C O N O M Y
Since 1993, President Clinton and Vice President Gore have focused on following a growth policy based on three elements never before tried in combination: eliminating the deficit, opening markets, and investing in our own people.
Barring a national emergency, Vice President Gore feels we should balance our budget -- or better -- every year.
Second, he believes America must use good economic times to tackle tough, long-term economic problems, such as preparing for an aging society by saving Social Security and Medicare. He and President Clinton have proposed a bold plan to fix the entitlement problem in a way which will also dramatically lift America's national savings rate.
Third, the Vice President will continue the hard work of cutting regulations and reforming and reinventing government -- so that it costs less, works better, and keeps pace with todays fast- moving economies.
Fourth, the Vice President supports making strategic investments in human capital -- in particular, education and lifelong learning -- that are the heart of productivity, and give everyone a chance to share in our prosperity.
And lastly, the Vice President feels that America must remain engaged with the world. He has strongly advocated resisting narrow appeals to protectionism and isolationism. With 96 percent of the worlds consumers outside of United States borders, he feels that America must expand its exports, including free-flowing electronic commerce.
Vice President Gore has been working closely with President Clinton to make our elementary and secondary schools the finest in the world, and to expand access to college and lifelong learning. Vice President Gore believes that we must invest more in our public schools, and also demand more from them in order to ensure a world-class education for all our children. To this end, the Vice President has helped to launch a national movement to use standards, accountability, choice and investment to improve our public schools. Vice President Gore has fought for critical investments to build and modernize more than 6,000 public schools nationwide, reduce class size in the early grades to a national average of 18, and link every classroom and library to the Internet. He is fighting to help more children succeed by increasing access to early childhood education, insisting on investments to turn around or shut down failing schools, supporting public school choice and charter schools, and expanding after school and summer school programs. Finally, Vice President Gore has worked with President Clinton to open the doors of college to all students with increased financial aid and targeted tax cuts that help families afford higher education and lifelong learning.
Making Americas Communities Safer
Vice President Gore leads the Administrations efforts to help communities hire, redeploy and retain high-quality law enforcement officers and ensure that communities have the tools they need to fight crime in the 21st Century.
The Vice President has worked to fund over 100,000 community police officers. Over 60,000 of those officers are already on Americas streets, preventing and reducing crime so that America is safer now than it has been in a generation. Under President Clinton and Vice President Gores leadership, crime rates have fallen across the country for eight straight years, the longest recorded drop in our nations history.
The Vice President is now working to fund another 50,000 police officers, 7,500 local, state and federal community and gun prosecutors and 500 Treasury agents and inspectors to investigate new firearms crimes.
The Vice President has fought to save officers lives and also to make certain that when tragedy strikes, the officers survivors suffer as little as possible. The Vice President is the prime architect of the Justice Departments Bulletproof Vest Partnership which pays for half of the cost of a bulletproof vest when a local agency lacks the funds to buy that vest. The Vice President has also worked to expand the benefits paid to the survivors of law enforcement officers who are killed or permanently injured in the line of duty to help ensure they have the opportunity to attain a college degree.
The Vice President has led a partnership with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to allow communities to use some of their federal prison construction grant funds to provide drug testing and treatment for inmates released from sentences of imprisonment. Twenty-two states have taken advantage of this opportunity in the first year of the program. Drug testing and treatment is effective in reducing crime because it results in fewer offenders reverting to the use of illegal drugs and committing new crimes when they get out of prison.
The Vice President has been a moving force behind efforts to provide law enforcement with the high-technology tools it needs to combat crime in the 21st Century. This includes improved digital communications equipment, better DNA testing capabilities and laptop computers for police cars so that officers can spend more time on the street and less time on paperwork in the station house. The Vice President has also created a unique collaborative effort between his National Partnership for Reinventing Government and the Justice department to provide crime mapping technology to local law enforcement. Crime mapping provides law enforcement with street-by-street information on where crime problems exist. Law enforcement and social service agencies can then target special resources for these areas in order to help make those communities safer places in which to live.
The Vice President has worked closely with President Clinton on a wide range of initiatives to strengthen and improve health care, including:
VICE PRESIDENT GORE: STRONG ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP FOR THE NEW MILLENNIUM
As we enter the 21st century, Americans know that a healthy environment and a strong economy go hand in hand. Indeed, we today enjoy the cleanest environment in a generation and the longest economic expansion in our nation's history.
Al Gore has long been at the forefront of efforts to protect our environment and quality of life in ways that promote strong, sustainable economic growth. Since entering public office in 1976 as member of the U.S. House of Representatives, he has fought to improve public health, preserve natural treasures, promote cleaner, energy-efficient business, protect oceans and coasts, reinvent environmental regulation, and combat global warming. His 1992 book, Earth in the Balance, is widely recognized as a passionate, penetrating analysis of the environmental challenges we face.
As a member of Congress, Al Gore helped lead the fight for stronger air and water quality protections for millions of Americans and for passage of the original Superfund law to clean up toxic waste sites. Later as a U.S. Senator, he led early calls for research and action to address the threat of global warming.
As Vice President, Al Gore has been instrumental in launching new initiatives to meet key environmental challenges. His Livable Communities initiative has helped communities across the country grow in ways that ensure a high quality of life and strong, sustainable economic growth. With his leadership, the Administration has adopted the strongest air quality protections ever, cleaned up three times as many Superfund sites as the two previous Administrations combined, and undertaken initiatives to protect more land in the lower 48 states than during any Administration sincethe time of Theodore Roosevelt. And he has continued fighting to protect the global environment, playing a critical role in negotiating a strong, cost-effective treaty to combat global warming.
The Vice President also has led the charge in encouraging America's business leaders to develop innovative new technologies that strengthen our competitiveness while protecting our environment. Through the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles, he has worked with automakers to spur new technologies that promise dramatic increase in automotive fuel economy reducing our reliance on imported oil while saving consumers money. And he has worked with President Clinton on a series of Executive Orders that establish the Federal government as a model for innovative, cost-effective environmental management.
Vice President Al Gore has an unrivaled record of action and leadership in protecting our environment. We invite you to explore recent environmental announcements made by the Vice President.
Safeguarding Our Oceans and Coasts
Marine Protected Areas and Coral Reef Protection. Following the National Ocean Conference in June of 1998, a new Executive Order was issued on May 26, 2000 directing agencies to establish a network of ocean conservation areas; authorizing the Commerce and Interior departments to develop a plan to permanently protect Hawaiis rich coral reefs; and directing the Environmental Protection Agency to take new steps to limit the pollution of beaches, oceans and coasts.
Preserving America's Natural Treasures
California Desert Protection. On May 18, 2000, Vice President Gore secured the money needed to complete a historic acquisition of 404,000 acres of pristine desert lands in Southern California. The land will be purchased from the Catellus Development Corporation with $5 million in federal funds secured by the Administration in the fiscal year 2000 budget and a $15 million donation from The Wildlands Conservancy. The land is being preserved for future generations through a true public-private effort that could serve as a model for future cooperation
Protection. On May 9, 2000, the Forest Service unveiled
proposal to protect more than 40 million acres of roadless areas in
our national forests from road contruction.
Creation of New National Monuments. On April 14, 2000, President Clinton signed an executive order creating the Giant Sequoia National Monument on 328,000 acres in Sequoia National Forest in California. Additionally, on January 11, 2000, the President created three new national monuments - the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument and the Agua Fria National Monuments in Arizona, and the California Coastal National Monument, and expanded the Pinnacles National Monument in California.
Conservation on the Farm. On May 19, 2000, Vice President Gore announced that the U. S. Department of Agriculture will enroll approximately 2.5 million acres of environmentally sensitive farmland in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). The program encourages farmers and ranchers to voluntarily adopt long-term conservation practices.
Ensuring Safe and Healthy Communities
Pipeline Safety. On April 11, 2000, the Administration proposed comprehensive new legislation to improve the safety of oil and gas pipelines across the country, and to strengthen citizens right to know about pipelines in their communities.
Revitalization of Toxic Waste Sites. On May 18, 2000, the EPA awarded over $42 million in grants to more than 143 communities across the country to clean up brownfields abandoned, lightly contaminated properties often found in economically distressed areas and return them to economically thriving, community hubs.
Providing Safe Drinking Water
Arsenic Reduction. On May 25, 2000, the EPA proposed to reduce the legal limit for arsenic in drinking water by 90 percent to lower cancer risks.
Protecting Groundwater. On April 17, 2000, announced an Administration proposal to improve drinking water quality for 109 million Americans by protecting groundwater supplies from disease-causing viruses and bacteria, such as E. coli. The proposed rule -- the first to extend such protections to underground sources of drinking water -- is expected to prevent over 115,000 illnesses a year.
Elimination of Harmful Microbes. On March 30, 2000, unveiled steps to protect an additional 40 million Americans from potentially dangerous microbes, including Cryptosporidium, in their drinking water. A new standard proposed by EPA will provide the first-ever protection against these contaminants for people in small communities. This proposal is expected to prevent as many as 83,000 cases of waterborne illness each year.
Meeting the Challenge of Global Warming
New Executive Orders to Reduce Governments Emissions. On April 22, 2000, two new executive orders were unveiled to help meet the challenge of climate change. The first order improves fuel efficiency by requiring the Federal government to reduce fuel use in its vehicle fleets by 20 percent over the next five years. The second order offers federal workers incentives to use public transportation, cutting fuel use and the pollution that contributes to climate change.
Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential Appliances. On April 19, 2000, the Vice President announced proposed new standards to improve the energy efficiency of residential water heaters that would result in consumer savings of more than $23 billion in energy over the next two decades. On May 24, 2000, Energy Secretary Bill Richardson announced an agreement with the washing machine industry to produce machines by 2007 that use half as much energy as most current models.
Promoting Jobs and the Environment
Next Generation Trucks. On April 21, 2000, the Vice President announced a new research partnership with several of the nations largest heavy-duty engine and truck companies to develop super fuel-efficient vehicles that will dramatically improve America's fuel economy while cutting greenhouse gases and other air pollutants.
Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles. On March 30, 2000, Vice President Gore announced efforts to work with the Big 3 automakers through the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles on new commitments to begin putting vehicles with significant improvements in fuel economy into volume production and into dealers showrooms in three to four years.
Greening the Government
Executive Order to Reduce Government Toxic Releases. On April 21, 2000, the Vice President announced a new Executive Order, part of a series of Greening the Government initiatives, that requires the federal government to achieve graduate reductions in toxic chemical releases, the use of toxic chemicals, hazardous substances, and other pollutants.
Progress on Greening the Government. On April 21, 2000, Vice President Gore released a new report, Greening the Government: A Report to the President on Federal Leadership and Progress, that highlights the progress Federal agencies have made in response to six Greening the Government executive orders. Those orders have directed Federal executive agencies to take concrete steps to conserve energy and natural resources, prevent pollution, reduce waste generation, eliminate usage of ozone depleting products, purchase recycled, energy-efficient, and environmentally preferable products, and reduce usage of toxic substances.
Protecting the Global Environment
China. On May 19, 2000, the Vice President released a joint statement between the United States and China pledging stronger cooperation on a range of efforts to protect the environment and promote sustainable development, including international efforts to combat global climate change.
India. On March 22, 2000, President Clinton announced an agreement to aid environmental programs in India on clean energy and climate change.
FY 2001 Budget
The Clinton-Gore Administration has proposed a record $42.5 billion in FY 2001 to protect our natural resources, our communities and families, and the global environment. The proposed environment budget represents an 11 percent increase over FY 2000 and a 36 percent increase over FY 1993.
Lands Legacy. The Administrations FY 2001 budget proposes a record $1.4 billion to protect land and coastal resources and will seek dedicated funding at this level each and every year to ensure continued efforts to preserve Americas natural heritage. This proposed Lands Legacy Initiative funding would provide significant new resources to states and communities to protect wildlife and local green spaces, support federal efforts to save natural and historic treasures, and expand efforts to protect ocean and coastal resources.
Climate Change. The Administrations FY 2001 budget proposes over $2.4 billion (a more than 40 percent increase over FY 2000 enacted levels) in funding to combat global climate change. This includes increased investments in research and development of clean energy technology, the Climate Change Technology Initiative, and offers tax incentives to consumers who buy energy efficient cars, homes, appliances and other clean energy products.
Great Lakes Restoration. The Administrations FY 2001 budget proposes a new $50 million Great Lakes Initiative to provide Great Lakes communities with matching grants to help them restore and protect their waterways for drinking, fishing, swimming, boating and urban redevelopment.
Global Forest Protection. The FY 2001 budget proposes a record $150 million a $70 million increase over FY 2000 for a new Greening the Globe Initiative to give developing countries tools and resources to strengthen their economies by protecting, not destroying, their irreplaceable forests.
Building Livable Communities. The Administrations FY 2001 budget proposes $9.3 billion, a 14 percent increase over FY 2000, for the Administrations Livable Communities Initiative, which helps communities grow in ways that enhance their quality of life and ensure strong, sustainable economic growth.
Childhood Lead Poisoning Reduction. The Administrations FY 2001 budget proposes $165 million to launch a 10-year strategy to end childhood lead poisoning by eliminating lead hazards, strengthening enforcement, advancing research, and improving health monitoring and intervention.
Promotion of Conservation on the Farm. The Administrations FY 2001 budget proposes $1.3 billion for conservation programs that help family farmers take steps to protect water quality and the environment and to preserve farmland pressured by sprawl. This conservation package is part of a larger Administration budget proposal to strengthen the farm safety net.
Vice President Gore is a nationally recognized leader on technology. He championed the information superhighway, helping to popularize the term over 20 years ago, and fought for critical investments in our scientific endeavor. Shaped by his eight years in the House of Representatives where he served on the Science Committee and his eight years as a United States Senator where he chaired the Senate Commerce Committees Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Space, Gore has championed the American spirit of discovery through a commitment to scientific understanding and technological innovation.
Al Gore understands that since our nations founding, our boundless search for new frontiers and our ceaseless quest for knowledge and discovery has defined the American experience. Today, more than at any time in our history, the strength of our economy, the health of our families, and the quality of our lives depend on advances in science and technology. Our economy has never been more driven by science and technology than it is today. In fact today, information technology alone accounts for one-third of Americas economic growth. However, these are the impacts of scientific research that we can see. Al Gore understands that the real role of science is in the things we cant see. The American story is a story of looking over the horizon, of human achievement, of wonder, and imagination.
He understands that we can use these new technologies to unleash greater economic opportunity through global electronic commerce. He led the effort to deregulate the telecommunications industry a move which led to the historic Telecommunications Act and a new tool that parents can use to control to ensure that television reflects their own family values -- the v-chip. He has led the effort to bring cutting edge technologies into our schools, connect our classrooms to the Internet and connect our children to the future. He has been in a leader in our commitment to space, announced a new effort to develop a Next Generation Internet, and fought to make the Internet family friendly.
We are at the threshold of a revolution that is changing the way the we work, the way we learn, and the way we live. At the heart of this revolution is information technology which is transforming our economy. Already, information technology accounts for a third of all economic growth, creating jobs that pay on average 80% higher than other private sector jobs Already, more Americans build semiconductors than construction machinery. More Americans spend their days refining data than refining petroleum. And a greater portion of the economy is growing from innovations unleashed by these new technologies. We are indeed in a new economy -- an economy driven by information, research, knowledge, and technology. An economy that values the productive capacity of people above all else. A new economy that brings the promise of a better life for all Americans. Al Gore wants to ensure that we can sustain the innovation that is now driving the economy well into the 21st century.
for the 21st Century
For the very first time in our history, it is now possible for a child in the most isolated inner-city neighborhood or rural community to have access to the same world of knowledge at the same instant as the child in the most affluent suburb. That is why the Vice President has made it a priority to connect every schoolchild in every classroom in America to the information superhighway. Access to these cutting edge technologies puts the future at our children's fingertips. For example, the Vice President has championed the E-rate program, to bring low cost Internet access to schools across the country. He has also announced new efforts to make sure that teachers have the skills they need to ensure that they can use technology as easily as they use the chalkboard; new efforts to ensure that we don't have a digital divide separating people who have access to information and those who don't; and efforts to ensure that children and teachers have access to learning software that is as engaging for children as the best video games.
Our investments in our childrens technology are already paying off. Weve now connected over a million classrooms through the E-rate program. Now 95% of public schools have some access to the Internet, compared to 35% in 1994. And we have increased the number of classrooms connected to the Internet by 20 times -- from 3% to more than 60% of classrooms. Today, the E-rate is helping about 38 million children in more than 80% of our public schools.
Research shows that educational technology can improve student test scores, reduce drop-out rates, and increase parental involvement in education. We have a responsibility to ensure that all of our children have access to these powerful new tools for teaching and learning as we enter the 21st century.
and the V-Chip
Keeping Children Safe on the Internet. In May of 1999, the Vice President announced an important new commitment by the countrys premiere Internet companies to give parents the resources they need to protect their children from inappropriate material on the Internet. The parents' protection page, now known as GetNetWise.com, provides parents with the tools and knowledge to supervise and guide their childrens online activities. In addition to giving parents access to more than 100 different blocking, filtering and monitoring tools, this page includes information for parents, teachers and children on how to report crime or other troubling activity online. The parents protection page can also serve as a guide to finding the vast array of high quality educational materials online.
Leading efforts to increase e-commerce. Vice President Gore is leading the Administrations efforts to promote and develop e-commerce on the Internet. In 1997, he articulated five guiding principles for e-commerce: private sector leadership, avoidance of undue restrictions, establishment of a legal environment based on a contractual model of law, recognition of the unique qualities of the Internet and facilitation of e-commerce. To further develop e-commerce, the Vice President supported a three year moratorium on Internet access taxes and taxes that discriminate against e-commerce and called for greater online privacy protections. Al Gore understands that electronic commerce allows anyone with a good idea and an Internet connection to become a corner store for the entire planet.
Vice President Gore is championing the Administration's comprehensive Livability Agenda to help communities across America grow in ways that ensure a high quality of life and strong, sustainable economic growth. Livable communities are places where young and old can walk, bike, and play together; places where we not only protect historic old neighborhoods, but where farms, green spaces, and forests can add life and beauty to the newest of suburbs; places where we can work competitively, and still spend less time in traffic and more time with our children, spouses, and neighbors. The Clinton-Gore Livability Agenda aims to help citizens and communities:
Preserve green spaces that promote clean air and clean water, sustain wildlife, and provide families with places to walk, play and relax.
Ease traffic congestion by improving road planning, strengthening existing transportation systems, and expanding use of alternative transportation.
Restore a sense of community by fostering citizen and private sector involvement in local planning, including the placement of schools and other public facilities.
Promote collaboration among neighboring communities -- cities, suburbs or rural areas -- to develop regional growth strategies and address common issues like crime.
Enhance economic competitiveness by nurturing a high quality of life that attracts well-trained workers and cutting-edge industries.
Livable Communities initiatives recognize that communities know best and that each community should grow according to their own values.
At the request of President Clinton, Vice President Gore co-chairs five binational commissions, designed to strengthen the U.S. political and economic relationship with these strategically important nations.
President Clinton and Russian Federation President Boris Yeltsin created the first binational commission, formally called the U.S.-Russian Joint Commission on Economic and Technological Cooperation, at the Vancouver Summit in April, 1993. The commission, originally co-chaired by Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and now co-chaired by Prime Minister Yevgeniy Primakov, is designed to promote a stronger partnership between the United States and Russia based on a shared commitment to democracy and human rights, support for market economies and the rule of law, and international peace and stability.
The Commission is made up of ten committees and working groups in areas such as agribusiness; business development; capital markets; defense conversion; energy; environment; health; regional investment; science and technology; and space. The committees or working groups -- each co- chaired by senior U.S. and Russian officials -- work to identify and achieve clear, mutually beneficial objectives, and promote strong partnerships with private companies and non-government organizations.
Founded under the leadership of President Bill Clinton and President Nelson Mandela during the South African leader's State Visit to Washington in 1994, the U.S.-South Africa Binational Commission was inaugurated on March 1, 1995 with the goal of strengthening the bilateral relationship between the United States and South Africa.
The U.S.-South Africa BNC is committed to exploring areas for U.S.-South Africa cooperation based on shared values; identifying U.S. expertise which can assist South Africa in meeting its Reconstruction and Development Program goals; and expanding the involvement of both private investors and non-government organizations in strengthening U.S.- South Africa ties. The Commission is made up of committees on Agriculture; Conservation, Environment and Water; Defense; Human Resources Development and Education; Law Enforcement, Science and Technology; Sustainable Energy; and Trade and Investment. The Committees are co-chaired by senior government officials from the U.S. and South Africa.
President Clinton and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak announced the U.S.-Egyptian Partnership for Economic Growth and Development in September 1994. The commission operates through three principal working groups and their subcommittees: a Joint Committee for Economic Growth to conduct a government-to-government dialogue on economic policy; a Joint Science and Technology Board to implement agreements in these fields; and a Presidents' Council of senior private-sector executives to advise on ways of expanding economic growth and investment.
The U.S.-Kazakhstan Joint Commission is co-chaired by Vice President Gore and President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan. The Commission was created to facilitate deeper cooperation between Kazakhstan and the United States on economic and foreign policy matters, including trade and investment, non-proliferation, environmental protection, science and technology programs, energy, and democracy. The site of the Commission sessions alternates between Kazakhstan and the United States. The inaugural session occurred in Almaty, Kazakhstan in November 1994.
Vice President Gore
and Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma established the newest bilateral
commission in September 1996 to strengthen the partnership between
their two countries. President Kuchma and Vice President Gore meet annually
to direct the work of the commission, carried out by committees on foreign
policy, security, trade and investment, and sustainable economic cooperation.
As chairman of the Presidents Community Empowerment Board (CEB), Vice President Al Gore guides the Administrations Community Empowerment Agenda a broad range of initiatives designed to provide greater opportunity in distressed areas. These initiatives include: increasing and improving access to credit and capital, promoting small business creation and development, moving people from welfare to work, providing opportunities for out-of-school youth and support for children and families, increasing access to affordable housing and homeownership opportunities, enhancing crime prevention strategies, and cleaning up the environment by revitalizing abandoned, contaminated areas known as Brown fields. They are designed to complement one another, empower communities and provide a more coordinated sustainable response to address local problems.
As part of that agenda, the CEB oversees the Administrations Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities (EZ/EC) Initiative by coordinating the work of over 20 agencies that contribute to this effort with resources and technical assistance. This Initiative helps 134 designated communities (competitively selected) implement their strategic plans, which serve as a roadmap for transforming troubled neighborhoods into viable, sustainable places to live, work and raise a family. Under the EZ/EC Initiative, the federal government offers tools and resources including: flexible block grants, targeted tax incentives, and priority consideration for a variety of Federal funding programs. The EZ/EC Initiative and the Administrations other empowerment programs are helping to lead the way in creating jobs and bringing hope to our nations poorest areas.
The progress of the EZ/ EC Initiative over the last seven years has clearly demonstrated that the combination of local leadership and grassroots driven community determined priorities, coupled with a strong public-private partnership makes a real difference in peoples lives. In this way it has served as the model for the Administrations New Markets Initiative. This has resulted in the recent agreement with the Speaker of the House and the President to create a bipartisan legislative initiative -- one that includes more investment in Empowerment Zones, coupled with a call to designate a third round of zones which would bring the total EZs to 40; the New Markets proposals; and the creation of 40 Renewal Communities. Empowering people to help themselves really does work!
Vice President Gore leads the Administration's efforts to reinvent government, making it work better, cost less, and get results that Americans care about. Under his leadership, the size of the federal workforce has been reduced by about 350,000 people, and common sense changes have been made in the way government works that have saved taxpayers $137 billion.
Recently, he has spearheaded the Administration's "Plain Language Initiative," requiring all public documents to be written in common sense, plain language.
Under the Vice President's National Partnership for Reinventing Government (NPR), our government is working to improve customer service for all in our nation:
For Communities: NPR's "Hassle Free Community Initiative" is building partnerships at the federal, state and local levels to improve delivery of government services where and when Americans need them.
For Federal Employees: NPR has conducted a federal employee satisfaction survey as a first step to enhancing the workforce and recruiting new talent.
For Businesses: Eliminated 16,000 pages of regulations, created new regulatory partnerships with companies, and established the "U.S. Business Advisor," which gives businesses one electronic stop to access all agencies that deal with business.
For Students: Created "Access America for Students," a one-stop website that provides students access to government services like student loans, summer jobs, filing taxes, and changing their mailing address.
For Seniors: Created "Access America for Seniors," a one-stop website that provides seniors access to key services such as such as Social Security and Medicare.
The Vice President believes that, for far too long, we have created programs designed to address the pathology of individuals, or the needs of the bureaucracy that serves them. He believes that, instead, we need to find ways that we can understand the needs of whole families and communities and build on their strengths.
Family Re-Union Conferences
The Family Re-Union initiative seeks to "reinvent" family policy so that it reflects the realities facing families and government. The Vice President and Mrs. Gore moderate annual Family Re-Union conferences to give policy makers at the federal, state, and local levels a chance to learn from the experience of families and those who work with them.
Each conference brings together 1,000 individuals on site and thousands more at remote satellite sites; in that way, it creates a national conversation on a topic of importance to families. Each conference results from a year-long planning process that brings together experts and academics in the field along with program leaders and individual family members. They engage in a dialogue with each other, the sponsors, and the Vice President, raising crucial programmatic and policy issues that become the core of the conference.
Perhaps the most significant
outcome of each conference is the ongoing partnerships created between
organizations and individuals in each field that have built momentum behind
new ways of addressing longstanding issues. Conference topics have included
strengthening the role of fathers in children's lives, the impact of the
media culture on children, the delicate balance between work and family,
family involvement in education, and family-centered health care.
In addition to his contributions to the Administration's accomplishments under welfare reform, Vice President Gore has taken the lead on broad initiatives such as the following to help move families from welfare to work.
Mobilizing Civic, Religious and Non-profit Groups
In May 1997, Vice President Gore created the Welfare-to-Work Coalition to Sustain Success, a coalition of national civic, service and faith-based groups committed to helping welfare recipients succeed in the workforce. Working in partnership with public agencies and employers, members of the Vice President's Welfare-to-Work Coalition provide mentoring, job training, child care, transportation, and other support to help these new workers with the transtion to self-sufficiency. Charter members of the Vice President's Welfare-to-Work Coalition include: Alpha Kappa Alpha, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, the Baptist Joint Committee, Goodwill, Salvation Army, the United Way, Women's Missionary Union, the YMCA, the YWCA, and other civic and faith-based groups.
Doing Our Fair Share with the Federal Government's Hiring Initiative
Under the Clinton/Gore Administration, the federal workforce is the smallest it has been in thirty years. Yet, this Administration also believes that the federal government, as the nation's largest employer, must lead by example. In March 1997, the President asked the Vice President to oversee the federal government's hiring initiative in which federal agencies committed to directly hire at least 10,000 welfare recipients in the next four years. In August 1999, the Vice President announced that the federal government has hired over 14,000 welfare recipients, meeting the goal nearly two years ahead of schedule. As a part of this effort, the White House pledged to hire six welfare recipients and has already exceeded this goal.
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