Mayor Fischer leads U.S. Conference of Mayors’ 89th Annual Winter Meeting
Mayor Greg Fischer yesterday joined hundreds of mayors from across the country to kick off the U.S. Conference of Mayors' (USCM) 89th Annual Winter Meeting. They engaged in conversation with Biden administration officials, heard from business and philanthropical leaders, and exchanged ideas and best practices.
As president of USCM, the Mayor delivered his President’s Report to mark the beginning of the three-day virtual convening, acknowledging the historic opportunities and challenges facing mayors and the work the USCM is doing to meet those head on.
“As president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Louisville has a seat at the table with our federal partners and business leaders to hear best practices that will help us achieve our city’s goals and tackle our biggest challenges,” said Mayor Fischer.
Day One of the meeting featured conversations on topics critical to Louisville, like affordable housing and homelessness, and fiscal relief from the economic downturn due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Mayor Fischer and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms joined Ohio Rep. Marcia Fudge, President Biden’s nominee to serve as Secretary for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, for a discussion on housing policy under the new Biden administration.
“So many of the housing programs under the authority of HUD are key to the future of Louisville and to helping ensure that all people in our cities can experience the American dream,” said the Mayor.
Members of the USCM leadership – including Mayor Fischer, Nan Whaley of Dayton, and Jeff Williams of Arlington, TX – also spoke with key members of the Biden administration about the President’s “American Rescue Plan” to rebuild the nation’s economy. Among its many key provisions, President Biden’s plan includes $350 billion in direct fiscal assistance for cities, counties and states.
“President Biden understands how desperately we need flexible and direct fiscal assistance to fight the ongoing pandemic, close the resulting budget shortfalls, keep our front-line workers on the job, and spur community-based recovery,” said Mayor Fischer. “On behalf of the Conference, I want to say thank you to the Biden administration for understanding the urgency and for valuing the perspective and partnership of mayors.”
During today’s session on reducing gun violence (3:30 p.m. EST), mayors will be joined by Louisville’s own Anthony Smith, Executive Director of Cities United. The conversation will focus on actions mayors are taking and can take to address the recent uptick in gun violence that cities across America are experiencing. “Every homicide is a tragedy, and the recent increase in shootings and homicides is unacceptable,” said Mayor Fischer. “In Louisville, we are launching the Group Violence Intervention initiative, which is a community-driven effort that focuses on the groups at highest risk for being either victims or perpetrators of violence. I look forward to hearing from Anthony and other experts, along with mayors on their efforts to reduce crime and gun violence and make our city safer.”
Late today (4:30 p.m. EST), Mayor Fischer will join Dr. Vivek Murthy, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Mayors Levar Stoney of Richmond, VA, and Bill de Blasio of New York City in a special session on COVID-19. “While there is light at the end of the tunnel, we are still very much seeing a surge in COVID cases locally, but thanks to the work of great scientists, we have vaccines and more hope than ever of eliminating this disease,” said Mayor Fischer.
The meeting continues Saturday with discussions on immigration issues, environmental priorities, an infrastructure session with Transportation Secretary-Designate Pete Buttigieg and a climate conversation with Special Envoy John Kerry and Climate Advisory Gina McCarthy.
Click here to view the full agenda.
Mayor Fischer’s President’s Report can be read in full here.