Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Obama Administration Emphasizes Accountability and Transparency at USCM Conference

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Obama Administration Emphasizes Accountability and Transparency at USCM Conference

Article excerpt

At the 77th Winter Meeting of the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM), senior members of the incoming Obama Administration affirmed the President's strong commitment to reach out, engage and work closely with local elected officials and to provide accountable and transparent government.

In the midst of a historic Presidential Inauguration, more than 250 of the nation's mayors gathered at the conference in Washington, D.C., January 17-19, to discuss national priorities and the proposed Obama Economic Recovery Plan.

In response, Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to the President for intergovernmental relations and public liaison, stated the Administration's goal for economic recovery.

"Our goal is to make it easier for you to serve the people in your communities," said Jarrett. "We understand that cities are the economic engines of the country. We need to keep the momentum going. We ask for your help not just in passing, but also in implementing the economic recovery legislation. You are the experts. We want to be partners in the process."

Stating that the U.S. can't continue to do things the old way, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel repeated his often-noted quote, "Never allow a serious crisis to go to waste." As an example, he said that the nation needs to invest in its people and reform education by planting the seeds for economic opportunity with the "goal to earn what we learn."

He also affirmed the critical importance of infrastructure investment and noted that one bad infrastructure investment will taint everything. The goal must be to create productive economic investment, he said, and added that every investment will be on the Google Internet search engine to make them transparent and assure accountability to the public.

"... We are stewards of the public trust and our work must be transparent so we can be held accountable to insure that public investments make a difference," Emanuel said. …

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