Senator Laughlin to Participate in National Opportunity Zone Summit

Senator Dan Laughlin has been invited to Washington D.C. this week to participate in a White House summit on the role of Opportunity Zones in promoting economic development and job creation.

Senator Laughlin, a strident advocate for the establishment of a targeted zone for economic development in Erie, will travel with Matt Wachter, Vice President Finance & Development at the Erie Downtown Development Corporation, and Tim Wachter, lead attorney at Knox Law Public Strategies, for a meeting with cabinet officials at 1 p.m. on Wednesday (April 17).

“I am truly looking forward to this opportunity to meet with national leaders to discuss best practices to promote direct investment into the nation’s Opportunity Zones,” said Senator Laughlin. “These zones have proven their value time and again,” Senator Laughlin said. “While not every project is guaranteed success, the sheer volume of success stories, under both Republican and Democratic governors, has demonstrated that this program should be continued, especially in troubled communities such as Erie.”

Toward that effort, Senator Laughlin has repeatedly urged Governor Wolf to lift his moratorium on creating new City Revitalization and Improvement Zones (CRIZ) in Pennsylvania.

“I believe the CRIZ programs have proven to be critical to the growth and development of properties and communities that would not otherwise be improved, such as many of those which I now represent in Erie County. If we could combine a CRIZ and an Opportunity Zone it could super charge revitalization in the downtown area.” Senator Laughlin said.

As part of the first annual White House Opportunity Zone Conference, the Erie delegation will participate and share best practices in breakout sessions hosted by federal officials.

Participants from the White House include: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Department of Housing & Urban Secretary Ben Carson, and Assistant to the President & Director of the National Economic Council, Larry Kudlow.


Contact:         Matt Azeles       

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