Senate Democrats

Senators, Mayors Discuss State Of Our Nation’s Cities

Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senators Charles Schumer and Debbie Stabenow held a press conference today with Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and Providence Mayor David Cicilline to discuss the state of our nation’s cities and the economic and budgetary pressures they are facing.

As the economy’s struggles worsen, Democrats are urgently pushing for a bipartisan, short-term stimulus plan that makes a real and immediate difference in people’s lives – as well as long-term solutions to help recover our faltering economy.

“America’s cities help make our national economy the strongest in the world,” Reid said.  “But today those cities are seeing jobs disappear and incomes drop.  It is becoming harder and harder for citizens to build equity in a home or build a foundation for their families.  Together with our nation’s mayors, we will reverse some of President Bush’s disastrous cuts in important civic programs like law enforcement, education and Community Development Block Grants.  And we must reverse current trends so that incomes go up, unemployment goes down and our economy is strong once again.”

Said Schumer: “Unfortunately for our cities and towns, the effects of the housing crisis have been profound and far-reaching.  The foreclosure crisis has rippled outward, causing home values to decline and economic insecurity to increase.  Our mayors and governors are faced with tough choices and no good answers.”

“At a time when the housing market is slumping, the price of education is on the rise, and law enforcement programs are being cut, we are working with our nation’s mayors to restore important funding that has been slashed by this Administration,” Stabenow said. “Middle-class families across our country are struggling – the time to act is now.”

Said Franklin: “Atlanta and other rural and urban communities have been impacted by high gas prices, increasing unemployment and foreclosures, so it is critical that we all work to not just stimulate the economy but provide relief to millions of Americans.”

“Twenty-first-century America is a city-powered economy, but federal policy is stuck in the past,” Cicilline said.  “Senate Democrats have been aggressively making this case for several years, and this package will make up for a lot of lost time at an extremely critical time.”