Solving Cities

U.S. mayors to Congress: Make smarter investments in cities

U.S. mayors to Congress: Make smarter investments in cities

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Despite the fact that 90 percent of U.S. GDP is generated in our metros, Washington is ignoring our cities.

Despite the fact that 90 percent of U.S. GDP is generated in our metros [PDF], Washington is ignoring our cities.

Last week, mayors from across the country gathered in Washington, D.C. to advocate for cities. Their message: Congress must make smarter investments in cities.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Mayor Danny Jones of Charleston, W.Va. sat down with PBS Newshour to discuss the challenges facing cities in the U.S. and how the federal government should be involved.

If you don't make it through all 9 minutes, here's a recap of a few interesting quotes from Mayor Villaraigosa:

  • "What most mayors across the country believe, and believe strongly, is that the number one issue facing our cities, and the nation, is the issue of jobs and the economy."
  • "Congress's failure to address the jobs crisis is akin to the capitan of the Concordia jumping off the ship while the economic ship is sinking."
  • "There's no question that there are going to be cuts, and a lot of them. There also has to be investments. ... There are smart cuts and there are dumb cuts. When you cut infrastructure spending that can create millions of jobs. ... If you cut our schools and workforce development programs that can retrain our workers for the new economy, those are dumb cuts."
  • "You go to China, Japan, Korea, you go to western Europe, you go to the developing world and they're making those investments in their ports, bridges, and roads. We have to continue to do the same thing if we want to compete around the world."

For now though, Mayor Villarosa and other mayors are looking around the world, in places like China, to help fund important transportation infrastructure projects that can't wait on federal help.

Photo: cta web/Flickr

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Tyler Falk

Contributing Editor

Tyler Falk is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was with Smart Growth America and Grist. He holds a degree from Goshen College. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure