Mayor Michael A. Nutter, immediate past President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, participated in the USCM 82nd Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C. During the meeting more than 280 of the nation’s mayors came together at the Capitol Hilton Hotel to discuss the economy, jobs, innovation, transportation and the continued threat to tax-exempt municipal bonds. The mayors also met with Congressional leadership and Obama Administration officials to urge Congress to continue to work in a bipartisan fashion to spur economic growth and job creation in America’s cities and metropolitan areas.
At the meeting, the City of Philadelphia was one of four cities recognized for its efforts to reduce the abuse and misuse of prescription drugs, particularly among young people. Philadelphia’s “Too Good for Drugs” initiative won a $10,000 grant for 1st place large city category in the Safeguard My Meds Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Recognition Program. The grants are funded through a partnership between USCM and Purdue Pharma, L.P.
“The U.S. Conference of Mayors 82nd Annual meeting was an excellent opportunity to discuss the issues that matter to Philadelphians, like economic development and job creation, with my colleagues from across the nation,” said Mayor Nutter. “I’d like to thank President Obama, Congress and my fellow mayors for a meeting that raised important points, like railroad freight safety reform and education, and focused on the driving role cities play in our country.”
While in Washington, mayors visited the White House and engaged in a question and answer session with President Obama, as well as in discussions with DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Labor Secretary Thomas Perez.
During the meeting, President Obama praised the nation’s mayors for getting stuff done instead of waiting for Washington to act. President Obama recognized several mayors for their outstanding work, including Mayor Nutter for his efforts to increase the number of summer jobs for young Philadelphians.
On site at the Capital Hilton, the mayors heard from several speakers including nine U.S. cabinet secretaries, several of which who took questions from the mayors. The lineup of Administration officials includes: Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Energy Secretary Moniz, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Trade Rep. Michael Froman, Labor Secretary Thomas Perez, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
The mayors also heard from CEOs of major U.S. companies including Citi North America CEO William Mills, Philips Lighting President & CEO Bruno Biasiotta and Walmart USA CEO Bill Simon, who announced a $10 million fund to be executed between Walmart and The Conference aimed at bringing back jobs to America’s cities.
House Transportation Chair Bill Shuster addressed the group on Friday and affirmed the need for a stronger partnership between local governments and the federal government on transportation issues.
Throughout the meeting, several mayors presented innovative best practices to the group on a broad range of topics, including education, disaster recovery and preparedness, government application of business practices, social media usage and improvement of city services through student innovation.
Additionally, New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio discussed leadership and being on the forefront of progress in America and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel addressed the Conference’s Transportation and Telecommunications Committee, where he called for improved oversight of companies transporting hazardous materials and crude oil by rail through America’s cities.
The mayors released economic data showing employment and economic growth projections for 2014 in all of the nation’s 363 metropolitan areas. Done in conjunction with IHS Global Insight, the report shows all of the nation’s 363 metropolitan areas are expected to see real economic growth in 2014, unlike in 2013 when 96 metropolitan areas experienced declining economies. The report also shows that nearly all metros areas expect to see real Gross Metropolitan Growth of one percent or higher, compared to only 183 metros seeing the same growth in 2013. The report can be found at: https://www.usmayors.org/metroeconomies/2014/0114-briefing.pdf.
Mayors also released a clean energy survey highlighting local action in nearly 300 cities to advance innovative technologies that reduce energy use and consumption. The report shows that despite budget constraints, mayors expect to significantly expand their investment in energy technologies over the next five years and points to specific areas where mayors are deploying new energy technologies to make their city operations and communities more energy efficient. The report can be found at: