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Democratic Leader Pelosi Says Mayors Know How to Make America Better

By Eugene T. Lowe
January 30, 2012

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi went directly to her major theme during remarks to the mayors at the opening luncheon of the 80th Winter Meeting of The U. S. Conference of Mayors when she said, "You [mayors] bring with you the hopes, aspirations, priorities of the American people." Everyone listens to mayors, including the Congress and the President, because mayors know the stories of unemployed workers such as "what they need to care for their children, pay their bills, and put food on their tables." She said further that, "Mayors recognize that investment in cities ­— in education and job training, in clean energy, infrastructure, and transit, in affordable housing and community health centers — are investments in our common future."

Pelosi said that the mayors' agenda serves as a blueprint for the Democrats in Congress. The core priorities of the Democrats are to create jobs, strengthen and expand small businesses, and to grow our economy. And this means for now, the Democratic Leader said, to fight for an extension to the payroll tax for the rest of the year, an extension to unemployment benefits, and "to ensure that tens of millions of seniors can see their doctors under Medicare."

Citing the U.S. Conference of Mayors call for jobs, Pelosi outlined the Democrats' agenda for job creation: American-made; Build America; and Community Recovery. To make it in America will help us to "stop the erosion of our manufacturing base." This is not meant "to be protectionist, but to be self'reliant." In order to build America, Pelosi said, "We must rebuild the infrastructure of America with key investments in public transit systems, in high'speed rail and high'speed broadband, in roads and bridges, water systems and highways." She commended Conference of Mayors President Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for his 30-10 initiative and other such initiatives of mayors across the nation that will create jobs, spur the economy, and lay the "groundwork for prosperity in the future." She also thanked President Obama for his initiative to expand summer jobs for 180, 000 young people.

Pelosi called for the fight to continue "for fairness, equality, and opportunity for all Americans." She added that, "We must continue our drive for clean campaigns." Central to her concern is the goal "for a new politics free of the influence of special interests." She said that there must be disclosure so as "to get unlimited, secret donations out of our politics;" there must be reform to empower small donors and the grassroots to have a greater role in our elections; there must be an amendment to our constitution to overturn "the crushing Supreme Court decision that strengthened the hand of special interests at the expense of people's interest."

Closing her remarks, Pelosi recalled the words of the mayors from five years ago: "We need strong cities…strong families…for a strong America." She said that those words still ring true today. She added, "And there's no time to waste."