Conference: US mayors may shape national climate policy


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Fresh from the national spotlight after taking down his city's Confederate monuments, Landrieu wants to lead the bipartisan group to a more high-profile role in national affairs.

"We're simply saying we are prepared to continue leading, ensuring our citizens get not what they want, but what they deserve, whether you're talking about gun violence created through the unlawful use of handguns, the opioid crisis engulfing communities large and small, community unrest as a result of unlawful or unconstitutional policing or violence against police officers". Many cities have already implemented plans to address these issues faced with the federal government's apparent refusal to take any action in this regard.

President Clinton is addressing the Conference's City Livability Luncheon Saturday afternoon. The statement assumes significance after Trump's recent decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord which was met with criticism from all over the world. "This is a group of great leaders who don't just talk about what to do, but know how to do it - and actually get it done", said incoming USCM President Mayor Mitch Landrieu of New Orleans.

Such efforts, Landrieu and his colleagues say, aren't about "resistance" to Trump or boosting individual profiles.

Mayors at the conference also discussed the importance of saving the Community Development Block Grants, a program that pumps about $3 billion a year into cities and towns.

"Clean energy isn't just the right thing to do, it's the smart thing to do", said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. The current president, Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, is a Republican.

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The responses have come from cities ranging in size from 21,000 people in Pleasantville, New Jersey, to New York City's 8.5 million.

Landrieu points to estimates that the USA has a $5 trillion infrastructure backlog. "We have to think big", Landrieu said. He added that "we have to deal with this in a comprehensive way and we are not close".

On health care, mayors have joined many governors to explain to the administration and members of Congress the practical effects of curbing Medicaid funding and private insurance premium subsidies, both anchors of Republican proposals pending on Capitol Hill. Those problems, she said, morph into more expenses for emergency rooms and the criminal justice system. This would reinforce the role of cities in testing and implementing new ideas.

Whaley is among the Democrats running OH governor.

"The conference supported the Paris agreement, and according to preliminary results released Saturday morning from an ongoing nationwide survey, the vast majority of US mayors want to work together and with the private sector to respond to climate change", ABC reported on Saturday.

"Mayors are builders", said Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joined Levine in saying that USA cities are taking measures that the federal government should be taking.