Across the country, mayors tackle the greatest challenges facing our nation every day. At the United States Conference of Mayors’ 87th Annual Meeting this week in Honolulu, they’ll meet to discuss those challenges, including trade and the continued crisis at the border. Mayors will debate key resolutions related to our country’s relationships with our neighbors, Canada and Mexico. These resolutions are forward-thinking, focusing on what’s necessary to best advance our country’s future, and you can read all of our proposed resolutions for International Affairs and Criminal and Social Justice.
America’s immigration system has long faced public pressure as a result of its failings. But while Washington continues to debate the path to fix the system, mayors across the country actually address the crushing reality of those failings. Mayors are encouraged by developments at the federal level to increase local government’s ability to effectively respond to problems at the border, but more must be done to protect our cities’ future. They will share ideas with one another and look for opportunities to learn from each other’s approaches.
For years, mayors have recognized immigration as a fundamental driver of U.S. innovation, entrepreneurship, and prosperity, and mayors know that our country’s current immigration system is not meeting the needs of Americans or the people looking to come to our country for a better life.
“While Washington is bogged down in partisan politics, mayors are working together to improve the lives of constituents across North America,” said United States Conference of Mayors President Steve Benjamin, Mayor of Columbia, South Carolina. “I’m proud of my fellow mayors for everything they are doing to help their communities deal with the impact of the crisis at the border.”
But issues at the border aren’t limited to immigration. The U.S.-Mexico Border Water Infrastructure Program (BWIP), for example, has been neglected for too long, and mayors have seen firsthand that inadequate infrastructure funding has put too many U.S. citizens at serious health risk, due to pollution in the water supply. This resolution sponsored by San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer benefits communities on both sides of the border, recognizing that clean, safe water should not be limited to any one country.
And while the Congress continues to debate the USMCA, mayors will discuss what impact signing it, or failing to do so, will have on cities across the country. There are two resolutions on this issue, one by Mesa Mayor John Giles and the other by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The Annual Meeting agenda demonstrates the commitment of our nation’s mayors to wrestling with the major issues of the day. Every day, mayors roll up their sleeves and work to find the best ideas and solutions to help our cities thrive in the 21st century. They will do that collectively at the Annual Meeting, and the cities of America will be all the better for it.
Stay tuned for more information on the other issues mayors will be taking on at this year’s annual meeting kicking off this Friday, June 28 in Honolulu.