Columnist Neal Peirce explains how the programs have garnered this sort of support, and how they can use it to grow.
"The hard-fought budget compromise for 2011 protects, for example, two stellar programs of the new push, both triggers for hundreds of competitive applications.
One is the Sustainable Communities Initiative that helps localities (and federal departments) tie together and improve their efforts in housing, transportation and environmental decisions at the regional and grassroots level. The program is to receive $100 million for this fiscal year.
Another save, with $528 million appropriated, is the highly popular "TIGER" program of competitive transportation-related grants to cities and regions that come up with creative ways to rebuild the economies through such steps as safer streets, reduced carbon emissions and greater community livability."