Washington, D.C. – Today, hundreds of U.S. mayors descended upon the nation’s capital for the start of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ 92nd Winter Meeting, which runs through Friday. 

The bipartisan group of mayors was optimistic and determined about the months and years ahead, certain that cities will continue to remain centers of innovation in the face of evolving national challenges — because cities will have to be able to respond. 

“The future looks bright, and it looks incredibly different,” said USCM President Hillary Schieve, Mayor of Reno, Nevada.

Across the first day of the Winter Meeting, mayors affirmed their role as solution-oriented leaders. “We know how important it is to make our voice heard and speak as one, and we’ll continue to do that here at the Winter Meeting this week as we work together to address the biggest challenges faced by our cities — challenges that we know pay no heed to geography or politics,” said USCM Vice President Columbus (OH) Mayor Andrew Ginther at the opening press conference.

At breakout sessions, mayors discussed the nation’s biggest challenges, like homelessness, gun violence, and opioid addiction. 

On homelessness, Los Angeles (CA) Mayor Karen Bass co-moderated a meeting of the USCM Homelessness Task Force with Phoenix (AZ) Mayor Kate Gallego. “President Biden said he wanted to decrease homelessness by 25%. We’re here to help him meet that goal,” said Mayor Bass. 

On gun violence, Kansas City (MO) Mayor Quinton Lucas and St. Louis (MO) Mayor Tishuara Jones co-moderated a panel on reducing gun violence. “It is vital for us to continue to make a difference and continue to save lives,” said Mayor Lucas. “Think about the collaborative work that each of [these mayors] are doing. Think about how positively things can change.” During the panel, mayors talked with federal partners, including Steven M. Dettelbach, Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Rob Wilcox, Deputy Director of the first ever White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention. 

Throughout the day, top administration officials and a bipartisan number of congressional leaders came to the Winter Meeting. Mayors heard from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra, Acting Labor Secretary Julie Su, as well as U.S. Senators John Fetterman, John Hickenlooper, and Thom Tillis.

Importantly, mayors discussed local solutions, as cities build better infrastructure, more affordable housing, and brighter futures. Columbus (OH) Mayor Andrew Ginther hosted a panel of the Conference’s Metro Economies Standing Committee. There, Detroit (MI) Mayor Mike Duggan and Madison (WI) Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway shared their cities’ recent efforts to address affordable housing, update infrastructure, and more thanks to federal support through the American Rescue Plan Act.

On Thursday, the Winter Meeting will continue as mayors welcome Vice President Kamala Harris, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, and Education Secretary Miguel Cardona.