Mayors Release Plan for Improving Homeland Economic Security|
U.S. Conference of Mayors Announce "Cities Unite America" Tour to Tout Cities' Contributions And Need For Homeland Economic Security Package
Downlod the 10-Point Plan
NEW YORK (January 26, 2002) - The nation's mayors today released a blueprint for achieving homeland economic security and announced they will tour select cities throughout the nation to discuss the plan with the American people and build support for it.
Developed by The U.S. Conference of Mayors, the plan outlines homeland security and economic revitalization proposals for a variety of transportation, travel and tourism programs, as well as assistance and health care benefits for unemployed workers and the creation of a homeland security block grant.
"It is time our nation committed itself to a sustained response to the unparalleled challenges we now face in America's cities," said New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial, President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. "As our nation's first line of defense, cities have the daunting responsibility to protect citizens from increasing threats of terrorism. And we must do so at a time when a painful economic recession is hurting families and stripping away resources from programs that are vital to our quality of life. To meet these challenges we, at the local level, need a strong partnership with the federal government and the commitment of all Americans."
Morial said he will lead mayors on a "Cities Unite America" tour to draw attention to the successes and contributions of cities and to develop support for the Mayors' homeland economic security plan.
Mayors also praised U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's legislation that would provide economic assistance to cities to cover mounting security costs.
Highlights of the Mayors' plan include:
Homeland Security Augmentation: Additional protection for vulnerable sites and special public events; more communication and protective equipment for police, fire and emergency management personnel; overtime compensation directly related to homeland security; additional training for police, fire and emergency management personnel.
Transportation Security Improvements: Investments in bomb detection equipment for airlines; upgraded port security by expanding information technology-based systems and improved point of origin inspections and electronic access to shipping manifests; better rail safety by completing the New York City safety program and rehabilitating the Baltimore and Washington, DC tunnels; improved highway security through investment in Intelligent Transportation Systems; and enhanced airport security with the use of federalized workers at all points of passenger, baggage and cargo inspection.
Relief for Unemployed Workers: Immediate extension of federal unemployment benefits and expanded eligibility to cover short term, part-time and temporary workers who have lost their jobs as a result of economic downturn and the September 11 terrorist attacks; health care assistance for unemployed workers, including those who do not have access to COBRA; immediate increases in federal job training funding to help laid off workers and low-skilled workers.
Travel and Tourism Support: Integrated brand marketing campaigns to create a national identity for the United States as a desirable travel destination through the coordinated efforts of local, state, federal and private organizations; the permanent extension of the Welfare-to-Work and the Work Opportunity tax credits; and the creation of the President's Advisory Council on Travel and Tourism.
Anti-Recession Tax Incentives: Tax credits to low and moderate income families who purchase computers to increase technology literacy; legislation to provide school construction tax credit bonds to help local communities raise the capital needed to repair, expand and modernize schools; doubling the amount of tax credits available for investment in low income housing tax credits; legislation removing limits on private activity bonds used to finance water and wastewater systems; authorization for Amtrak to issue tax credit bonds to raise capital to further develop high-speed rail.
Small Business Support: Disaster loans to small businesses that suffered economic harm or disruption as a result of September 11 attacks; expanded expensing provisions to temporarily allow businesses to expense more of their qualified capital investments; expanded small business tax credits for recruitment and workforce development.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are about 1,139 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor.
Andy Solomon (202) 861-6766
Lina Garcia (202) 861-6719