U.S. mayors back Gulf Coast colleagues

June 14, 2010 at 10:51 PM
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OKLAHOMA CITY, June 14 (UPI) -- The U.S. Conference of Mayors backed a resolution sought by their Gulf Coast colleagues calling for stepped up federal help in dealing with the BP oil disaster.

Before winding up their 78th annual meeting in Oklahoma City, Sunday, the mayors, on a unanimous voice vote, passed the resolution requesting the federal government do more to assist Gulf Coast cities access, mitigate and recover from the environmental and economic damage caused by the ongoing oil leak, the group said in a release Monday.

The resolution asks the Obama administration to work closely with mayors and other local officials in all phases of the national response. The measure was submitted to the mayors' group by the mayors of Baton Rouge, La., and Tallahassee, Fla.

The mayors also passed, by a strong majority, a resolution supporting comprehensive immigration reform and another opposing Arizona's new immigration law.

Conference President Elizabeth Kautz, the mayor of Burnsville, Minn., urged Congress to focus on issues affecting average Americans.

"It is time for federal action," she said. "We urgently call on both parties to lay down their political swords and work together for the common good of families who are struggling to make ends meet.

"If this country is indeed emerging from a recession as national economists say, many, many people in our cities don't feel it. The jobs picture in our cities is still dire, and we need immediate federal action to make sure the recovery arrives on Main Street."

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter was named second vice president, putting him in line to become president of the organization in 2012.

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