77th Annual Meeting

LOCAL FISCAL EMERGENCY AND STABILIZATION

WHEREAS, our cities are facing serious declines in the existing sources of revenues to meet obligations and rising challenges as a result of the unprecedented financial and economic crisis permeating every corner and neighborhood of this Nation; and

WHEREAS, as a result of this decline, cities must address staggering unemployment and home foreclosures, deepening consumer hardship, and extensive business and retail retrenchment; and

WHEREAS, cities are experiencing ever greater demands by their residents on basic services and essential safety net programs with drastically reduced revenue resources and the likelihood that this decline in revenues will continue for several years; and

WHEREAS, President Obama saw the urgency of establishing the White House Office of Urban Affairs to ensure that Federal policies are examined for their impact on urban communities, and that Federal resources meet the critical needs of our cities, which given the current crisis, requires a tireless commitment by the Administration and its urban policy team; and

WHEREAS, the Federal government has, in the past, utilized revenue mechanisms and program flexibility to assist state and local governments in meeting new challenges; most recently, for example, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act provided for a State Fiscal Stabilization Fund to minimize reductions in education and other essential public services for both state and local governments; and

WHEREAS, woefully insufficient funding has been made available to local governments through the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, thereby leaving many cities to face ever-escalating challenges without appropriately sufficient support from the federal government; and

WHEREAS, this Fund has only provided a partial solution to mitigating even more cutbacks by local governments to essential public services and safety net programs during this time of national economic emergency;

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Administration, through its Office of Urban Policy, work in close partnership with the U.S. Conference of Mayors to develop a clearly focused strategic plan of action with timetables and resource commitments to ensure that our cities have the financial and economic tools, and program funding and flexibility to sustain the essential public services and safety net programs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Congress and the Administration, working with bipartisan urgency, provide for a Local Fiscal Emergency and Stabilization program account to ensure that sufficient funding is available to help restore the essential public services and safety net programs, which form the fabric of the our cities' responsibilities to the citizens and residents of this Nation.