LAS VEGAS, June 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The presidential gavel was officially handed to Mesa (AZ) Scott Smith today by outgoing U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) President Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter, appointing him head of the nonpartisan organization during the 81st Annual Meeting of the USCM Mayors in Las Vegas.
During the gathering of more than 200 mayors, city leaders met to discuss a broad range of policy issues impacting America's cities including the economic health of the nation's cities, immigration, the on-going violence in America's cities, school safety, municipal bonds, energy efficiency, infrastructure investment, housing, help for returning Veterans and a recent proposal to cut Community Development Block Grant Funding in Washington. Vice President addressed the mayors' group on Friday afternoon.
As Conference President, Mayor Smith will set the organization's agenda, appoint committee and task force chairs and serve as the national spokesperson for the June 2013-June 2014 term. In his inaugural remarks, Mayor Smith spoke to the ability of mayors to work together in bipartisan fashion. "The agenda of the Conference centers on key issues that bind our communities in a collective purpose. I will work hard to focus on the issues we have in common, the issues that define not Republicans or Democrats, easterners or southerners, liberal or conservative, but issues that define CITIES."
"These issues are so important for the majority of U.S. residents who live in urban areas, we must take seriously our responsibility to advocate not on our behalf, but on theirs. Cities have a unique message for Washington and the nation, and mayors are in a unique position to convey that message. We have a voice that should be heard, that must be heard. Cities are NOT just another group. We are the drivers of the U.S. economy, the home of most Americans, the innovators and creators, the future of our nation," Smith said.
To view Smith's full speech, please visit www.usmayors.org.
Tom Cochran, CEO and Executive Director of The U.S. Conference of Mayors said, "Mayor Smith is a pragmatic leader who believes it is always possible to find common ground on the many issues before us. He is a can do guy with a common sense approach and we welcome him to the helm of this great organization."
Prior to becoming the Conference's President, Mayor Smith served as Vice President of the organization over the past year represented the organization at the Republican GOP Convention in Tampa, FL. He was also the 1,000th mayor to sign the Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement -- a pledge initiated in 2005 for mayors all across the country to take bold action to significantly reduce carbon emissions in cities in line with Kyoto Protocol standards.
At the concluding session on Monday, the mayors debated and voted on policy recommendations to present to the Administration. The group unanimously passed a resolution in support of background checks for gun purchases, comprehensive immigration reform, cyber security, state determination of marijuana laws and opposing sequestration. The adopted resolutions and policy of the Conference can be found at www.usmayors.org.
The group also voted in newly elected leadership during the meeting as follows: President: Mesa, AZ Mayor Scott Smith; Vice President: Sacramento, CA Mayor Kevin Johnson; Second Vice President: Baltimore (MD) Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake; Trustees: Hallandale Beach (FL) Mayor Joy Cooper and Hartford (CT) Mayor Pedro Segarra; Advisory Board Members: Irving (TX) Mayor Beth Van Duyne, Newton (MA) Mayor Setti Warren, San Francisco (CA) Mayor Edwin Lee, Las Vegas (NV) Mayor Carolyn Goodman, Louisville (KY) Mayor Greg Fischer, Indianapolis (IN) Mayor Greg Ballard and Kansas City (MO) Mayor Sly James.
Trustees of the USCM, along with the top three officers and past presidents make up the Executive Committee of the organization. The Advisory Board functions in an advisory capacity to the Executive Committee on all matters of policy and program.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,210 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 facebook.com/usmayors, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/usmayors.
SOURCE The U.S. Conference of Mayors