October 18, 2002
A sniper with an assault weapon and .223 caliber bullets has killed nine innocent citizens and instilled fear in millions of people in the Washington, DC metro area as they go about their daily and week-end activities in this Fall of 2002. It is not like anything we have experienced in America. We have had spree killings but nothing like this sniper serial killer when at any moment another innocent person could be suddenly shot at a gas station in a shopping center or in front of a school.
News conferences with no news, talking heads telling the sniper things he probably should not need to know, and elected officials challenging the courage of the sniper. It's hard to know what is the right thing to say to the public at a time like this because it is absolutely physically and mentally exhausting for all those involved. Everyone wants the news conference announcing that the sniper is caught or dead.
Congress goes home without approving the homeland security bill and the cities get no zero funding to help defray the costs that we incurred in this national domestic war against international terrorism. No one would have ever predicted that would have happened after what we felt on September 11, 2001 and all the promises and hot air we felt and heard from everyone during the year that followed.
The mayors and police chiefs tried though up to the very last days of this session of Congress before the elections. On September 26 of this year, we were here in our capital city telling the White House and Congress in meeting after meeting that we must have assistance. Who would have ever thought that Congress would go home without providing the funds for our police and homeland security services.
CIA Director As Bad As Before 9/11
As Congress did nothing, the CIA Director told them yesterday that the threat of another attack "is as bad as it was the summer before 9/11." Before the joint committee investigating intelligence failures that preceded 9/11, Tenet said of the al Qaeda terrorist network, "They-ve reconstituted, they are coming after us, they want to execute attacks." But Congress does not act on homeland security for our local police departments. There is something wrong with this picture.
Cleveland/Mayor Campbell/Public Schools
In Cleveland on October 7 and 8, Conference President Thomas M. Menino convened a major meeting as we joined with Mr. Eli Broad and The Broad Foundation to further discuss and learn how mayors can become more involved in public schools.
Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell did such a good job in giving us so many positive things that are going on in Cleveland. It is a joy to watch her and to be with her as she connects with all the people in a real comeback city that is such a pleasure to visit. On election day Cleveland voters will decide if they want to keep the present mayoral appointed school board adopted under former Mayor Mike White. The polls are running in favor of Mayor Campbell's position to continue appointing and working daily with School Superintendent Barbara Byrd-Bennett and school board members to ensure that all the children of Cleveland get the best education for their future.
We thank Mayor Menino and Mayor Campbell for their continued leadership and we thank all the mayors who came to Cleveland. And of course we thank Mr. Eli Broad and his staff for joining us in this initiative.
Mayor Menino announced there will be another mayors- and public schools summit next spring.
Fort Worth Mayor Ken Barr continues to provide strong leadership as we gather allies and strategy to save the national rails system and pave the way for the TEA-21 renewal in the coming month. We had a very good meeting with Mr. David Gunn, President and CEO of Amtrak in which he provided us with new insight and strategies to get the national train system going. Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory and Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson joined with us in a press conference with Congressman James Oberstar and Congressman Earl Blumenauer all discussing the need for this great nation to have a federal investment in a national rails system to compete with other nations around the globe.
At a special meeting with the Surface Transportation Policy Project (STPP), Mayor Barr and Mayor Anderson provided excellent best practices of how important rail investments are to their cities. Mayor barr has called for another meeting of the Transportation and Communications Committee and other mayors on November 14-15. It is important that we have mayors join with Mayor Barr as we go forward on these two fronts: preserving a national rail system and reauthorization of Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) that will provide billions to the nation's cities and will keep our economy strong at this time in our history. As Mayor Barr has emphasized in all of our leadership meetings that it is most important that mayors of all partieTravel/Tourism/Atlanta
As U.S.MAYOR goes to press, we have just completed a highly successful meeting in Atlanta hosted by USCM Travel and Tourism Chair Shirley Franklin. Our partners in this Travel and Tourism Summit were the Travel Business Roundtable headed up by Loews Hotel CEO Jonathon Tisch and the International Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus. Atlanta IACVB Director Spurgeon Richardson is the incoming President of IACVB. Both he and Michael Gehrisch, IACVB Executive Director, along with mayors and sponsors made this meeting most promising as we begin to take travel and tourism to the forefront. The deadline of this edition prevents a full description of the importance and significance of what happened in Atlanta. That will be given to you in the nextCongratulations President Carter
Congratulations President Carter
Congratulations to President Jimmy Carter for finally winning the Nobel Peace Prize. It's long overdue. It was always strange when Begin of Israel and Sadat of Egypt got it and Carter of the USA didn-t. Carter brought them together and he got no recognition. Then experts will tell you what he did in Korea to avert war. Many say he was a not so good President and an excellent former President. I-ve never agreed with that because Carter had a strong urban policy and so much of what he pushed for us to achieve is still there. If you just take the HUD-UDAG (Urban Development Action Grants) alone you can see the infrastructure changes today standing strong. Look at Baltimore to the water front. The UDAG grants did it. The development in downtown Cleveland Tower City all those Carter initiatives did so much. But this week is about his peace efforts he joins another Georgian Dr. Martin Luther King in being awarded what is no doubt one of the highest awards on earth the Nobel Peace Prize. Congratulations President Jimmy Carter you deserve it.