Mayors Release 10-Point Legislative Agenda
More than 260 of the nation’s mayors wrapped up the 75th Winter Meeting of The United
States Conference of Mayors (USCM) in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 26. Led by Conference President and Trenton, New Jersey, Mayor Douglas H. Palmer, the mayors discussed a variety of issues that impact America’s cities with new Congressional
leaders and presidential hopefuls. Some of those issues included achieving energy independence, climate protection,
homeland security and rising crime, poverty in America, affordable housing, and children and youth services, among
The mayors kicked off the Winter Meeting on Wednesday, January 24 hearing from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during
the Opening Plenary Session and called for the new Congress and the Administration to work in a partnership with the
nation’s mayors to address domestic issues on a bipartisan basis. “We are not here in Washington, D.C. with our hats in our
hands and tin cups,” said Conference President Doug Palmer. “We’re not looking to be saved; we need the federal
government to be partners with us to build on our strengths.”
The mayors also released their 10-point legislative agenda called “Strong Cities, Strong Families for a Strong
America”. The plan reflects some of the policies that the Conference of Mayors has adopted over the past few years and
will be used as a guide as the mayors engage the 110th Congress, the Administration, and the 2008 presidential candidates
on significant issues and priorities that directly impact America’s cities and families. The Mayors’ 10-Point Plan can be
found on the Conference of Mayors website at www.usmayors.org.
In Wednesday’s afternoon plenary session, the mayors also heard from Senator Chuck Hagel (NE), Senator Joseph
Biden, Jr. (DE), Chairman Foreign Relations Committee, and Congressman Bennie Thompson (MS), Chairman of the
Committee on Homeland Security. Senator Christopher J. Dodd (CT), Chairman of the Banking, Housing and Urban
Affairs Committee, addressed the mayors Wednesday evening at the National Building Museum.
The Winter Meeting continued on Thursday, January 25, with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (NY) addressing the
mayors at the Mayors and Business Leaders Breakfast where she endorsed the Mayors’ 10-Point Plan. Following the
breakfast was a special session on Climate Protection led by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels and Carmel, IN Mayor James
Brainard. Senator Barbara Boxer (CA), Congressman Edward Markey (MA), and Oscar-nominated producer of “An
Inconvenient Truth”, Lawrence Bender also participated in the Climate Protection session. Additionally, the mayors heard
from Senator Norm Coleman (MN) during the Thursday afternoon plenary session.
Following this session, the mayors called for a $4 billion Energy and Environmental Block Grant to help cities
combat global warming.
“Cities are on the frontlines of the global warming issue with mayors leading the way. But we can’t do it alone. We need
the federal government to be a real partner with us on climate protection and achieving energy independence. That is why
we are proposing an Energy and Environmental Block Grant,” said Conference President and Trenton, NJ Mayor Douglas
The block grant would provide funding directly to cities and urban counties for programs that:
– improve community energy efficiency;
– reduce carbon emissions; and
– decrease the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.
The Winter Meeting concluded on Friday, January 26, with mayors hearing from Marian Wright Edelman, President and
Founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, on the issue of children’s healthcare and services.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,139 such cities in the country today, each represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the Mayor.