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Nation's Mayors Prepare to Challenge Presidential Candidates & U.S. Congress With Metro Agenda For Job Creation

PHILADELPHIA, July 20, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Following a three-day meeting here seeking input from the nation's mayors, the U.S. Conference of Mayors will be issuing an urban agenda for job creation in the days to come and will challenge the presidential candidates and the U.S. Congress to support and pass its recommendations, said USCM President Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter today at the closing session of the mayors' Summer Leadership Meeting.

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"We need Congress and the presidential candidates to do their jobs, so Americans can find and keep their jobs," said Mayor Nutter.

Over 50 mayors attended the meeting and discussed the dire need for our nation's leaders to focus on infrastructure needs, exports, manufacturing, education and other issues that contribute to job creation.

A new report released yesterday by USCM shows that the nation's cities and their metropolitan areas continue to make steady progress toward economic recovery, while sounding a warning alarm that failure to dramatically increase investment in transportation infrastructure could cause skyrocketing costs to families, commuters and businesses, potentially doubling over the next decade.

USCM Vice President Mesa Mayor Scott Smith said mayors have been working alone too long, without the help of Washington, to keep their cities afloat and create jobs.  "Let's invest in our cities and in our people, and we will see the return in the form of job creation.  Washington can make smart investments that are fiscally responsible and ensure long-term economic growth."

Education reform also was a top topic at the meeting where USCM Second Vice President Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson headed a forum discussion on parental involvement in improving schools.

"We are shortchanging our children by not preparing them to compete against a global workforce. We are way behind other industrialized countries and continue to lose ground. We have a lot of catching up to do, yet Congress is running away from these problems," said Johnson.

Also in attendance today were representatives from the President Barack Obama re-election campaign and Governor Mitt Romney's campaign. Democratic National Committee Executive Director Patrick Gaspard and Former Chairman of the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania Alan Paul Novak spoke to the mayors about their candidates' commitment to cities' economic recovery.

"While what they said to us matters, only their actions will make a difference in the lives of working Americans struggling to make ends meet," said Nutter.

The Metro Economies report, released by USCM on Thursday, found that over the next 30 years U.S. metros will grow in population by 32 percent or nearly 84 million people.  More specifically, the report predicts that the population will grow by over 50 percent in 59 metro areas, over 75 percent in 21, and will more than double in three.  Already, these regions are home to most of the nation's traffic congestion, costing the average American commuter $713 annually.

During the meeting, mayors argued that the current system of infrastructure cannot absorb this projected growth and failure to dramatically expand it will put U.S. global competitiveness and future economic growth in jeopardy. 

To view the full report and to watch video from the mayors' press conference during the meeting, please visit: http://usmayors.org/.

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.  Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/usmayors, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/usmayors

Mayors Attending USCM Philadelphia Leadership Meeting:
GREGORY A. BALLARD - Indianapolis, IN
RALPH BECKER - Salt Lake City, UT
STEPHEN BENJAMIN - Columbia, SC
MICHAEL BISSONNETTE - Chicopee, MA
J. CHRISTIAN BOLLWAGE - Elizabeth, NJ
JAMES BRAINARD- Carmel, IN
ALVIN BROWN - Jacksonville, FL
CHRISTOPHER CABALDON - West Sacramento, CA
ROBERT CLUCK- Arlington, TX
MICHAEL COLEMAN - Columbus, OH
MICK CORNETT - Oklahoma City, OK
T. M. FRANKLIN COWNIE - Des Moines, IA
JOHN DICKERT - Racine, WI
BUDDY DYER - Orlando, FL
BILL FINCH - Bridgeport, CT
GREG FISCHER - Louisville , KY
ANTHONY FOXX - Charlotte, NC
MIKE GIN - Redondo Beach, CA
CAROLYN GOODMAN - Las Vegas, NV
PATRICK HAYS - North Little Rock, AR
SYLVESTER JAMES - Kansas City, MO
HARVEY JOHNSON - Jackson, MS
KEVIN JOHNSON - Sacramento, CA
MITCH LANDRIEU - New Orleans, LA
EDWIN LEE - San Francisco, CA
RON LITTLEFIELD - Chattanooga, TN
MARK MALLORY - Cincinnati, OH
JOSEPH MCELVEEN - Sumter, SC
KIM MCMILLAN - Clarksville, TN
KEN MIYAGISHIMA - Las Cruces, NM
GUS MORRISON - Fremont, CA
LORI C. MOSELEY - Miramar, FL
MICHAEL NUTTER - Philadelphia, PA
FRANK C. ORTIS - Pembroke Pines, FL
ANNISE PARKER -Houston, TX
ED PAWLOSKI - Allentown, PA
ANDRE PIERRE - North Miami, FL
DONALD PLUSQUELLIC - Akron, OH
DAVID POPE - Oak Park, IL
JEAN QUAN - Oakland, CA
STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE - Baltimore, MD
CHUCK REED - San Jose, CA
ROBERT REICHERT - Macon, GA
SCOTT SMITH - Mesa, AZ
PAUL SOGLIN - Madison, WI
MARK STODOLA - Little Rock, AR
MARILYN STRICKLAND - Tacoma, WA
JAMES SUTTLE - Omaha, NE
ASHLEY SWEARENGIN - Fresno, CA
BRIAN WAHLER - Piscataway, NJ
SETTI WARREN - Newton, MA

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