77th Annual Meeting

AMERICAN INVESTMENTS TO COMBAT POVERTY

WHEREAS, mayors from cities across the nation met in Los Angeles September 23 and 24 to develop an action agenda on poverty to present to the next President of the United States; and

WHEREAS, the Los Angeles meeting culminated two years of work by the Conference of Mayors Task Force on Poverty, Work and Opportunity on this national action agenda on poverty; and

WHEREAS, the mayors agreed that:

  • A growing and resilient middle class is the foundation of a prosperous city; and

  • Good schools, a strong economy which provides well-paying jobs, responsive city services, and safe and supporting neighborhoods are more likely to exist, or are more easily attainable, in cities which have a large or growing middle class; and

  • Poverty and the socioeconomic fragmentation it creates are inextricably linked to the ability of the U.S. to remain economically competitive; and

  • A comprehensive and multifaceted approach to policy making will have the greatest effect on eliminating poverty in this country,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors adopts as its policy the investments called for by the mayors in the National Action Agenda on Poverty:

  • For the Earned Income Tax Credit, which has lifted nearly five million people out of poverty each year, the tax benefit should be tripled, the eligibility age should be reduced to 21, the benefits to childless adults should be expanded, and the application process should be simplified by making the credit automatic, i.e., by requiring that the Internal Revenue Service automatically generate the credit for all who qualify for it; and

  • Funding for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) should be doubled to $8 billion, allowing mayors to continue to address the critical affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization needs of their cities; and

  • Funding for the Section 8 housing voucher program should be increased.