Asserting that the nation’s cities are "poised at a crossroads," New Orleans Mayor and newly installed Conference President Marc H. Morial today announced a national "Competitive Cities Tour" to promote America’s metro areas as competitive powerhouses in the national and international economic arenas.
"The task confronting each and every Mayor in this room is how to build a better community for all the people in your city," Mayor Morial said in his address. "When cities do well, this nation does well. If Mayors do not do it-if we are not the leaders-who will get it done? If we are not determined and brave in this undertaking, it will not happen. It is our challenge."
The tour, scheduled to begin in September, will highlight the best practices and strategies employed by Mayors across the country to foster what Mayor Morial calls the six keys to keeping cities competitive:
- Safe streets and communities;
- A skilled workforce;
- The arts, as both a cultural/educational and economic force in communities;
- Strong infrastructure;
- Good, affordable housing; and
- Strong economies.
Mayor Morial made his remarks during his inaugural address as President of The United States Conference of Mayors. The speech, and the installation of Morial as President, capped the 69th Annual Meeting of the Conference of Mayors, which drew more than 200 Mayors and over one thousand others to Detroit for five days of policy and ‘best practices’ sessions.
Highlights of the meeting included addresses by President George W. Bush, House of Representatives Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, and Michigan Governor John Engler.
Morial also announced plans to form an ‘international conference of mayors,’ which would convene Mayors of cities from around the globe together to discuss international policy and initiatives--a sister organization to the United States Conference of Mayors.
Jubi Headley, (202) 744-9337
Lisa MacSpadden, (703) 582-3659