Rep. Costa Presses Governor Over Downtown Revitalization Efforts

Apr 23, 2010
Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. –Congressman Jim Costa (D-Fresno) yesterday sent a letter to Governor Schwarzenegger, pressing the Governor to increase the State’s commitment to downtown revitalization projects in the Valley and entire State. Specifically, Costa urged the Governor, like previous governors, to step up their support for downtown communities by locating state agencies downtown whenever possible.

“A vibrant, healthy downtown has economic, cultural and environmental benefits which can be felt in any community,” said Costa. “We can’t turn our backs on over two decades of combined state and federal efforts to prevent our downtowns from ‘dying on the vine.’”

Throughout his career, Costa has been supportive of downtown revitalization efforts.  This support includes specific projects in both Fresno and Bakersfield, such as the efforts to bring a Federal Courthouse to Bakersfield, and revitalize Chinatown in Fresno.

The text of Costa’s letter to Governor Schwarzenegger is below.

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April 21, 2010


The Honorable Arnold Schwarzenegger
Governor
State of California
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,

            Please tell me Governor, that it is not the State’s intention to turn its back on a collaborative, bipartisan effort on the local, state, and national level to revitalize downtowns in California.

            A vibrant, healthy downtown has economic, cultural and environmental benefits which can be felt in any community.  Previous State and Federal Executive Orders have had a common purpose in mind – revitalizing cities throughout California and the United States.  I understand our state of California is facing difficult economic times.  In the majority of cases, office space downtown for state and federal agencies is cost-effective and competitive.  If we turn our backs on over two decades of state and federal efforts to prevent our downtowns from “dying on the vine” we have no one but ourselves to blame. 

            Throughout my career as a state legislator in California, and during my time in Congress, I have been supportive of downtown revitalization efforts.  This support includes both specific projects in Fresno and Bakersfield, such as the efforts to bring a Federal Courthouse to Bakersfield, locate state agencies downtown, as well as revitalizing Chinatown in Fresno.  Furthermore, I’ve been instrumental in larger policy efforts at the state and federal level, including during my tenure as President of the National Conference of State Legislators. 

            The Executive Order issued by President Jimmy Carter and renewed by succeeding Presidents of both parties to locate federal offices in downtown communities whenever possible is an example of the importance that downtowns hold, and a strong statement of Federal support for downtown revitalization.  Further, the “Good Neighbor Program” instituted by the GSA under President Clinton was an important effort to enhance public-private partnership with urban downtown associations and maintain the vitality of American cities by locating federal agency offices in downtowns when possible, all things being equal. 

I urge you to keep the commitments you and previous governors have made that recognize the value of a healthy, vibrant downtown community by locating state agencies downtown whenever possible.  It is of great significance that policymakers recognize the importance of downtowns and act accordingly.


Sincerely,



JIM COSTA
Member of Congress