Nation’s mayors and federal leaders continue to discuss the challenges and opportunities for cities in 2022
Washington, D.C.— The U.S. Conference of Mayors’ 90th Annual Winter Meeting continued today, featuring conversations among mayors, business leaders, and key members of the Biden Administration, as well as a visit from United States Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. The resurgence of American cities was a key theme of the discussions throughout the day.
Day two kicked off with mayors and private sector representatives joining panels on the recovery of the hospitality industry and the growing importance of microbusinesses. During breakout sessions, New Bedford (MA) Mayor Jon Mitchell moderated the Energy Standing Committee, which focused on new clean energy grants and loans funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Director Jen Easterly joined Austin Mayor Steve Adler’s Technology and Innovation Task Force to discuss how cities can better be prepared for cyberattacks.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg delivered remarks at the plenary lunch, highlighting how cities can access the $600 billion in transportation and infrastructure funds included in the IIJA. Secretary Buttigieg stressed the role of cities in driving change and innovation, stating, “When I was a mayor, I was convinced that local government is the level that gets the most done… Now that I’m a cabinet official, I know that to be true.”
Afternoon committee sessions saw a continued focus on economic and workforce development. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona joined Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego and Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza to highlight how new federal investments can increase access to critical education and workforce resources in cities across the county.
U.S. Homeland Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi closed out day two of the Winter Meeting. Secretary Mayorkas spoke about the role cities have to play in building an inclusive America and keeping our nation secure. Speaker Pelosi, who received a standing ovation, concluded the meeting and said, “That is why for nine decades, America’s mayors and the United States Congress have worked together to forge progress for the American people. So, as we face the many challenges and opportunities ahead, let us continue to strive, working together, to advance opportunity for every American in every zip code.
The Winter Meeting concludes tomorrow, January 21st, with President Joe Biden and key public officials set to address America’s mayors. The full agenda for the final day can be found here.