85th Winter Meeting

January 17-19, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

85th Winter Meeting 2017-02-17T13:53:38+00:00

About the 85th Winter Meeting

The United States Conference of Mayors’ 85th Winter Meeting took place January 17-19, 2017 in Washington, DC. It was presided over by Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and is hosted by District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser.

News Headlines

U.S. Conference of Mayors/IHS Markit Release Inaugural Survey on Smart Cities

Washington, DC—At its 85th Winter Meeting today, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) released a new survey, jointly developed and conducted with IHS Markit, that shows cities of all sizes are developing and implementing “smart city” projects. A copy of the report and its key findings can be found here.

Within the 54 cities responding to the survey, 335 smart city projects are currently being implemented and 459 are being planned through 2017.

Of the 335 implemented projects, 69 are taking place in large cities, 168 in mid-sized cities and 98 in small cities; of the 459 planned projects, 103 are in large cities, 225 in mid-sized cities and 131 in small cities.

The top three functional areas by number of implemented projects are: governance (86), mobility and transport (74), and physical infrastructure (59).The top three functional areas by number of planned projects are: mobility and transport (104), governance (90), and

The top three functional areas by number of planned projects are: mobility and transport (104), governance (90), and physical infrastructure (90).The top two priorities for US smart city projects are increasing citizen satisfaction (9.0) and improving government

The top two priorities for US smart city projects are increasing citizen satisfaction (9.0) and improving government responsiveness (8.3).“This survey highlights that cities across the country are implementing smart city projects to improve efficiency and increase

“This survey highlights that cities across the country are implementing smart city projects to improve efficiency and increase government response to citizens,” said Oklahoma City Mayor and USCM President Mick Cornett. “We think this is a movement that will continue to grow,” he said.

The Survey will be conducted annually by USCM and IHS Markit, and is a project of the Conference’s Council on Metro Economies and the New American City, chaired by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, and the Technology and Innovation Task Force, chaired by San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee.

“The adoption of new technologies and information systems to improve city services is the wave of the future. We think cities will be on the cutting edge of this exciting trend,” said Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, Chair of the USCM Council on Metro Economies and the New American City.

“As mayors, we have a unique perspective on the challenges facing our communities and the role that technology can play in solving them,” said San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, Chair of USCM’s Technology and Innovation Task Force. “We must continue to explore and harness the newest technologies to help make our cities smarter, safer and more efficient, and
improve the quality of life all our residents.”

Americans for the Arts Honor Exceptional Leaders in the Arts

WASHINGTON, DC, January 19, 2017—Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education, and The United States Conference of Mayors today presented the 2017 Public Leadership in the Arts Awards to two elected officials at The United States Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting. The honorees have supported and promoted arts and culture in their communities.

  • Martin Walsh, mayor of Boston, received the National Award for Local Arts Leadership for cities with a population
    of 100,000 or more.
  • Satish Hiremath, mayor of Oro Valley, Arizona, was awarded the National Award for Local Arts Leadership for
    cities with a population fewer than 100,000.

“Mayor Walsh and Mayor Hiremath have each demonstrated immense dedication to the development of arts programming within their respective communities. Their exceptional leadership and commitment to the arts enriches the lives of citizens of all ages and backgrounds through a variety of cultural initiatives,” said Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts.

“Every year, The U.S. Conference of Mayors recognizes the exemplary efforts of mayors who believe as much as we do
that the arts are the heart of our society,” remarked Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of The U.S. Conference of Mayors. “Arts and culture help shape a city’s quality of life and economic vitality. Mayors understand the connection
between the arts, business, and tourism and the arts significant impact on local economies.”

A list of previous award winners is available on Americans for the Arts’ awards page.

Six Cities Share $445,000 in Grants to Support Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs

WASHINGTON, DC. — Today The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) announced the winners of
the 2017 Childhood Obesity Prevention Awards during the organization’s 85th Winter Meeting in Washington,
DC. The awards went to cities with outstanding programs that encourage healthy weight through balanced diet
choices and regular physical activity.

“America’s beverage companies understand they have a role to play in improving the health of our nation, which is why the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America is proud to partner with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to support the great work of mayors across the country who are proactively tackling obesity in their communities,” said Susan Neely, president of the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America (ABFHA) Board of Directors and president and CEO of the American Beverage Association. “The winning programs showcase the creativity and innovation of America’s mayors as well as their dedication to the health and wellness of their cities. This partnership exemplifies that by working together, government and industry can bring about real and lasting change to communities across the nation.”

Six U.S. cities were recognized for their mayoral-based initiatives:

  • Columbia, SC
  • Gresham, OR
  • Huntington, WV
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Waterloo, IA

The grant program is the result of a partnership between USCM and ABHFA, which was created and funded by America’s non-alcoholic beverage industry and reflects the industry’s long-standing tradition of giving back to communities. This grant program is an example of another public-private partnership to support nutrition education for children, strengthen communities and empower consumers.

“The health and welfare of our young people is always our Mayors’ top priority,” said Tom Cochran, USCM CEO and executive director. “From improving walkability in neighborhoods to bringing nutrition and cooking curricula into schools, Mayors across the country are designing innovative strategies to make sure our kids understand how to eat healthy and stay active and fit. And our partnership with the American Beverage Foundation for a Healthy America, over the past five years, has made a substantial investment in this effort, and been an incubator for the best of those strategies.”

The first Childhood Obesity Prevention Awards were made in 2012. Including this year’s awards, USCM and ABHFA to date have jointly awarded a total of $2.25 million in funds to 28 cities across the country.  The grant awards are divided into small, medium and large city categories, with first place and second place awards given in each category. An independent panel of judges evaluated each application based on innovation, creativity, replicability and potential impact.

A brief description of each winning program appears below.

Large City 1st Place ($150,000): City of Las Vegas, NV – Mayor Carolyn Goodman

The Healthy School, Healthy Life program aims to reduce the number of Clark County School District (CCSD) students who are overweight/obese, through establishing garden clubs which help kids develop a positive, hands-on relationship with food; bringing local restaurant chefs into schools to work with students to create tasty and healthy recipes using produce from the learning gardens; exercise and fitness programs based on First Lady Michelle Obama’s popular ‘Let’s Move’ initiative; and a Pop-Up Produce program which provides students and their families with a five-pound bag of fruits and vegetables and a recipe describing how to cook what’s inside.

Large City 2nd Place ($25,000): City of Phoenix, AZ – Mayor Greg Stanton

The Cook-off and Fitness Challenge is a new program that will unite the city of Phoenix with nonprofit and foundation partners to implement a district-wide nutrition integrated food education and fitness program. The program will introduce all schools in the Phoenix Union High School District (PUHSD), one of the largest and most diverse in the country – with 27,000 high school students, 94% of them minority – to a proven successful five-part series of health-related skills to increase fruit and vegetable consumption and promote physical activity. The program will conclude with a district-wide cook off, FitPHX designed fitness-obstacle course competition, and community celebration.

Medium City 1 st Place ($120,000): Columbia, SC – Mayor Stephen K. Benjamin

Project GNF (Gardening, Nutrition & Fitness) is an expansion of the Mayor’s Youth Sports Initiative and aims to make gardening, nutrition and fitness fun components of the existing program. The GNF Club will be introduced in recreation centers located in the 29203 and 29204 zip codes of Columbia where significant health and economic disparities have been identified. The city’s existing educational garden program will be redesigned to increase the size of each garden plot and to increase the level of youth and community involvement. A local university partner will develop a curriculum to teach youth the science and math of growing fruits and vegetables.

Medium City 2nd Place ($25,000): City of Gresham, OR – Mayor Shane Bemis

The Gresham Youth Challenge program aims to pair low-income, at-risk Gresham youth with trained, volunteer adult mentors from the community. Modeled after Baltimore’s successful “Challenge!” mentoring program that matched inner-city youth with one-on-one mentorship, the “Gresham Youth Challenge” program is designed to show youth how to live in a healthy way. While not prescriptive in nature – mentors who try to “fix” their youth often do more harm than good – mentoring sessions are very active and educational for the mentees. Mentors in this program will not simply talk with their mentees; they will engage in fun and healthy activities such as hiking, biking, skating, rock climbing – anything to demonstrate the importance of being physically active. Additionally, each mentoring session will involve making healthy food choices. Through this approach, youth in the program will learn habits and skills that can be used even when their mentors are not around.

Small City 1st Place ($100,000): City of Waterloo, IA – Mayor Quentin Hart)

Healthy H2O Loo is a multifaceted initiative encompassing several established programs, and incorporating a few new ones, to create a unified and strategic approach to addressing childhood obesity and community wellness. The initiative aims to create efforts within area Head Start programs to increase not only physical activity, but also access to and consumption of fruits and vegetables, as well as knowledge and attitudes about to overall well-being. Funding would be used to create a curriculum (using farm to school methodologies), and to develop school gardens at each of the sites. This initiative aims also to establish policies to encourage healthy eating and physical fitness among young people, and will also create & implement a universal messaging campaign to support this effort.

Small City 2nd Place ($25,000): City of Huntington, WV – Mayor Steve Williams

Huntington High School (HHS) in partnership with the City of Huntington, launched The Wellness Academy at HHS, to provide increased opportunities in health and wellness activities to the community while instituting career courses to meet the rising demand in jobs related to the health and wellness field. The Wellness Academy has been in existence for two years. The goal of the program is to educate the younger generation and their parents on how to promote total wellness in a person’s life. It teaches the wellness wheel components, which include physical, nutritional, spiritual, emotional, financial, environmental and intellectual health. The vision is to use the students of today to educate the community of tomorrow, starting in the elementary schools that feed into HHS. Academy students will be ambassadors and mentors for small children, teaching fun physical activities that they could do at home with parents or family members, as well as lessons on good nutrition and how that can lead to better overall health and lifestyle.

Survey of Mayors Reveals Hotel Industry is Vital to Local Economies

January 17, 2017 – Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) today released the results of a survey of mayors across the nation that shows the valuable partnerships hotels and the travel sector have with cities from coast to coast, serving as critical components to local economics, career opportunities, community development, tax revenue, and growth.

The survey reveals mayors’ perspectives on the tourism, hotel and lodging industry in their respective cities and resulted in responses from more than 100 mayors between July and December 2016. View the survey’s Executive Summary here.

Hotel and lodging businesses are mainstays of their communities, and an important source of quality jobs. Seventy percent of mayors surveyed said hotel jobs provide the most opportunity, good benefits and wages within the tourism industry. They also noted that hotels support theircommunities through increased tax revenue, capital investment, tourism-related development and promotion, civic leadership, and charitable contributions and sponsorship. And the majority agreed that hotels benefit the communities in which they operate, with nine out of 10 saying they believe their community would benefit from additional hotels, inns or bed and breakfasts. One-fifth of all mayors surveyed say tourism and hospitality is the largest sector of their economy – second only to healthcare as a top industry.

“The hotel and lodging industry is very important to the economic vitality of our cities,” said Tom Cochran, USCM CEO & Executive Director. “This was especially brought to our attention following 9-11, and the economic fall out of tourism and travel to our cities. The hotel and lodging industry is an important piece of our nation’s metro economies’ engine which drives our nation’s economic growth.”

“Hotels are an integral part of the fabric of each community across the United States,” said AHLA president and CEO Katherine Lugar. “From coast to coast, the industry proudly invests in the communities in which they call home by creating jobs, supporting long-term career opportunities, generating significant tax revenue, contributing to the local and state economies, and encouraging community development. From global brands to the small inns and bed and breakfasts that line Main Streets across the country, we look forward to strengthening our
partnerships with mayors and other elected officials to ensure continued growth in the months and years to come.”Importantly, mayors responding to the survey noted how hotels help to attract new tourists to

Importantly, mayors responding to the survey noted how hotels help to attract new tourists to their communities by investing in visitor outreach and destination awareness campaigns. Sixtyeight percent of the mayors surveyed say hotels and lodging are the largest contributors to their city’s destination marketing fund. These efforts create new investments and foster repeat business. As the first faces people encounter upon arriving, hotels and their employees are essential to showing visitors that their city is the type of community they’d like to stay in to
build or conduct their own business.

U.S. Conference of Mayors, Wells Fargo Announce 2017 CommunityWINS Grant Program

SAN FRANCISCO and WASHINGTON, D.C. – Jan. 17, 2017 – The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) and Wells Fargo today announced a call for nominations for the 2017 CommunityWINS℠ grant program, aimed at accelerating neighborhood revitalization, economic development, and job creation in municipalities across the country.

Launched in 2015, the CommunityWINS grant program includes a $3 million investment by the Wells Fargo Foundation over three years. CommunityWINS grant program is administered by The U.S. Conference of Mayors and funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation.

“We are pleased to continue this impactful program in 2017 for the third consecutive year,” said Tom Cochran, U.S. Conference of Mayors CEO and executive director. “The CommunityWINS program demonstrates how private and public sectors can work together to address local economic challenges and create positive change. Our organization and Wells Fargo share similar goals and commitments to help communities across the country succeed, and we look forward to teaming with additional cities and nonprofits to spur economic recovery in 2017.”

Through a competitive application process, the USCM will determine eligibility and administer grant funds to eligible nonprofits in six cities to support neighborhood revitalization, economic development, and job creation initiatives.

“We have experienced great success collaborating with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to help local communities succeed,” said Martin Sundquist, executive director, Wells Fargo Housing Foundation. “Wells Fargo believes it is important to help people succeed financially. By joining efforts with community organizations and nonprofits, we are able to support initiatives that accelerate local economic recovery, which in turn strengthens the communities in which we live and work.”

USCM member cities can nominate up to three eligible nonprofit initiatives or programs that address one of the following categories:

  • Neighborhood stabilization – projects designed to stimulate growth and stability while assisting in
    the removal of blight and the rebuilding of neighborhoods.
  • Economic development – projects designed to promote business development.
  • Job creation – projects designed to aid in local job creation or assist in job training.

Grant requirements, application details, application checklists, and the online application forms are available now at usmayors.org/communitywins. Applications must be submitted by March 17, 2017.

With the second annual CommunityWINS grant program in 2016, grants were presented to six nonprofits including Blanchet House of Hospitality (Portland, Ore.), Newton Innovation Center (Newton, Mass.), West Edge Factory Solar Training Institute (Huntington, W. Va.), Family Foundations (Jacksonville, Fla.), TechTown Foundation (Chattanooga, Tenn.), and Kinston Teens, Inc. (Kinston, N.C.).

The CommunityWINS grant program collaboration between the USCM and Wells Fargo follows a national alliance formed in 2011 to address foreclosure prevention, property disposition, homeownership promotion and community development. The three-year alliance was forged to address housing challenges through strategies developed by Wells Fargo.

Mayors Say Creating Age Friendly Cities is a Top Priority

Washington, DC – In a new report, a large majority of mayors across the country say that prioritizing issues facing older Americans is a top priority for cities. The USCM/AARP Report on Aging in America which surveyed 108 mayors, details the top six priority issue areas that mayors identify as facing older Americans in cities across the country– health and wellness, housing, transportation and infrastructure, neighborhood and public safety, social activities, and workforce.

The report highlights how mayors are taking action to address aging issues by creating task forces and initiatives, as 92 percent of the Mayors who responded answered that aging issues are of high importance and 6 in 10 Mayors currently have an established, aging-related task force or initiative in their city. In addition, of those Mayors who have not established an initiative, 49% say it is a high priority to do so.

There are more than 46 million people ages 65 and older in the U.S. today and that number is projected to more than double by 2050. According to U.S. Census projections, all 50 states will see an increase in the percentage of their 65-plus populations by that same date. Cities are responding to the needs of their aging population by building communities that are livable for residents of all ages. This is an important issue for the nation’s mayors and their cities, and they are taking action.

“We have just received a clear message from leaders across the political spectrum and from all parts of the country:
improving their cities for an aging population is a high priority, and many are taking action by focusing on issues that, in the end, will benefit citizens of all ages,” said AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond. “We applaud and congratulate the nation’s mayors and the United States Conference of Mayors for helping people of all ages live, work, and play in comfort in the communities of their choice.”

Our cities’ aging isn’t just driven by one group of people growing older; it’s also driven by people’s belief that they as they grow older they deserve to be able to stay in the places where they’ve lived their lives. As evidence, AARP research consistently shows that roughly eight in ten people over the age of 45 and nine in ten age 65 and older want to remain in their homes and communities as they age.

“We are very proud of our collaboration with AARP on this important report. This report highlights the important work that mayors and municipal leaders are doing nationwide to improve their cities and communities so they are great places for all of their residents – particularly older adults. The nation’s cities will continue to be the engines driving the country’s economic and social growth. And, a key piece of that is harnessing the value of their older population,” remarked Conference CEO & Executive Director Tom Cochran.

“It is critical for cities to make it easier for people to remain in their neighborhoods and communities as long as they want. As this report demonstrates mayors and city leadership are actively and strategically developing their cities to support all of their citizens, including the nation’s rapidly growing population of older adults,” stated Mayor Frank Ortis, Mayor of Pembroke Pines (FL) and Chair of the USCM Taskforce on Aging.

More than 300 Mayors Slated to Attend the 85th Winter Meeting During Presidential Inauguration Week

Washington, D.C. – Under the leadership of U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) President Oklahoma City
(OK) Mayor Mick Cornett, a record number of more than 300 of the nation’s mayors will convene in Washington, D.C. at the Capital Hilton Hotel to engage with Administration officials, Congressional members, and business leaders to ensure the economic health of America’s cities on the eve of the Presidential Inaugural, Tuesday, January 17th to Thursday, January 19th.

USCM has sent letters to several Trump cabinet nominees, including Vice President-elect Mike Pence, inviting
them to speak at the meeting. The mayors will also hold a press conference on Tuesday, January 17th at 11:30 a.m. ET, where they will discuss their priorities for the new Presidential Administration. In December, USCM was the first organization to be invited to Trump Tower to meet with President-elect Trump, where the bipartisan delegation of mayors emphasized more than 85% of people in the United States

In December, USCM was the first organization to be invited to Trump Tower to meet with President-elect Trump, where the bipartisan delegation of mayors emphasized more than 85% of people in the United States live in our nation’s cities and metro areas, thus mayors clearly understand how urban issues impact everyday Americans and are calling on the new Administration to engage mayors as it focuses on those issues.

Highlights of the three-day convening include sessions on Transportation and Infrastructure, Healthcare, Public Safety, Immigration, Energy, Water, Education & the Workforce and a New Mayors Session with more than 75 first-time attendees preregistered for the meeting.
On-site registration will also be available with current press credentials at the Capital Hilton in the New York Room (2nd Flr). A draft agenda and list of preregistered mayors are available at www.usmayors.org. All business/daytime sessions are open to the press unless otherwise indicated. All evening events are closed.

USCM is proud to announce that Ford Motor Company is the title sponsor for the Winter Meeting. Ford Motor
Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 203,000 employees worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing and servicing Ford and Lincoln vehicles. The company is also aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities with investments in electrification, autonomy and mobility.

    • Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, USCM President (R)
    • New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, USCM Vice President (D)
    • Columbia (SC) Mayor Stephen Benjamin (D)
    • Tom Cochran, USCM CEO and Executive Director
    • U.S. Mayors from across the country
  • WHEN: Tuesday, January 17th at 11:30am – 12:30pm ET
  • WHERE: Statler Room | Capital Hilton | 1001 16th St, NW | Washington, D.C. | 202-393-1000


Opening Plenary Session

Opening Plenary Session of the 85th Winter Meeting from Tuesday, January 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. Includes welcome remarks by District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser, greetings from Wells Fargo and Airbnb, an awards presentation by the Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund and the launch of our Better Cities for Pets survey with Nashville Mayor Megan Barry.

Remarks by Vice President-elect Mike Pence

Remarks by Vice President-elect Mike Pence and the conclusion of the Opening Plenary Session of the 85th Winter Meeting from Tuesday, January 17, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Mayors and Business Leaders Breakfast

Mayors and Business Leaders Breakfast at the 85th Winter Meeting from Wednesday, January 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. Featuring U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas).

Wednesday Plenary Session

Wednesday Plenary Session of the 85th Winter Meeting from Wednesday, January 18, 2017 in Washington, DC. Featuring a conversation on autonomous vehicles and the future of mobility with Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornet and Ford Motor Company Executive Chairman Bill Ford.

Childhood Obesity Prevention Awards Luncheon

Childhood Obesity Awards Luncheon at the 85th Winter Meeting from Wednesday, January 18, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Latino Alliance of the Conference of Mayors Meeting

Joint Session of the Latino Alliance of the Conference of Mayors, the Immigration task force, and Mayors and Police Chiefs task force at the 85th Winter Meeting from Wednesday, January 18, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Honoring Leadership in the Arts Breakfast

Honoring Leadership in the Arts Breakfast at the 85th Winter Meeting from Thursday, January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Thursday Plenary Session

Thursday Plenary Session of the 85th Winter Meeting from Thursday, January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. Featuring the awards announcement of the Dollarwise Innovation and Summer Youth Awards sponsored by Bank of America, the 2017 GRO1000 Community Gardens and Green Spaces awards sponsored by the Scotts MiracleGro Company and a discussion on “Autonomous Vehicles and the City: Ten Rules for Mayors” with Jeff Speck.

Closing Plenary Luncheon

Closing Plenary Luncheon of the 85th Winter Meeting from Thursday, January 19, 2017 in Washington, DC. Featuring Surgeon General of the United States Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy with an introduction by Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

Get the App

The United States Conference of Mayors app is your best guide to our meetings and the organization year round. You can build a custom agenda, complete with the most up-to-date information, plus look up attending mayors, and receive special updates throughout your time in Washington, DC. The app is available for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. Download it today.

Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play