Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Democratic Hopefuls Hear, Respond to Mayors: New York City Event Is Campaign's First Urban Forum

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Democratic Hopefuls Hear, Respond to Mayors: New York City Event Is Campaign's First Urban Forum

Article excerpt

Democratic candidates Jerry Brown and Bill Clinton met with a group of fifteen mayors last week to respond to questions and share their views on many of the most pressing issues facing the nation's cities and towns. New York City Mayor David Dinkins orchestrated the meeting which he hosted in the city's mayoral residence, Gracie Mansion.

Before a panel of mayors from across the country, including NLC First Vice President Sharpe James and Cardell Cooper, chair of NLC's Transportation and Communications Policy Committee, the two candidates tried to enhance their nomination prospects by demonstrating an understanding of urban issues and articulating a series of proposals on solutions to improving conditions within cities.

Held only a week before the New York, Kansas and Wisconsin primaries, the meeting represented one of the few times thus far during the campaign where there has been a focus on cities and towns as the two leading democratic presidential hopefuls kicked off the first of several planned debates intended to build momentum for their presidential bids.

Both candidates were in agreement that cities had experienced a decade of neglect under previous administrations and stated that they were prepared to provide more assistance from Washington, if elected president.

The mayors asked questions on important city issues ranging from gun control, infrastructure, jobs and trade, to mandates, recycling and family preservation.

Brown touched off a reaction from Clinton with talk of his proposed 13 percent flat income tax and accompanying 13 percent value added tax. Clinton's immediate response was that "every objective analyst who has looked at it has said it will increase taxes on the poor and middle class."

Calling the current tax code as "a ball and chain around the economy of this country," Brown rebutted Clinton's remark. …

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