Saturday, January 17, 2009

Mayors Urge Passage of Economic Recovery Plan

The mayors of the country have gathered in Washington, D.C. for the 77th Winter Meeting of The U.S. Conference of Mayors to discuss national priorities and the proposed Obama Economic Recovery Plan, and to urge Congress to pass the plan as soon as possible.
We have come together in one of the most critical and difficult times in our nation’s history. Main Street’s economic crisis continues to worsen. The unemployment rate reached 7.2 percent in December and is climbing. Since the start of the recession in December 2007, the nation has lost 3.6 million jobs. Over 11 million American workers are now unemployed, and another 1.9 million are “marginally attached” to the labor force.
This is why we urge Congress to move quickly on President-elect Barack Obama’s call for a national economic recovery plan to immediately create jobs and make investments in the future economy.
This bill follows the goals outlined by President-elect Obama and authorizes $825 billion in spending to get our economy moving again.
This package is the first crucial step in a concerted effort to save and create 3 to 4 million jobs, jump start our economy and begin the process of transforming our nation for the 21st century.
Mayors are pleased to see significant funding for local programs with targeted investments and unprecedented accountability measures. The plan reflects an investment of $358 billion in our cities and communities.
Important conference tax policies have also been proposed, including energy tax incentives, municipal bonding capacity and the expansion of the earned income and child tax credits. It is also important to note that the new energy block grant, which we helped create less than two years ago, will be funded at $3.5 billion.
As President-elect Obama said at our meeting in June, cities are not the problem, cities are the solution. Mayors know how to create sustainable economies. We do it every day by investing in our people, our environment, our businesses and our infrastructure.
Over the last two months, USCM has produced a series of Main Street economic recovery reports that inventories local ready-to-go infrastructure projects that could be completed in two calendar years, showing how quickly cities could produce new jobs.
In the latest of Main Street Economic Recovery reports released today, 779 cities across the country report a total of 18,750 local infrastructure projects that could produce over 1 million jobs with a federal investment of $100 billion.
The American people are aligned with the mayors’ priorities.
A Zogby poll conducted for the conference and released today, found that 84% of respondents believe that infrastructure improvements are important to the health of the local economy.
In another significant finding, respondents trust local government over state government by a margin of three to one. And while only 37 percent of respondents believe the President-elect’s economic recovery plan will help “people like me,” a majority of respondents believe the plan will help create local jobs (55%) and help stimulate the local economy (54%)
This is why we must commit to secure passage of the President-elect’s Economic Recovery Plan. Let us commit to deliver on our projects with all deliberate speed, transparency and accountability.
Let us commit to the success of our new President.

Read more about our Winter Meeting at

- Manny