US (NC): Opportunity zones and criminal justice reform are changing lives in Wilmington

In his inaugural address, President Trump promised “the forgotten men and women of America will no longer be forgotten.” Over the past three and a half years, the Trump administration has worked to help Americans on the margins, and create opportunities for everyone to pursue their own American Dream.

This theme of opportunity for all is evident in a number of areas, from trade policy to tax reform. But nowhere is it more apparent than in the policies that have lined up to enable one business in Wilmington that we visited Monday: Second Chances Farm.

Second Chances Farm is a distillation of two of the president's key priorities: creating job opportunities for low-income Americans and reforming the criminal justice system. Together, these key actions by the Trump administration have helped Second Chances Farm to thrive.

This indoor farming facility was built in an Opportunity Zone by founder Ajit George, and employs several dozen former inmates. Using hydroponics and LED lights, Second Chances Farm is providing Wilmington with fresh, local organic produce year-round, while also providing former inmates with good jobs and stimulating economic growth in the community.  

For the former inmates employed though, this isn’t just a job. One former inmate and Second Chances Farm employee, KaLief Ringgold, said, “being here is not a second chance, it saved my life.” That kind of testimony from an employee is exactly what Opportunity Zones and the First Step Act are all about. 

Read more at Delaware Online (Ben Carson and Scott Turner)


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