President Bush understands that social problems are best addressed not in Washington, D.C. alone, but rather in communities where innovation is born and caring Americans serve their neighbors in need. Faith-based and community initiatives have taken root in each State and countless communities across the Nation as a pragmatic way of addressing social policy priorities.
Currently, 35 Governors have opened their own Faith-Based and Community Initiatives office or appointed FBCI liaisons. Reflecting their historic role as laboratories of democracy, these State offices take many forms and address a growing and diverse set of public policy interests.
The 19 Democratic and 16 Republican Governors leading FBCI efforts in their States reflect strong bipartisan commitment to the FBCI.
Twelve States experienced gubernatorial transition since their FBCI was established, and the FBCI was continued in every case (including when the successor represented a different political party).
All 50 States possess the core FBCI elements, including direct Federal funding to faith-based and community groups, decreased barriers to faith-based and small grassroots organizations, and increased efforts to equip nonprofits of all types.
Nonprofit organizations in each State won a combined $14.7 billion from Federal grant competitions in 2006. Notable State amounts include: $48 million in Alaska; $170 million in Tennessee; $355 million in Michigan; $686 million in Texas; $830 million in New York; and over $1 billion in California.
Each State operates demonstration projects that build new government collaboration with faith-based and community groups to solve the State’s toughest social problems.
On June 25, 2001, the U.S. Conference of Mayors officially endorsed President Bush’s Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
Then-USCM president James Garner (Hempstead, NY) remarked at the time: "For many years, cities have worked closely in partnership with faith and community serving organizations. These collaborations have played a critical role in improving the lives of residents in many cities by providing a plethora of vital services — including job training and employment services, recidivism reduction, health support services, services related to crime prevention and intervention, mentoring for children of prisoners, domestic violence prevention and intervention, and housing services."
Since 2001, hundreds of mayors have formed their own faith-based and community initiatives including incoming USCM president Mayor Manny Diaz (Miami, FL). The City of Miami recently received a Compassion Capital Fund grant to serve at-risk youth including children of prisoners, adults suffering from drug addiction or homelessness, and those seeking to move from welfare to work.