USCM President Mayor Mitch Landrieu: “No credible plan can ignore America’s cities.”
Washington, DC— As the White House releases its infrastructure plan, it will begin a national debate on the improvements needed to shore up the foundation of the nation’s economy and ensure the future growth and opportunity in cities and other communities. The bipartisan U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) today released its plan for what are essential components of a strategy to rebuild and modernize the nation’s critical infrastructure. Mayors set forth priorities last June in the Mayors’ Agenda for the Future with its updated infrastructure recommendations in January, proposals that can inform and support Congress and the Administration as they craft new infrastructure policy and investments.
“Leadership at all levels of government requires presenting bold ideas that are informed by the experts on the ground – in this case, the nation’s mayors,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans, President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “Cities remain the country’s economic engine, and as such mayors of both parties are looking for a plan that benefits all Americans where they live and takes full advantage of any additional infrastructure investments to build more equity in our economy, create a more inclusive workforce, and support financially distressed communities. No credible plan can ignore America’s cities.”
The U.S. Conference of Mayors’ priorities include:
- Local government is the most trusted authority to appropriately allocate funding to meet needs: place cities first by going directly to where the jobs are and provide direct funding to local government as the most efficient investment strategy.
- A proven way to accomplish this outcome is to deliver resources directly to cities and counties through the CDBG (Community Development Block Grants) program and funds to local areas for surface transportation needs through the State and Local Block Grant Program.
- Increase funding to the State Revolving Fund to support additional no-interest, low-interest loans, loan forgiveness, and technical assistance grants to local governments and fully fund the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA).
- Enable a stronger partnership between federal and local governments to speed the transition to renewable, job-creating energy systems like wind and solar.
- Modernize our ailing waterways.By increasing investment in the Army Corps of Engineers and unlocking $9 billion dollars in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, we can improve the way goods and people move around.
- Thirty million Americans lack access to broadband. Give local communities the power to own and operate public broadband networks.
“The number of Americans living in cities and towns is increasing every year and the optimal plan will make sure all of America benefits. We look forward to reviewing the White House’s plan and engaging in productive, bipartisan conversations around legislation and funding priorities that cities can support with leaders in Washington.”
At the 86th Annual USCM Winter Meeting last month in Washington, D.C., mayors of both parties participated in a thorough discussion with DJ Gribbin, Special Assistant to the President for Infrastructure Policy on the Council of Economic Advisors, on how the Administration’s policies will affect local communities.