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Metro Newsroom

Abramson: Metro Agenda Focuses On Job Creation, Public Safety

Tuesday August 10, 2004

Mayor Jerry Abramson is traveling to Chicago today to finalize work on a special report for the presidential candidates that outlines the needs of the nation’s metro areas.

The report – “Keeping America Strong: U.S. Mayors ’04 Metro Agenda for America’s Future – is the product of a special committee appointed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Abramson is one of about 30 mayors asked to work on the report, which will be distributed this week to President George Bush and Sen. John Kerry.

“The Metro Agenda represents a bipartisan effort to put the needs, challenges and future of metro areas at the center of national discussion that is taking place in the context of the presidential campaign,” Abramson said. “My hope is that this plan will be seen as a positive and important contribution to the presidential campaign.”

The report, which will be publicly unveiled Wednesday, focuses on three major policy areas:
.Creating new and better-paying jobs and increasing public/private partnerships to keep America working.

.Investing in a new infrastructure for a new economy.

.Keeping America Safe by increasing the investment in local public safety and homeland security effots.
Abramson said the report is important because of the central role that metro areas play in the nation’s economy. In the last 10 years, 87 percent of the country’s economic growth – more than $8.3 trillion – has been generated by metropolitan areas.
Metro areas also are responsible for more than 85 percent of the country’s economic output, labor income and jobs. However, job wages continue to decline, while costs – particularly for health-care coverage – continue to increase significantly.

“We believe the health, security and economic success of metro areas is vital to the future of our country,” Abramson said. “This paper represents one effort to put the challenges we face at the center of our national discussion.”