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Auburn mayor attends U.S. Conference of Mayors summer leadership session

Led by U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) President Mesa (AZ) Mayor Scott Smith, the nation’s mayors held their Summer Leadership Meeting in Park City, Utah on Friday, August 2 and Saturday, August 3. Auburn Mayor Pete Lewis, Chair of the USMC Veterans Task Force, was among the bipartisan delegation of over forty local leaders. Each of the delegates serves on the Executive Committee of the organization, sits on its Advisory Board or leads one of its committee/task forces. The mayors came together for a two-day session to determine the policy direction of the Conference for the 2013-2014 term.

“The Conference of Mayors recognizes the value of our returning veterans, not only as an obligation, but as an opportunity for economic development,” said Lewis. “I am very thankful to the Conference of Mayors for allowing me to lead this national effort.”

As the gridlock in Congress continues, the mayors discussed several federal issues including Community Development Block Grants--the most flexible and targeted federal program to cities; Municipal Bonds; the Marketplace Fairness Act; Unfunded Mandates; Cyber Security; Immigration Reform; Education; Transportation and the Detroit Bankruptcy.

USCM President Smith reminded the mayors that unlike Washington, the agenda of America’s mayors centers on key issues that bind communities in a collective purpose. “These issues are important for the majority of U.S. residents who live in urban areas and we must take seriously our responsibility to advocate not on our behalf, but on theirs,” Smith said. “Cities have a unique message for Washington and the nation, and mayors are in a unique position to convey that message.” 

Smith told the mayors that cuts now taking effect through sequestration moves to limit or repeal tax-exempt municipal bonds, and gouges the Community Development Block Grant program. “The cuts fly in the face of common sense with communities still suffering from slow and anemic job growth,” he said. 

According to its work with IHS Global Insight, the Conference’s Metropolitan Economies reports show U.S. cities and their metropolitan areas economies account for over 90 percent of the nation's gross domestic product; nearly 90 percent of wage and salary income; and nearly 86 percent of all jobs. 

USCM CEO and Executive Director Tom Cochran added, “Cities and their suburbs drive the national economy, so if Washington chooses to ignore the call of mayors, it does so at the nation’s peril. By the end of 2013, only 109 of the nation's 363 cities and their metro areas will have recovered the jobs lost during the Great Recession. We need to invest in, not hinder our metro areas because most of our future economic growth and the vast majority of our Gross Domestic Product will come from them.”

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,295 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. 

USCM 2013 Summer Leadership Meeting - Participating Mayors:

Mesa, AZ Mayor Scott Smith, USCM President
Sacramento, CA Mayor Kevin Johnson, USCM Vice President
Baltimore, MD Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake, USCM Second Vice President
Philadelphia, PA Mayor Michael Nutter, USCM Immediate Past President
Burnsville, MN Mayor Elizabeth Kautz, USCM Past President
Akron, OH Mayor Don Plusquellic, USCM Past President
Indianapolis, IN Mayor Gregory Ballard, USCM Advisory Board Member
Rochester Hills, MI Mayor Bryan Barnett, USCM Advisory Board
Salt Lake City, UT Mayor Ralph Becker, USCM Community Development and Housing Vice Chair
Gresham, OR Mayor Shane Bemis, USCM Energy Committee Chair
Columbia, SC Mayor Steve Benjamin, USCM Trustee
Lima, OH Mayor David Berger, USCM Water Council
Lansing, MI Mayor Virg Bernero, USCM Advanced Manufacturing Task Force Chair
Carmel, IN Mayor Jim Brainard, USCM Climate Protection Task Force Chair
Jacksonville, FL Mayor Alvin Brown, USCM Advisory Board
West Sacramento, CA Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, USCM Advisory Board
Arlington, TX Mayor Robert Cluck, USCM Advisory Board
Hallandale Beach, FL Mayor Joy Cooper, USCM Trustee
Des Moines, IA Mayor Frank Cownie, USCM Trustee
Bridgeport, CT Mayor Bill Finch, USCM Advisory Board
Louisville, KY Mayor Greg Fischer, USCM Advisory Board
Gary, IN Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, USCM Criminal and Social Justice Committee Vice Chair
Denver, CO Mayor Michael Hancock, USCM Education Reform Task Force Chair
Kansas City, MO Mayor Sylvester James, USCM Advisory Board
New Orleans, LA Mayor Mitch Landrieu, USCM Trustee
Auburn, WA Mayor Pete Lewis, USCM Veterans Task Force Chair
Monrovia, CA Mayor Mary Ann Lutz, USCM Women’s Mayors Caucus Chair
Tallahassee, FL Mayor John Marks, USCM Trustee
Clarksville, TN Mayor Kim McMillian, USCM Advisory Board
Miramar, FL Mayor Lori Moseley, USCM Advisory Board
Waterbury, CT Mayor Neil O’Leary, USCM Advanced Manufacturing Task Force Vice Chair
Pembroke Pines, FL Mayor Frank Ortis, USCM Advisory Board
Houston, TX Mayor Annise Parker, USCM Criminal and Social Justice Committee Chair
Santa Ana, CA Mayor Miguel Pulido, USCM Advisory Board
Oakland, CA Mayor Jean Quan, USCM International Affairs Committee Chair
Atlanta, GA Mayor Kasim Reed, USCM Transportation Committee Chair
Hartford, CT Mayor Pedro Segarra, USCM Trustee
Madison, WI Mayor Paul Soglin, USCM Advisory Board
Phoenix, AZ Mayor Greg Stanton, USCM Advisory Board
Little Rock, AR Mayor Mark Stodola, USCM Ports and Exports Task Force Vice Chair
Irving, TX Mayor Beth Van Duyne, USCM Advisory Board Member
Piscataway, NJ Mayor Brian Wahler, USCM Membership Committee Chair