The Council on Metro Economies and the New American City is the economic research arm of the United States Conference of Mayors. Since its inception in 2001, The Council has published over 90 U.S. Metro Economies Reports, and continues to develop models of investment for cities, while identifying trends that will shape the cities of the future.

Senator Tim Scott (SC) Provides Mayors with an Update on Opportunity Zones at 88th Winter Meeting

Council Session Highlights from the 88th Winter Meeting

The Council on Metro Economies and the New American City met at the 88th U.S. ​Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting​, on January 22nd, to hear from leading experts in the fields of economic growth and economic mobility. Thank you to all who participated. Below is a description of the session with links to our speakers’ presentations.

Opportunity Zones and Opportunity Zone Funds

Senator Tim Scott (SC)  provided an update on Opportunity Zones and Opportunity Zone regulations. Senator Scott and Senator Cory Booker (NJ) were architects of the original Opportunity Zone provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Economic Innovation Group (EIG)
John Lettieri, EIG CEO provided remarks on the work that his organization is doing to help connect mayors to Opportunity Zone Funds.

Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin Provided comments on the work that her city is doing to develop Opportunity Zone projects in Everett.

U.S. Metro Economies Research and and Forecasting

Jim Diffley, of IHS Markit, summarized his economic growth and jobs forecast for 2020.

Economic Mobility

Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther led a discussion on Economic Mobility, and released the 2020 Economic Mobility Report, which features the work that mayors across the country are doing to break down economic barriers, provide economic opportunity, and build intergenerational wealth.

Bank of America
Brian Putler, Senior Vice President of State Government Relations Western Region for Bank of America, highlighted the work that the Bank is doing to promote economic mobility in America’s cities. Projects include: the continued expansion of BetterMoneyHabits.com, programs for assisting veterans, and the Bank’s new commitment to raising its minimum wage to $20/hour for hourly employees. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation is the founding sponsor of the DollarWise Campaign, the U.S. Conference of Mayor’s Economic Mobility initiative.

Aspen Institute
Joanna Smith-Ramani discussed her efforts surrounding financial capability as the Managing Director of the Aspen Institute’s Financial Security Program. The Aspen Institute and the Council on Metro Economies and the New American City collaborated to produce a brief to highlight the work that cities are doing to address excessive fines and fees.

Mortgage Bankers Association
Stephen O’Connor, Sr. Vice President of Affordable Housing Initiatives for the the Mortgage Bankers Association, provided an update on his organization’s efforts to respond to affordable housing needs in cities across the country. Senator Tim Scott (SC)  provided an update on Opportunity Zones and Opportunity Zone regulations. Senator Scott and Senator Cory Booker (NJ) were architects of the original Opportunity Zone provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

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