September 28, 2001

Statement of Mayor Marc H. Morial
President The United States Conference of Mayors

"Over the past few days since our nation was attacked, as President of The United States Conference of Mayors, I along with Mayors of cities with large Hub Airports have called for federalization of the nation's airport security system. We appreciate Secretary Norm Mineta's response team suggested improvements, but we must make certain that we have a federalized force comparable to other nations of the world so we can assure our citizens and the airport workers that their place of work and travel is safe from terrorists.

"As President of the Conference, I am today appointing Los Angeles Mayor Jim Hahn to head up a new Conference of Mayors Task Force on Airport Security. As members of that Task Force, I will be asking the Mayors of large Hub Airports as well as others concerned about this national issue to serve on this Task Force. I will announce shortly the time and place for a USCM Emergency Safety and Security Summit. I am today asking Mayor Hahn to bring forth recommendations based on law enforcement and security experts as well as Mayors who are in close association with the operation of our airports.

"Thirty-six hours after the dastardly attack on our cities, The Conference of Mayors called for federalization of our airport security system. We now turn to Congress. We will enlist others as we move to follow through on Secretary Mineta's improvements to make certain that consumer confidence is restored and that airport and airline workers have a safe place to work.

"In addition to concerns about safety, the economic downturn accelerated by the lack of confidence in our current airline sponsored security system we fear will continue. As President of this organization representing the nation's Mayors we are committed to go forward and our goals are two-fold to assure safety and to prevent further economic suffering for workers and our cities in general."

Contact: Andy Solomon (202) 861-6766


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