Friday, May 29, 2015

Rural advocate Sandra Rosenblith dies at 70; was instrumental in rural development programs

Sandra Rosenblith
Rural advocate Sandra Rosenblith died this week at the age of 70. "Rosenblith helped establish Rural LISC at the Local Initiatives Support Organization in 1995," Tim Marema reports for the Daily Yonder. "The program helps rural development groups tap public and private funding for local projects." Rosenblith retired from Rural LISC in 2009 but remained active in rural development policy work and wrote occasional stories for the Yonder.

Rural LISC currently "has 63 partner development organizations that work in 40 states and cover nearly 1,200 U.S. counties" and has "leveraged $3 billion in rural development investment in the past two decades, according to a fact sheet on the organization’s website," Marema writes.

Arnold Montgomery, who worked in various capacities with Rosenblith since 1971, told Marema, “In my mind she contributed more to community development than anyone else I know. She did ground-breaking things. And all of it was driven by her vision, her tenacity and her determination to never give up—and I do mean never.”

Rosenblith graduated from the University of California, Berkley and earned a law degree at Harvard University, Marema writes. "After working at the National Council for Equal Business Opportunity, she ran a community development consulting firm and later served as director of the legal division of the Federal Home Loan Bank’s Office of Community Investment."

Rosenblith "was part of the federal task force that wrote the first regulations for the Community Reinvestment Act," Marema writes "She helped design and implement Department of Agriculture programs that supported affordable housing and nonprofit rural development organizations." (Read more)

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