WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Local leaders from across the country are in Washington D.C. this week for the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors. But as they meet in the capital city, their focus is on spearheading recovery efforts back home.
Many mayors say they’re excited about the federal funding their cities are getting from the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says how they spend that money is critical.
“This is an opportunity for us to take unprecedented resources and really give life and value to the notion of an equitable and inclusive recovery,” Lightfoot said.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez says cities will follow the rules, but want flexibility on how the money is spent.
“We can’t have a strong America without strong cities,” Suarez said. “We must prioritize local control, local investment and local involvement in how those dollars are spent.”
While the mayors applaud the actions federal lawmakers took to help their cities recover, many say more needs to be done to help them fully rebound. Some, like Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, are asking for more federal investment.
“We need Build Back Better to be passed. We need the environmental and climate assistance, which right now really is not flowing at the level that meets this crisis,” Garcetti said.
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas wants to see more action and better messaging to fight the pandemic.
“Making sure there’s more testing available for all of us back in Missouri and Kansas,” Lucas said. “I think, in addition to that, making sure that we get some level of clarity.”