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Is There Opportunity in Opportunity Zones?

Tuesday January 2021


Ja'Ron Smith Executive Director, Center for Advancing Opportunity and former Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy
Shay Hawkins President and CEO, Opportunity Funds Association and former Tax & Trade Counsel to Senator Tim Scott
John Persinger CEO, Erie Downtown Development Corporation, former attorney, attaché to the U.S. ambassador to Australia and executive assistant to the White House deputy counsel

Opportunity Zones are meant to encourage long-term investments in vulnerable and distressed communities across the country. After receiving bipartisan support from Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), the program was included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, and there are now more than 8,000 Opportunity Zones in all 50 states.

A multi-billion-dollar investment in low-income neighborhoods cannot happen overnight, and has generated its fair share of controversy. To some, revitalization is simply gentrification by another name. But the need for more opportunity in America is great, as are the stakes for our most distressed communities.

Please join MI’s Director of State and Local Policy, Michael Hendrix, for a panel discussion on the promises and goals of Opportunity Zones, their efficacy thus far, and what the future will look like under a new administration.