In 1995, Senator Dan Coats introduced a package of legislative proposals to help empower local, community-based institutions that were addressing social problems. Crafted with the help of Bill Bennett, a co-director of Empower America, the "Project for American Renewal," comprised 19 separate bills designed to use public policy - and public resources - to energize mainly private efforts to meet human needs. They included:
- The Mentor Schools Act, to provide grants of $1 million to school districts to develop “same gender” schools.
- The Role Model Academy Act, to establish an innovative residential academy for at-risk youth.
- The Kinship Care Act, to create a $30 million demonstration program for states to use adult relatives as the preferred placement option for children separated from their parents.
- The Restitution and Responsibility Act, to provide grants to states for programs to make restitution to victims of crime.
- The Assets for Independence Act, to create a four-year, $100 million demonstration program to establish 50,000 Individual Development Accounts, to be used for the purchase of home, college education or small business.
- The Community Partnership Act, to institute demonstration grants for programs to match communities of faith with welfare recipients and nonviolent criminal offenders.