Sunday, June 22, 2014

NYC | de Blasio's Cities of Opportunity Task Force

I wrote this in 1988.
June 22, 2008–At the 82nd annual U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting yesterday, Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson–who heads up the USCM–announced a new Task Force.

It will be called the "Cities of Opportunity" Task Force and it will be chaired by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The Task Force will address issues of inequality, through a higher minimum wage, expansion of affordable housing and ensuring every child has access to pre-K.

Mayor de Blasio said: 
Mayors are starting to respond to this crisis, and this task force is going to organize and focus the progressive ideas coming out of cities across the U.S., and put city issues back on the national agenda. Cities are the problem solvers and the centers of innovation. As Mayors, we are on the front lines. It is our responsibility to create more opportunities for our citizens and more equitable cities.
John Tepper Marlin (L) with new
Chair of "Cities of Opportunity"
Task Force.
The task force's Vice Chair will be Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh. New York City and Boston are two cities with very high (among top 13 cities) Gini Coefficients, i.e., very high inequality of income.

Mayor Walsh:
This is a national problem, but we feel the impact of income inequality particularly in Boston's neighborhoods. Some areas have seen a development boom, significant drops in crime statistics, strong advances in our education system; and yet, we struggle with concentrations of real poverty and unemployment in other neighborhoods. This inequality makes it difficult to sustain the strong workforce, active consumer base, and vibrant civic life that every city needs for lasting growth. We need solutions to bridge this growing divide, and I applaud Mayors Johnson and de Blasio for their work. I'm proud to participate in this Task Force.
The task force will spend a year developing and sharing governing methodologies to empower cities to make equity a central governing principle.

The task force will develop an action plan for cities to take action in developing aggressive equity agendas and implement real change. This plan will include practical tools and best practices – both previously executed and newly developed by the task force – which cities can use to make the most equitable decisions that they can, with the powers that they have, to create more equitable cities.

The Cities of Opportunities Task Force will conduct its kickoff meeting in New York City on August 10-11, 2014 where mayors will develop the groundwork for the scope and direction of the task force's work.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter
I am pleased to join Mayors de Blasio and Johnson and a host of other mayors from across the country to tackle inequality in America's cities. Cities are incubators of change and innovation, and mayors are at the forefront of it all – we get things done. Providing equitable opportunity directly correlates to the success of our cities, our regions and our country...
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
I look forward to partnering with Mayors Emmanuel and de Blasio on this transformative task force that will look to develop policies aimed at addressing the needs of our historically underserved and disenfranchised communities.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings
We as a nation will only succeed when our cities succeed together. The gap between those of means and those that are not as fortunate will only be closed with new, long-term, non-partisan and pragmatic solutions.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker
Even in cities with robust economies like Houston, too many are locked outside looking in on opportunity. We are pleased that the Conference of Mayors is focused on this issue to ensure that all residents of every city can have equal opportunities to thrive. This is our call to action.