DemDaily: Mayors Meet Amidst Mayhem

January 24, 2019

US Conference of Mayors President & Columbia, SC Mayor Stephen Benjamin (pic: thetandd.com)

The nation's mayors have descended on our capitol city for their annual Winter meeting to discuss a united voice on issues ranging from the economy and hunger and the homeless, to education and energy, infrastructure, border security and immigration.

At the top of that list: The Government Shutdown

The policy positions adopted at the annual meeting collectively represent the views of the nation's mayors and are distributed to the President of the United States and Congress.

Although a non-partisan organization, mayors of both parties overwhelmingly oppose Trump's Government Shutdown, and they are making their collective voices heard.

"As the government shutdown stretches into its third week, the nation's mayors urge Washington to end this crisis and prioritize instead the economic security of all Americans, the majority of whom live in cities. No one wins when the federal government shuts down and there is no reason our citizens should have to pay the price while Washington remains mired in a political dispute."  -- USCM President Stephen Benjamin

Trump's relationship with the mayors has been a tumultuous one.

Last year's winter meeting came on the heals of a three-day government shutdown over immigration reform and the Department of Justice's threat, via formal letter, to mayors of 23 "sanctuary cities."

Former VP & potential 2020 candidate Joe Biden also addressed the Mayors: "we've got to start believing in our people again ..we're looking to be led." (JLMagana/AP)

This year hundreds of mayors are meeting again amidst gridlock in Washington and in their own cities -- due to the government shutdown. With more than 85 percent of Americans living in US metropolitan areas, mayors are on the frontlines of the crisis.

The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) is the official non-partisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. 
  
There are 1,408 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor.

In a Wednesday afternoon address to the Mayors, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA), who is the daughter and the sister of two former mayors of Baltimore, addressed the shutdown, then in its 33rd day.

Saying "the senseless and prolonged shutdown is inflicting chaos across the country," Pelosi urged Republican mayors in the room to "take back their party" from Mr. Trump.

Mayors John Marchand (Livermore, CA), Lily Mei (Fremont,CA) and Steve Ponto (Brookfield, WI) attended the Latino Leaders Network Tribute to Mayors Wednesday

Pelosi also outlined an agenda for Congress and for the nation's mayors, including infrastructure, public education and immigration reform, and cited economic inequality, climate change and housing crises as priorities for the country's cities.

USCM leadership includes President Stephen Benjamin (D-Columbia, SC), Vice President Bryan Barnett (R-Rochester Hill, MI), Second Vice President Greg Fischer (D-Louisville, KY) and CEO & Executive Director Tom Cochran.

The US Conference of Mayors will meet again in June. In the interim, DemList will keep you informed.

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Sources: USCM, CBSNews

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