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Campaign description

The Mississippi River

Business Enterprise Zone

Economic Development


It is one of Andrew Young’s biggest and boldest visions: To create tens of thousands of jobs, and perhaps hundreds of thousands, in “enterprise zones” up and down the Mississippi River and all its tributaries – which reaches 31 of the United States.

Audacious, yes.

But all of Ambassador Young’s successes have been audacious ones.

Beginning in the 1930s, the Army Corps of Engineers built a lock and dam system that remains the backbone of transportation and commerce along the largest river in North America.  But that system was designed to last 50 years at most and we have operated without significant upgrades for 30 more years. Each year, seasonal flooding wreaks havoc along the river, in flood plains once protected by woodlands but long ago deforested.  Even major cities are in a state of blight.

A simple “fix” won’t do.   The Corps of Engineers has given the infrastructure a rating of D-plus.  Disasters of of epic proportion are inevitable as the lock-and-dam system continues to decay.

The Andrew J. Young Foundation proposes an enormous yet  simple solution – the creation of a one trillion dollar “Mississippi River Enterprise Development Fund,” issuing AAA rated bonds to attract global investment from leading government agencies, private corporations and high net-worth individuals.

It is our belief that no other “work program” could so easily or logically force job creation, financial empowerment, and economic develop – while simultaneously solving a critical problem before it reaches a point of no return.

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