Biden: Nation needs successful urban areas

July 31, 2009 at 6:47 PM
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CHICAGO, July 31 (UPI) -- Government officials, like the National Urban League, are doing everything possible to lead urban areas into the future, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said.

Speaking Friday during the National Urban League Conference in Chicago, Biden said, "We can't succeed unless the urban areas succeed, and like you, we're doing everything we can to lead them into the future."

Biden also announced workshops across the nation would be conducted to help get information about stimulus assistance, WLS-TV, Chicago, reported.

"Over the next 90 days, agencies across the entire government will conduct workshops for small businesses, women, minorities and veterans about how they can better get information," Biden said.

For much of the address, Biden used much of his remarks to tout the funding already distributed through the stimulus package, personalizing it for Chicago by mentioning an area business owner.

"There's a salon owner, Kim Shackelford. Through the act, she saved $2,700 in fees and secured a $150,000 loan," Biden said.

WLS said Shackelford, working at her salon, was thrilled about the mention from the vice president.

"It's awesome," Shackelford said. "I just wanted to hug him or touch him or something. I wanted Obama to come, too."

The Urban League, founded 99 years ago, tries to foster economic equality and individual empowerment, the organization's officials said. Rather than protests, the league promotes job training, networking, mentoring and investing in educational programs.

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