Washington, DC–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – U.S. Newswire)–February 7, 2006–U.S. Conference of Mayors President Long Beach Mayor Beverly O’Neill released the following statement in response to President Bush’s FY 2007 Budget:
Community Development Block Grant Program
“The nation’s mayors believe that in order to keep America strong, Congress and the Administration must responsibly invest in cities and local communities, which are the engines that drive this nation’s economy.
“For more than 30 years, CDBG has been recognized by HUD as one of its most efficient tools to strengthen local communities. It is an effective program that helps millions of Americans by investing directly in neighborhoods. It increases homeownership and gives local governments the flexibility to address a variety of other needs.
“This budget, however, erodes the CDBG program with $1 billion cut to formula grants and puts it on the road to elimination.
“As the national debate on budget priorities unfolds, the nation’s mayors are more determined than ever to stop this unwise and misguided effort to undermine this invaluable program. As we did before, we will work with our coalition of national organizations to take our fight to Capitol Hill. Because this program impacts so many communities in our country, we expect that the bi-partisan support we saw last year for CDBG remains in both houses of Congress.
First Responder Funding
“We remain concerned that this budget also cuts funding for key first responder programs by 30 percent from just two years ago. It puts those on the front line in jeopardy by slashing the largest first responder grant programs by almost $400 million, cutting the funding for fire assistance grants in half, and cutting COPS funding by more than half.
“We applaud the President’s goal of “moving beyond a petroleum-based economy,” and a view this as a critical first step in reducing the nation’s dependency on mid-east oil. The nation’s mayors look forward to working with President Bush to make his new initiatives in the energy field a reality as the Conference plans an energy summit for this spring.”
A full budget analysis by the U.S. Conference of Mayors can be found online at http://www.usmayors.org.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,139 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the Conference by its chief elected official, the mayor. The primary roles of the Conference of Mayors are to promote the development of effective national urban/suburban policy; strengthen federal-city relationships; ensure that federal policy meets urban needs; provide mayors with leadership and management tools; and create a forum in which mayors can share ideas and information. More information about the Conference is available at http://www.usmayors.org.