President Joe Biden meets with 250 mayors at White House

Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 2:22 PM AKST
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - President Joe Biden told a room full of U.S. Mayors Friday, January 20, that his plan to rebuild America does not work without them.

“You affect people’s quality of life more than anyone else in the world,” Biden said. “And Mayors know the measure of success isn’t how many partisan points you score, it’s how many problems you fix.”

The White House event was the culmination of the U.S. Conference of Mayors that took place from Jan 17-20. Part of the goal of the meeting was for mayors to let the Biden administration know that the money that has already gone out in grants was spent productively.

“We won the biggest federal grant in our country’s history,” Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval said. “$1.6 billion to support our work on the Brent Spence bridge, which accounts for 3 percent of the nation’s GDP, and it was falling down.”

It was also about local officials pitching how they can best spend new money.

“I’m going to ask the president about Amtrak between Phoenix and Tucson today,” Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said. “Phoenix is the largest city without Amtrak service.”

Partisanship is largely put aside as mayors participate in a back in forth about how policy is working on the ground.

“Cities and mayors are kind of the last bastion of effective governance in America, and we think we have our opportunity to share our challenges and concerns and opportunities with the president,” Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt said.

The meeting takes place every year in January.