EZECEmpowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities
EZECEmpowerment Zone Employment Credit (California)
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Although EZEC draws on rhetoric that resonates with the Community Action title of the EOA, it offers little basis for the participation of poor residents.
These criteria, and other elements of the EZEC act, build not only upon earlier congressional iterations, but so, too, do they reflect the experiences of the states with enterprise zone programs (Hornbeck, 1993; Brintnall, 1993).
Although it is very difficult to define what the results should be, and how to measure success, the EZEC program may provide a good environment in which to experiment with different evaluation techniques because the program will be implemented in only 104 places.
Those who have followed the fate of enterprise zones will recognize a familiar melody from the description of the Clinton administration's EZEC program--a melody that resonates from the states' experiences and from earlier attempts at establishing a federal program.
By super-imposing substantial government spending on the free-market incentives associated with earlier enterprise zone iterations, the EZEC proposal was able to garner support from Democrats and Republicans.
With Congressman Rangel as one of the primary architects in the congressional process, Clinton's chances of success improved dramatically, because the EZEC was so similar to Rangel's own Super Enterprise Zone proposal.
With regard to incentives, the Clinton administration's EZEC program does not appear to have learned from the states' experience with enterprise zones.
HUD officials have indicated that more specific guidelines for evaluation will be in the regulations for EZEC application.(7) Evidently the lesson learned from the states about the importance of being explicit about evaluation upfront has been well taken.
The Chairman of the Board is Vice President Gore and its members are the secretaries of all major departments and councils in the Clinton White House.(10) Although this board does have all of the key actors on it who could affect the EZEC program and thus represents an attempt to coordinate departments as they relate to Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities, it is too early to evaluate its efficacy in coordinating agency priorities, and agency funding.
Unlike the Model Cities program in which designation criteria were promulgated by HUD, EZEC legislation dearly defines designation criteria.
The answer would also be no if reinventing government means that the EZEC program has to be original.