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Tuesday Highlights

Menino to Mayors: "Our Meeting Adjourns, but our Fight for Working Families Has Only Begun"

Conference of Mayors President Pledges Action on Affordable Housing, Public Schools, Homeland Security

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As about 250 of the nation's mayors ended their 70th Annual Meeting here today, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino, President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, promised to lead an aggressive campaign on behalf of America's working families.

"Our meeting is adjourned, but our work goes on," Menino told his fellow mayors. He pledged that mayors would fight for "housing that working people, seniors and needy Americans can afford…schools that attract families to cities, rather than drive them away…and human development initiatives that build strong families and strong cities."

During their five-day meeting, mayors:

  • Adopted a progressive and comprehensive agenda to address the nation's affordable workforce housing crisis;
  • Announced a new partnership with the Broad Foundation to dramatically increase the role America's mayors play in education reform;
  • Developed a new alliance with the Annie E. Casey Foundation to help mayors improve the quality of life for working families;
  • Expressed their strong belief that federal anti-terrorism funding should be provided directly to cities and their first responders, where it is most needed, rather than passed through state bureaucracies;
  • Released a new study that found metro economies lead the nation's economy, accounting for 98% of new jobs in 2001;
  • Agreed that transportation concerns must be addressed before nuclear waste is transported to a new repository at Yucca Mountain;
  • Called for auctioning off some of the telecommunications spectrum to raise funds to help narrow the digital divide; and
  • Again committed themselves to the fight against AIDS, cancer, and lead poisoning.

Mayor Menino announced that he will build a grassroots campaign, through regional mayoral teams, to lobby Congress and the public on the key issue of affordable workforce housing. He also said that Conference leadership will meet next in Boston in July to plot strategy on key issues. A mayors' lobbying day in Washington and a Cleveland education reform forum are also planned for the fall.

Mayors elected Hempstead New York Mayor James Garner, a Republican, Vice President of the Conference. Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic, a Democrat, was elected Chairman of the Conference's Advisory Board.

Additional information about the mayors meeting, including all press releases and reports, as well as a webcast of the meetings, is available online at www.usmayors.org.

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The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,139 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. The primary roles of the Conference of Mayors are to promote the development of effective national urban/suburban policy; strengthen federal-city relationships; ensure that federal policy meets urban needs; provide mayors with leadership and management tools; and create a forum in which mayors can share ideas and information. More information about the Conference is available at www.usmayors.org.

Press contacts:
Andy Solomon (202) 861-6766
Lina Garcia (202) 861-6719