FACT SHEET: President Obama hosts over 200 Mayors from Across the Country at the White House
Today, President Obama will host over 200 bipartisan Mayors during their annual U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) Winter Meeting. At this year’s convening, the President will build on the issues discussed in his State of the Union Address and priorities outlines for cities across the country. Administration officials will discuss ways in which we can continue to partner with cities to raise wages and incomes, to strengthen the standing of working families in a new economy and to bolster and expand the middle class.
On Wednesday and Thursday at the US Conference of Mayors Vice President Biden, the co-chairs of the 21st century policing task force, and members of the cabinet addressed the mayors on a range of issues. Today at the White House, Dr. Jill Biden, cabinet members and senior White House officials, interacted with the Mayors in plenary sessions and panel discussions on priority issues, including: trade, manufacturing, veterans homelessness, paid sick leave, climate change, affordable healthcare, workforce development, education, My Brother’s Keeper, and immigration.
Below are some of the ways Mayors are helping to make the President’s agenda a reality in cities across the country.
ADVANCED MANUFACTURING AND TECH INNOVATION: PAVING THE WAY FOR JOBS AND SKILLS OF THE FUTURE
- Chattanooga, TN Mayor Andy Berke (D) invested in one gigabit per second broadband network and attracted at least five organized funds with investable capital of over $50 million.
- In Louisville, KY through our workforce development efforts, Mayor Greg Fischer is significantly expanding the availability and lowering the cost of IT training through partnerships with the private sector. And in Indianapolis, Mayor Greg Ballard worked with his city council and the private sector to launch an effort that will invest over $40 million in quality early childhood education programs.
Over the next few weeks, in partnership with the National Immigration Forum, Fwd.us, and CUIA, mayors will host over 14 informational sessions in cities across the country including Phoenix, AZ, Boston, MA and Austin, TX.
- New York, NY Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) secured $300 million in state funding to expand free, high-quality, full-day pre-k for nearly 51,000 children.
- Indianapolis, IN Mayor Greg Ballard (R) led an effort in Indianapolis City-County Council that authorized a $40 million public-private partnership that will allow more than 1,000 low-income children to have access to high-quality preschool starting in 2016.
- New Orleans, LA Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) one of the first Mayors to answer the First Lady’s call and sign on to the Mayors Challenge, fast-tracked local efforts to connect every homeless veteran with permanent housing. On January 7, 2015 New Orleans became the first major U.S. city to end homelessness among Veterans.
- Houston, TX Mayor Annise Parker (D), Phoenix, AZ Mayor Greg Stanton (D) and Salt Lake City, UT Mayor Ralph Becker (D) are poised to reach their goal by the end 2015.
More than 65 mayors signed a letter from the U.S. Conference of Mayors Cities of Opportunity Task Force, co-chaired by New York, NY Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and Boston, MA Mayor Martin Walsh (D), urging Congress to raise the minimum wage.
- St. Paul, MN Mayor Chris Coleman (D) allocated $200,000 from his 2015 budget for paid leave for city employees.
CLIMATE AND ENERGY: LAUNCHING NEW PROGRAMS AND POLICIES ON CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Presidential Challenge for Advanced Outdoor Lighting
Outdoor lighting consumes enough energy to power 6 million homes for a year, costing cities about $10 billion per year. That is why today, we are launching a Presidential Challenge for Advanced Outdoor Lighting. As part of The Challenge the Department of Energy is tripling our goal of upgrading 500,000 poles, which we are already on track to exceed through DOE's Better Buildings program, and setting a new goal of 1.5 million poles. Through the Better Buildings Outdoor Lighting Accelerator, the Presidential Challenge for Outdoor Lighting will work with dozens of municipalities to accelerate the adoption and use of high efficiency outdoor lighting, driving carbon pollution reductions in communities across the Nation. Using today’s new technologies, these system-wide lighting exchanges can help local governments cut their outdoor lighting bills by 50% or more.
Today’s announcement comes with commitments from 2 states, 10 cities, and 3 regional networks to replace their outdoor lighting poles with more efficient technologies including: the Mid-American Regional Council; Huntington Beach, California; West Palm Beach, Florida; Little Rock Arkansas; and Detroit, Michigan; Southern California Regional Energy Network; Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources; Southeast Michigan Regional Energy Office; Flint, Michigan; Portland, Maine; Dearborn, Michigan; Saint Petersburg, Florida; San Diego, California; Los Angeles, California; and the State of Tennessee.
- On November 17, 2014, 16 mayors and other members of the President’s State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience presented recommendations to the Vice President on how the Administration can help communities prepare for the impacts of climate change.
- Knoxville, TN Mayor Madeline Rogero (D) set a short-term greenhouse gas emission reduction target of 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.
- In September 2014, Los Angeles, CA Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) launched the Mayors’ National Climate Agenda, focused on U.S. cities, with Houston, TX Mayor Annise Parker (D) and Philadelphia, PA Mayor Michael Nutter (D).
- Philadelphia, PA Mayor Michael Nutter (D) worked with partners to train city employees in seven public-facing city departments to ask each resident they interact with if they have health insurance. If the resident indicates they do not have coverage, the city employees offer them assistance including an appointment with a Navigator, printed materials and the option for a phone call from an enrollment specialist.
- In, Tampa, FL Mayor Bob Buckhorn (D) had over 3,000 church fans printed with instructions on how to enroll for ACA on each side of the fan.
MY BROTHER’S KEEPER: ENSURING ALL CHILDREN HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SUCCEED
In September 2014, President Obama issued a challenge to cities, towns, counties and tribes across the country to become “MBK Communities.” This challenge represents a call to action for all members of our communities, and mayors in particular, as they often sit at the intersection of many of the vital forces and structural components needed to enact sustainable change through policy, programs, and partnerships. Over 100 mayors have taken on the President’s My Brother’s Keeper Community Challenge and are working to increase opportunities for all young people across the country—to ensure they can achieve their full potential regardless of who they are, where they come from, or the circumstances into which they are born.