Conference Leadership Pushes Mayors’ 10 Point Plan at Tufts Forum
By Tom McClimon
May 5, 2008
On April 28, Conference President and Trenton Mayor Douglas Palmer joined with Providence Mayor David Cicilline, Des Moines Mayor Frank Cownie and Conference Executive Director and CEO Tom Cochran to advocate for the Mayors’ 10-Point Plan in a first-ever mayors’ national policy forum held at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University. Host Mayor Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone joined with Lawrence Bacow, President of Tufts University in welcoming the faculty and students to the event.
Focusing on “Urban Issues in the 2008 Presidential Campaign”, the mayors discussed how the next president can work with mayors to improve conditions in the nation’s cities. Moderated by Mr. Cochran, the issues discussed ranged from working with the new president on climate protection to reinvigorating the federal-city partnership to encouraging young people to enter government, especially at the local level. “We are especially pleased to join with the Tisch College at Tufts University in sponsoring this forum. When universities and cities come together and focus on local issues, we can really make a difference,” he said.
As Conference President and TrentonMayor Palmer indicated “mayors are ready to go to work with the new president, no matter who is the winner. Mayors will work together in a bipartisan fashion to get things done.” Along with the other mayors, Mayor Palmer called for a “renewed federal partnership with cities in the next Administration.”
One example cited by the mayors as an issue the new president and mayors can work closely together on is the issue of climate protection. Mayor Palmer outlined the Energy Block Grant and how cities would benefit by it. “We have to find ways that people can relate to our energy problem, such as creating green jobs.” Mayor Palmer told the students and faculty. Mayor Cownie stressed the importance of educating residents on steps they can take to help address reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “It has been shown that mayors can change human behavior,” stated Mr. Cochran. “Mayors will be the ones that will help to change human behavior when it comes to climate protection as well.”
All the mayors cited the need for cities and universities to work together. “Innovations in this area are coming from the cities,” stated Mayor Cicilline. “It’s important that cities and universities work together to address the needs of their neighborhoods. This provides an opportunity for students to get involved in local partnerships.” Mayor Curtatone cited his city’s “great partnership” with Tufts University as an example of how a city and university can work together.
Other issues raised in the forum included reinvesting Iraqi war funds into domestic programs, federal support of local public safety programs, travel and tourism policies, and internship availability programs in city halls.
The Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service is a university-wide initiative to prepare students in all Tufts University schools and departments for lifetimes of active citizenship. The college is named after Jonathan Tisch, CEO of Loews Hotels and Chairman of the Travel Business Roundtable. Mr. Tisch has been actively involved with the Conference of Mayors in promoting travel and tourism issues.
A video of the urban issues forum will soon be available on the Conference of Mayors website: usmayors.org.