Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Denver Mayor Issues Challenge to Candidates

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Denver Mayor Issues Challenge to Candidates

Article excerpt

Denver Mayor Wellington E. Webb last week urged presidential candidates of both parties to embrace a new, 10-point agenda for American cities to transform the relationship between the federal government and the nation's cities and towns.

"The management of American cities and the capabilities of local governments have undergone a massive transformation over the past 20 years," Webb said. "A generation, even a decade ago, our urban areas were seen as dysfunctional communities plagued by crime, high taxes, and boated bureaucracies.

"Now things are very different. Our focus on sound governance and quality of life issues has generated national and international recognition. City leaders are recognized as efficient, close to the people, results-oriented, pragmatic problem-solvers, and yet the basic relationship between cities and the federal government has not changed over the past several decades. It's time to take stock and change that relationship."

Webb presented his proposals in a speech to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Among other action items (see sidebar,) Webb called for the creation of a national domestic policy "czar" who would have broad powers over federal agencies to promote economic development in metropolitan areas and provide regulatory relief to local governments.

Webb chided Congress for its failure to pass gun control, brownfields, and African aid legislation during the legislative session which just ended.

Webb noted that even in Colorado, a generally pro-gun state, "The public supports reasonable gun control. They are in a different place than Congress is. The failure to pass reasonable federal gun control legislation this year was a major disappointment and a squandered opportunity.

"We've done all we can do in Denver. We need the federal government's assistance to prevent the flow of weapons into our community. …

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