January 17-19, 2001 Capital Hilton Hotel
"I Feel Better About My Country With You [Mayors] Staying Behind to Keep Up the Fight," Clinton says in Accepting Highest Award of the Conference of Mayors
This is the highest award given by the Conference and President Clinton is the first U.S. President to receive the award.
Joined by over 250 mayors, Mayor Coles said in making the presentation, "Under the partnership built between President Clinton and the nation's mayors, major strides have been taken to improve the lives of millions of Americans in cities of all sizes. More than 80% of American families live in a city, and have thereby benefitted from this powerful partnership."
President Clinton said that he was extremely pleased by the eight-year bipartisan partnership between the Administration and the mayors. He stressed the shared belief that "public enterprise matters... and that ideas matter to how people end up living," adding that it is important to "keep score" to see if public policy is working.
And Clinton said that the "score" shows that the nation is truly better off than eight years ago, with crime and poverty rates down, welfare roles reduced, and 22.5 million new jobs created.
Clinton thanked the mayors for their work on key issues such as the crime bill, brownfields cleanup and school modernization, but added that much work remains to be done.
He said that cities have to continue to be the focus of building "One America" and breaking down barriers between people through thoughtful public policy.