A bipartisan delegation of more than 30 U.S. mayors came together on Capitol Hill on February 24 to urge lawmakers to pass a comprehensive jobs bill that will put unemployed Americans back to work and invest in Main Street metropolitan economies.
According to Black PR Newswire, members of the U.S. Conference of Mayors discussed the rapidly increasing unemployment numbers in their respective cities.
“Mayors deal face-to-face with unemployed citizens because we see these people everywhere, in coffee shops, grocery stores, beauty salons, and barber shops. And they all tell us the same thing, they want a good, dependable job so they can support their families,” conference Vice President Elizabeth Kautz said in a press release. Kautz is the mayor of Burnsville, Minn.
Kautz said that high unemployment rates will continue to plague the nation’s cities for years to come if no action is taken.
The D.C. gathering was the group’s second in the last two months to promote job creation. More than 200 American mayors came to Washington D.C. in January to promote their 2010 Metro Agenda for America as a basis for new jobs. The plan prioritizes block grants for green jobs, direct fiscal assistance to cities, investments in neighborhoods through the Community Development Block Grant, summer jobs for young people, grants for public safety jobs and targeted transportation projects for infrastructure jobs.
The jobs bill passed by the House of Representatives last December contained many of the same priorities in the mayors’ Metro Agenda. In addition, the conference said it is working with House leaders on a proposal that addresses the needs of Main Street with job retention and funding for job creation.
“There is no Democratic way or Republican way to create a job,” Krautz said. “We were all here in Washington last month, we are all here now, and we will keep coming to our nation’s capital in the hopes that Congress will follow the mayors’ example of working together to address the employment needs of America’s people. And we hope Congress shares our sense of urgency to move quickly to help American families who are struggling."
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is a nonpartisan organization of cities with populations over 30,000. There are currently 1,139 such cities nationwide.