cloudy
Sunday August 30th, 2015 8:02AM

Mayors say big cities are driving US resurgence

By The Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) - Mayors of some of America's biggest cities said Thursday that cities, not Washington, D.C., are driving the country's economic growth.

Bill de Blasio of New York, Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Rahm Emanuel of Chicago and Kasim Reed of Atlanta spoke at a forum at the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics.

The four all Democrats said being a big-city mayor is the best position in politics because they're able to implement new ideas quickly, without the gridlock that has paralyzed Washington and some state legislatures. As a result, they said, America's large cities are in the midst of a renaissance.

``Cities are where the action is,'' Reed said.

The relationship with the nation's capital is dramatically different than it was in the 1960s, when cities appealed for help and federal money flowed freely, they said. Emanuel called Washington ``totally AWOL'' and ``a bit of Disneyland on the Potomac.'' Garcetti said it is now cities that are saving America, not the other way around.

``We know there is not a cavalry coming right now from Washington,'' de Blasio said. ``Now it's what can we generate ourselves.''

They discussed several common challenges: struggling schools, ballooning public pension payments, income inequality and aging infrastructure.

They also talked about solutions. De Blasio made multiple references to his proposal to offer full-day pre-kindergarten to every child in New York. Reed discussed sitting down with unions and civic officials and pressing them to ``do some math'' to help solve Atlanta's pension problem. And Emanuel and Garcetti spoke about science and technology education programs and opportunities for summer learning.

They also agreed with Reed's suggestion that federal funds should be distributed directly to cities, rather than through state governments. Reed, who was a visiting fellow at the Institute of Politics this week, said that system would allow the money to be put to use more quickly and where it's needed most. He also said city leaders are more accountable to voters.

The forum was moderated by David Axelrod, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama who now runs the Institute of Politics.

Despite the seriousness of the issues discussed, the tone at Thursday's event was collegial and light-hearted, with each mayor doing his best to elicit laughs from the several hundred people in the audience.

Reed joked about being younger than the other mayors on the stage. Garcetti, getting in a plug for Los Angeles' mild weather, joked that he touched Chicago's snow which he said hurt and wasn't sure what it was.

``It's water,'' Emanuel dead panned in a reference to California's drought. ``We'll sell it to you at a big price.''
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 7 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 7 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 7 months ago )
U.S. News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 7 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 7 months ago )
Local/State News
Committee leaves transportation funding to lawmakers
Georgia will have to cover a $1 billion to $1.5 billion transportation funding gap to stay economically competitive, a committee of lawmakers is warning in a report issued Tuesday.
5:36AM ( 7 months ago )
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 7 months ago )
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 7 months ago )
Politics
Hawaii's Big Island under tropical storm watch as Ignacio is upgraded to Category 4 hurricane
HONOLULU (AP) — The Big Island of Hawaii is bracing for high winds, heavy rain and ocean swells of up to 20 feet as strengthening Hurricane Ignacio approaches the state.Ignacio has grown to a Category...
8:20PM ( 11 hours ago )
At events both somber and raucous, Gulf Coast marks 10th Katrina anniversary, looks to future
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — As the church bells rang marking the decade since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, the 80-year-old woman wept softly into a tissue as she leaned against her rusting Oldsmobi...
6:38PM ( 13 hours ago )
US immigration patterns shift: India, China outpacing Mexico as more skilled workers arrive
DALLAS (AP) — Siddharth Jaganath wanted to return to India after earning his master's degree at Texas' Southern Methodist University. Instead, he built a new life in the U.S. over a decade, becoming a...
6:03PM ( 13 hours ago )
Fed Vice Chair Fischer leaves door open for a Sept. rate hike, saying inflation likely to rise
WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer left the door open Saturday for a Fed rate increase in September, saying the factors that have kept inflation below the central bank's t...
4:31PM ( 15 hours ago )
Experts: GOP candidates' tough talk doesn't always square with facts of US-China relationship
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — If there was ever a week for the Republican presidential candidates to talk tough on China, this was it: Spurred by the stock market's wild ride, they lashed out at the world's most populous nation.
9:34PM ( 1 day ago )