall economic conditions of this region. Its mission is to search for, analyze, coordinate and present workable solutions and policy options for revitalizing the border area.
The Task Force will report to Vice President Gore, who as chair of the Community Empowerment Board, has challenged community organizations to combine their revitalization efforts. Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman and Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman will rotate responsibility for chairing the Task Force in subsequent years.
Administrator Alvarez and Secretary Richardson will be an integral part of the process as key members of the Task Force, and will be relied upon for their leadership within the Hispanic Community in the Task Force's outreach and policy recommendations.