CITY COUNCILS CALL ON PRESIDENT AND CONGRESS TO AVOID CUTTING SERVICES

As the federal government faces major decisions regarding our nation’s budget and fiscal policies, cities around the country are passing resolutions calling on the President and Congress to prioritize the revitalization of the economy, the creation of millions of new jobs, and a return to broadly-shared prosperity.

Led by members of Local Progress, the new national municipal policy network, over the past two weeks the cities of Baltimore, Cambridge, Chicago, Hallandale Beach, Philadelphia, New York, Seattle, and Yonkers have signaled their official support for a solution that avoids cuts to vital services for the most disadvantaged members of society or to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits and that raises crucial revenue from the wealthiest two percent of Americans.

“Unwise cuts to federal spending inevitably shift costs onto states and municipalities, which, unlike the federal government, cannot cope with them through deficit spending,” said Joe Moore, a Chicago City Council Alderman. “Cuts to funding for housing, community development, public health, and public safety will deprive millions of poor Americans of basic necessities like food, medicine, and a home in a safe community.” The resolution introduced by Moore was supported by all 50 Aldermen.

“The American economy continues its slow and inadequate recovery from the Great Recession; twenty million people want to work full time but cannot; and a weak economy undermines the nation’s social fabric and deprives future generations of the opportunity to live rich and fulfilling lives,” said Chuck Lesnick, the Yonkers City Council President. “We need growth, not austerity.”

“Real median family income has been nearly stagnant for four decades and economic inequality has expanded to levels unseen since the 1930s,” said Wilson Goode, Jr., a Philadelphia City Councilmember. “If we want a more fair and just America, we need to raise income tax rates on the richest Americans to their levels during the prosperous 1990s .” The Philadelphia City Council passed a resolution to this effect by a vote of 16-1.

Elected officials from over two dozen cities have signed an open letter to the President and Congress demanding the prioritization of growth, jobs, and fairness rather than austerity. Local Progress is a network of progressive municipal elected officials from around the country united by a commitment to a strong middle and working class, equal justice under law, sustainable and livable cities, and good government that serves the public interest effectively.

The Local Progress Founding Board is made up of:

Wilson Goode, Jr., Philadelphia City Council
Brad Lander, New York City Council
Chuck Lesnick, Yonkers City Council
Nick Licata, Seattle City Council (Chair)
Joe Moore, Chicago City Council
Julia Ross, St. Louis Park City Council
Faith Winter, Westminster City Council
Andrew Friedman, Center for Popular Democracy
Gloria Totten, Public Leadership Institute

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