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Mayors Flex Economic Muscle, Call For Federal Support

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Brandon Smith
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Hundreds of America’s mayors are in Indiana this weekend for the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ annual conference.

They’re calling for Congress and the presidential candidates to support the nation’s cities.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake leads the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Kicking off the group’s annual meeting, she emphasized the importance of metropolitan hubs to the nation’s economy.

“Cities and metro areas accounted for more than 96 percent of all new jobs in the country last year,” Rawlings says. “Further, cities and the metro areas accounted for nearly 99 percent of the increase to the gross domestic product.”

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett, playing the role of host, says he’s enthused by what the non-partisan group might accomplish.

“And I look forward to a free exchange of innovations and strategies that aim to make all of our cities the very best they can be,” he says.

Several mayors, including Rawlings-Blake and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, criticized Congress’ lack of action on addressing gun violence, with Rawlings-Blake calling Washington’s inability to develop bipartisan compromise “shameful.”

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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