White House to tackle income inequality in five ‘Promise Zones’

*U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House December 20, 2013 in Washington, DC.
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Image*

President Barack Obama announced his new strategy to combat income inequality and poverty by targeting resources at five new “Promise Zones”, the Associated Press reports.

Obama is expected to discuss the zone in further details Thursday. White House officials said the administration will focus on creating jobs and cutting poverty in San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, southeastern Kentucky and the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. The federal funding for these areas will be put into education, housing and crime-reduction programs. Obama announced the initiative during last year’s State of the Union address.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, supported the president’s choice of southeastern Kentucky as a targeted zone: “I’m pleased the administration has decided to grant Eastern Kentucky the promise zone designation it deserves. I wrote a letter supporting this designation because this region has suffered enormous hardship over the last several years.”