Friday, November 14, 2008

U.S. Conference of Mayors 153 City Survey Shows 'Ready-To-Go' Local Infrastructure Projects Would Create Hundreds of Thousands of Jobs

PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The nation's mayors today reiterated their call for a Main Street Stimulus package in the lame-duck Congress by releasing the first in a series of reports that inventories each city's "ready-to-go" infrastructure projects -- projects that could be started and completed in calendar year 2009 -- if emergency federal funding were made available. Information on these projects has been submitted to the U.S. Conference of Mayors from 153 cities of all sizes in all regions of the country. In this first release, cities have identified a total of 4,591 infrastructure projects costing a total of $24.4 billion that would create more than a quarter of a million jobs.

"In today's world, metropolitan economies, which comprise 90% of our gross domestic product, drive the national economy. Investing in Main Street metro economies is the most direct path to creating the jobs and stimulating the business that can begin to reverse the current economic downturn. Washington has bailed out Wall Street to the tune of $700 billion and hopes its investment will eventually be returned to the taxpayer. It is now time for an investment in local economies that will produce a guaranteed return of jobs," said U.S. Conference of Mayors President Miami Mayor Manny Diaz.

Diaz continued, "If ever there was a time for bi-partisan leadership, it is now. Our survey shows that cities are 'ready-to-go' with infrastructure projects that will immediately employ people, support small businesses, and stimulate Main Street economies."

This initial report of city infrastructure projects validates the Conference's recommendations to Congress for direct emergency stimulus funds that cities can invest immediately in job creation, small business activity and lasting infrastructure improvements for Main Street America.

"Mayors tell us that the job situation is dire and only getting worse. The unemployment numbers indicate a rapid deterioration in the job outlook for Americans, and thousands more jobs will be lost as each month passes with no action from the lame-duck Congress. Main Street is hurting. Metro economies of America need jobs now and our economy desperately needs help at the Main Street level. Our Main Street Stimulus is the answer," said Tom Cochran, Conference CEO and Executive Director.

The Conference's Main Street Stimulus plan was officially unveiled on Capitol Hill on October 29th. Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson, Past President to the Conference of Mayors, testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee; and Trenton Mayor Douglas Palmer, Immediate Past President of the Conference, testified before the House Ways and Means Committee to urge lawmakers to support the mayors' plan of an initial investment of $89.8 billion that includes funding in ten sectors including Community Development Block Grants, transit, highway infrastructure, green jobs, school modernization, public safety and public housing.

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