For Immediate Release
Statement of Conference President and Denver Mayor
Today the nation's economy is stronger than ever before. Both the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Congressional Budget Office are predicting huge budget surpluses over the next decade--an estimated three trillion dollars. The nation's Mayors believe that in order to continue this economic boom, Congress and the Administration must responsibly re-invest a portion of these surplus dollars, in the communities that generated them. The federal government must supply fuel for the engines that drive this nation's economy: our metro areas.
Furthermore, we must do our best to bring the fruits of economic prosperity to every distressed neighborhood, to every working family in America. We've got to support every American in his or her quest to take advantage of this prosperity--not just because it's the ethical or moral thing to do, but because these neighborhoods and families represent untapped markets in terms of available land and labor resources. Think of the growth that our country could achieve if every American possessed the skills to compete in the global economy--if we could truly make use of the hundreds of thousands of acres available in cities for development.
The President's budget proposal for FY2001--the first of the millennium and the last of his Presidency--represents a critical first step in determining "A New Agenda for America's Cities."
The nation's Mayors have developed "A New Agenda for America's Cities," a ten-point plan which contains strategies designed to foster the nation's growth while improving the quality of life for all Americans (available on the Web at /uscm). The President's budget proposal makes remarkable strides toward implementing many of the strategies recommended in the 'New Agenda,' including:
We applaud the Administration for its leadership in bringing forward a budget that responds to the needs of cities, and of working families who live in our communities. Yet while this budget is in many respects promising, we must voice serious concern over several issue which remain inadequately addressed in the budget:
Throughout the year America's Mayors will continue to push for the implementation of "A New Agenda for America's Cities," not only in this Administration's budget proposal but with the Presidential candidates, to ensure that the next President of the United States develops a strategic partnership with America's cities, to spur economic growth and to improve the quality of life for every American.
The U. S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are about 1,100 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor.