United States Conference of Mayors Update

Scott Smith
USCM President and City of Mesa Mayor

Each January, the U.S. Conference of Mayors gathers in Washington, D.C. for the annual winter meeting. We meet in Washington, D.C. so we can interact with Congressional Leaders, White House officials, and Cabinet Secretaries to discuss issues, develop relationships, develop objectives and lobby Washington on behalf of America's cities.

As mayors, we have a unique experience and a voice that is not heard enough in Washington. Cities and our residents often feel the greatest impact of decisions made in D.C. This meeting is our opportunity to take that message directly to the nation's capital.

We had a lot to cover in our three days in Washington. Our focus was on job creation and economic growth. We discussed how we can expand opportunities to increase exports and expand advanced manufacturing. We once again talked about transportation and our country's aging infrastructure of freeways, bridges and ports; innovative ideas for delivering services and improving our economies; and, the continuing threat to tax-exempt municipal bonds.

While there, we met with President Obama at the White House, as well as Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson. Small off-the-record group meetings with cabinet secretaries and administration officials presented us a unique opportunity for honest discussion and feedback.

It was a successful trip and I enjoyed meeting with my fellow mayors from across the country. Doing business in Washington is often frustrating. But what happens in D.C. impacts all of us, and it is imperative that we are actively engaged in the process. Working together through the USCM, America's mayors will continue to advocate strongly for what is best for cities and our residents.

League of Arizona Cities and Towns
1820 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ  85007
Phone: 602-258-5786
Fax: 602-253-3874

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