Mayors meet in Washington to urge president-elect Obama to spread some of the billions of dollars their way – and directly to the cities rather than the State.
A group of mayors met in Washington on Monday to lobby for federal funding for what they say are “ready-to-go” infrastructure projects. They want funding to go directly to their cities instead of being distributed on a state level.
“Over the last eight years, there’s been … an absence of investment in cities, whether it’s the infrastructure, public transportation, bridges, highways, schools, hospitals,” Los Angeles, California, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said at a news conference on Capitol Hill. “We are here not for a bailout, but to present a recovery plan.”
This is all on the back of the very bad economic down-turn in the US – over 800 thousand jobs would be created which, in turn, would kick start the US economy as a whole.
Will Obama recommend that the money go directly to the cities though, that is the current question.
“All of these projects and more involving our bridges and schools are ready to go. They’ve gone through the design and approval process. They’ve gone through all of the political requirements. They just need money,” said Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City.
The president-elect said over the weekend that he supports an economic stimulus plan that includes an overhaul of the nation’s roads and bridges.
This does seem to be the quickest way to get the cash to begin the economical kick start package – too many of the funds, if they went through the State, would be held up and not distributed as effectively as is needed.
In a news release from the Conference of Mayors, Manny Diaz, mayor of Miami, Florida, and president of the conference, warned against funds getting tied up in state governments.
“We stand ready to help President-elect Obama and the Congress create sustainable jobs that fix our crumbling infrastructure and promote energy independence,” Diaz said.
“But to work, we must make sure that the funding is spent quickly, and not stuck in federal or state bureaucracies.”