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Morial to Nation’s Mayors: “Your Voices Are Needed Now More Than Ever”

Elena Temple-Webb
January 28, 2013

National Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial closed the 81st Winter Meeting with a call to action for the nation’s mayors saying, “Now is your time.” Morial reminded the group that it was mayors who lifted their voices to successfully push for the 1994 crime bill—out of which the COPS program was born as well as the ban on assault weapons. He reminded the group that it was mayors who first called for a federalization of the airport security system following the attack on the nation on September 11, 2001. Morial also reminded the group that it was mayors who sued gun manufacturers after the shooting at Columbine High School in 1999. Morial continued by saying it should be mayors who lift their voices in support of the children and victims of the Newtown (CT) school shooting to push Congress to act on the issue of gun control. “When Washington is mired in partisan wrangling, it is mayors who are able to find common ground,” he explained.

A past president of the Conference of Mayors, Morial pressed mayors to remember the power of their collective voices on all issues and challenged them to speak out on jobs, the fiscal state of our nation and the mounting federal debt. ”Nobody knows about balanced budgets more than mayors. Nobody knows about budget priorities and making tough decisions more than mayors. No one knows more than mayors how crucial investments in community and workforce development programs that lift people are. … This nation needs to hear your voices now more than ever,” he concluded.