For Immediate Release
Sunday, October 4, 2015
Contact:  Elena Temple
               Sara Durr


Develop “Compact for A Better America” During Bipartisan Leadership Meeting

Baltimore, MD – Under the leadership of U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) President Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the nation’s mayors today urged the Presidential Candidates and Congress to recognize the critical role cities play in shaping America’s future, developing their Compact for a Better America, which calls for a focus on policy issues that are important to people living in cities and their metropolitan areas.

Rawlings-Blake and a bipartisan delegation of mayors who serve in the organization’s leadership presented points they believe people in this country – over 80 percent of whom live in cities and metro areas -- consider a top priority at a press conference during the USCM Fall Leadership Meeting in Baltimore this weekend.

The Mayors Compact for a Better America: A 2016 Call to Action concentrates on issues such as investing in infrastructure, workforce training, innovation, water, air and clean energy, public safety, healthcare and addressing unfunded mandates.

While Rawlings-Blake will elaborate on the Mayors’ Compact at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, October 7, she urged, “It is clear that people across the country are frustrated that this campaign has not really focused on issues that matter to working families. Mayors see residents everyday who are in need, so we want a real target on the things that matter most to the people who live in our cities and metro areas,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “Gridlock strangles Washington, and the consequences are passed on to cities to the detriment of Americans who not being served. No serious candidate for President or Congress can or should allow this to continue. The next President needs a national agenda for our cities.”

According to IHS Global Insight, cities and their Metro Areas are drivers of the national economy -- accounting for over 90 percent of Gross Domestic Product and wage income, and 87 percent of jobs in the country. And in the coming years, 92 percent of U.S. economic growth will be generated in cities and Metro Areas.

However, data also shows the jobs that were regained during the recovery have lower wages than those lost during the recession, and those going back to work had lost over $93 billion in wages by mid 2014 (U.S. Metro Economies Report: Income and Wage Gaps, USCM/IHS, August 2014). The same report projected that income inequality will remain a long-term problem that will worsen unless addressed through national policies. Shortfalls in opportunity, equity, jobs, community development, and education combine to pose major challenges that can impact public safety and only compound these disparities further.

“Mayors cannot and have not waited for Washington to act,” said USCM Vice President Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. “But strengthening the federal-city partnership is critical because, while we have taken the lead, we are clear that we cannot solve our nation’s biggest challenges alone.”

Cornett continued, “As Presidential candidates travel around the country to America’s cities, we have an opportunity to press them to put take a page from the ‘Book of Mayors’ and put ideology aside to focus on real results for American families. ... Our cities have growing needs and the broadening gap between the wealthy and not so wealthy must be addressed. We need a President who is willing to hear from us, work with us and direct funding to cities. We have loud voices and we will express them.”

“Mayors are uniquely positioned to influence the national dialogue, and we intend to hold Washington – and those who aspire to the White House – accountable to put the issues of urban America front and center,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake.


Video of the mayors’ press conference can be found on the USCM website at -- or --

USCM Fall Leadership
Meeting Attending Mayors:
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore, MD – USCM President
Mick Cornett, Oklahoma City, OK – USCM Vice President
Elizabeth Kautz, Burnsville, MN – USCM Past President
Bryan Barnett, Rochester Hills, MI
Shane Bemis, Gresham, OR
David Berger, Lima, OH
Virg Bernero, Lansing, MI
Mike Bodker, John Creek, GA
Muriel Bowser, Washington, D.C.
Joy Cooper, Hallandale Beach, FL
Hardie Davis, Augusta Richmond Cty, GA
Bill de Blasio, New York, NY
Bill Finch, Bridgeport, CT
Greg Fischer, Louisville, KY
Karen Freeman-Wilson, Gary, IN
Javier Gonzales, Santa Fe, NM

Sylvester James, Kansas City, MO
Harry Larosiliere, Plano, TX
Maher Maso, Frisco, TX
Kim McMillan, Clarksville, TN
Jonathan Mitchell, New Bedford, MA
Frank Ortis, Pembroke Pines, FL
Ed Pawlowski, Allentown, PA
Mike Rawlings, Dallas, TX
Kasim Reed, Atlanta, GA
Pedro Segarra, Hartford, CT P
aul Soglin, Madison, WI
Brian Wahler, Piscataway, NJ
Nan Whaley, Dayton, OH

About The United States Conference of Mayors -- The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are nearly 1,400 such cities in the country today, and each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. Like us on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter at