April 4, 2001

Continuing Success of the New American City
Mayors and Corporate Leaders Issue Joint Statement of National Priorities; Fannie Mae Foundation Releases Report on "The Urban Turnaround"

Washington, DC -- Today the nation's Mayors joined with corporate leaders to issue a statement outlining key policy priorities for the Bush Administration and Congress, which if enacted could remove barriers to continued growth in cities, and create new opportunities and resources. The joint statement makes specific recommendations in areas such as addressing the skills shortage in America's workforce; brownfields redevelopment; the need for more affordable housing in cities; and rebuilding aging infrastructure in cities.

From left to right New Orleans Mayor and Conference Vice President Marc H. Morial, Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown, Boise Mayor and Conference President H. Brent Coles, St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman and Burnsville (MN) Mayor Elizabeth Kautz
View the entire press conference.
Read the full text of the joint statement.
The statement was released at the opening press conference of the National Summit For Investment in the New American City, convened by The united states Conference of Mayors to discuss public and private investment strategies to continue the remarkable growth of America's cities. "This Summit will provide a unique forum for business leaders to work directly with Mayors across the country-as partners," said Andrew Woodward, Chair of Bank of America Mortgage and President of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. "It gives those of us in business an opportunity to work with our nation's Mayors in a mutually beneficial role to stimulate economic development, create jobs, promote homeownership in cities, and build more affordable housing."

"To continue America's economic growth, we must open a national dialogue about specific areas in which public and private investment strategies can remove barriers to continued growth in cities, and create new opportunities and resources," reads one excerpt from the statement. "By convening this Summit America's Mayors and corporate leaders bring a strong message to the Administration and Congress: Mayors and the private sector, working together, have innovative ideas about what policies will help our nation continue to grow and prosper."

At the press conference Robert Lang, Director of Metropolitan Research for the Fannie Mae Foundation, released a report, "The Urban Turnaround," which analyzes Census data for 36 cities and finds that the 2990's were the best postwar (WWII) decades for population change in cities. In general, data released from the 2000 Census strongly indicate that cities have not only dramatically slowed the decades-old trend of residents leaving cities for suburban areas, but in many cases, such as in Chicago and Denver, have actually reversed the trend. One key point driven home during the press conference was that Mayors' entrepreneurial efforts in cities have contributed to the turnaround.

"This did not happen by accident," said Conference Vice President and New Orleans Mayor Marc H. Morial. "It happened with a lot of hard work and economic growth. And our meeting here today with the private sector shows that they believe, as we believe, that cities are the new place to do business."

During the summit President Bush will meet with the Mayors for the first time in his Presidency, on Thursday, April 5 at the White House. "[President Bush] has expressed his desire to have an open door to the nation's Mayors, and tomorrow's inaugural visit is proof that we are well on our way to a positive working relationship," said Conference President and Boise Mayor H. Brent Coles. In addition to President Bush, HUD Secretary Mel Martinez and EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman are scheduled to participate in the discussions on Thursday.

On Thursday, the Mayors will also release a groundbreaking poll that documents the views of hundreds of small business owners from across the nation on prospects for their local economy and the national economy, as well as their opinions on what strategies their local, state, and federal government can employ to bolster small business in America. This poll will be used to set a benchmark by which, in future years, small business owners' economic outlook can be measured.

"Local Mayors aggressively advocate for small business development and growth in their cities," said George Cloutier, CEO of American Management Services and founder of Partner America, a public-private partnership between the Conference of Mayors and AMS. "If we invest in our small businesses, we are investing in the future success of our cities. This poll will help to educate us what small businesses feel they need to succeed in our cities."

To obtain a copy of the Fannie Mae Foundation report, "The Urban Turnaround," please contact Antonio Tijerino at (202) 274-8064 or online at

CONTACT: Jubi Headley, (202) 861-6766 or (202) 744-9337; Karen Hinton, (703) 798-3109

The United States Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are about 1,100 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor.


©2004 U.S. Conference of Mayors