tv U.S. Conference of Mayors Holds Winter Meetings Opening Session CSPAN January 31, 2022 9:02am-10:05am EST
presidency of lyndon johnson. you'll hear about the 1964 civil rights act, the 1964 presidential campaign. the gulf of tonga incident and not everyone knew they were being recorded. >> certainly, johnson's secretaries knew because they were tasked with transcribing many of those conversations. they were the ones who made the conversations were taped and johnson would signal through a hope open door. >> i want a report of number of people assigned to kennedy on the day he died, assigned to me now and i want them quickment if i can't ever go to the bathroom i won't go, i went go anywhere just stay behind these black gates. >> presidential recordings, find it now on the mobile app
>> is this thing on? >> has the zoom started yet? >> no, we're just about to get ready. >> how many folks have we got coming in on this one? >> we've got hundreds out there. got hundreds of them ready to go. >> another taye, another zoom. how many do you think we've done? >> tom, i think since march of 2020 probably over 500 at this point. >> well, that's about 161 million per zoom, if you think about the 65.1 billion we have coming directly, and god knows we want to thank nan and jeff, and also david hope, all the mayors that have worked so hard to bring this money home directly home to our cities. so, let's bring them in. >> all right, tom. letting them in right now. >> let's do it! ♪♪
>> we can't hear you. we can't hear you. you're on mute. please take your mute off. thank you. ♪♪ >> hello, everyone, i'm tom cochran the ceo of the one and only united states conference of mayors. we want to welcome you to the 90th winter meeting of the united states conference of mayors here in washington d.c. ♪♪
. [applause] >> from the music of richard rogers and the lyrics of oscar hammerstein, they gave us oklahoma in '44, they gave us south pacific in '49. but somewhere in 1945 they gave us "carousel" and so i offer these words from one of the most beautiful songs in my opinion that has ever been written and i dedicate these words to you. when you walk through a storm hold your head up high and don't be afraid of the dark. walk on through the rain, walk
on through the rain, walk on through the wind, though your dreams be tossed and blown. walk on, walk on with hope in your heart and you will never ever walk alone. so many times during this time since we last met here in this hotel in 2020, mayors have been alone. you have been in the dark. we have had this pandemic. we have had mass shootings. we've had social uprisings, black lives matter demonstrations. there was a time when people demonstrated in front of city halls. now they come to your homes.
the demonstrators come to your homes. the left is upset. defund the police. the right want more cops. and so you have to console your sons, your daughters, your mother, your father, your spouse, your partner, your lover, and yet, after you console all of those people it's just not really good enough. you have to console each other. when the mass shootings happened in el paso, brother dimarco a few days later spoke to his sister nan whaley and they came together and that's what mayors do. they come together. they reach out. they reach out to each other. they console each other in a
healing in a way that gives them leadership and courage. and so it's very special, it's very special the way that the mayors support each other and we want to continue to do that. in dayton at our leadership meeting, i talked about the scientific work of dr. emile, a french sociologist who established the academic discipline of sociology and in 1895 he's credited in what he termed a collective effervescence and that's when a group of individuals come together in a certain way that when they are simple in a fashion, a certain electricity is created leading participants to act as a group going beyond what they might do as an individual. he thought and described the system of energy and harmony when people feel they have a
shared purpose. and on a cheery note, modern research shows us that they have found that people laugh five times as much as when they're with others. if you don't believe that you should have been in the bar last night at 10:00. i went to bed and i heard them laughing, i felt very good. we were all back together. we are social animals. mayors love people. we are gregarious, as we say, mayors are people people. ladies and gentlemen, when we left this hotel in 2020, we didn't know what the hell was in front of us, but we had the collective effervescence and lo and behold, boom, we found zoom! . [laughter] >> and i went into my staff room and i said, listen, we're going to have zooms like music
lessons, mondays, wednesdays and fridays, and we did 500. and when we had the music together, together with all of you, with nan whaley, with jeff richards, and david holt, we never gave up. then they had this cares act, do you remember that? listen, let me tell you something, it was trouble. trouble in river city. the mayor of miami called me and said, listen, nobody in florida got any damn money down here, but jacksonville. so i said, i said to myself, self, call the national league of cities. let's turn these small cities on and we did. we did. you know, we could not hug each other, we could not touch each other, not near to each other, but we kept the spirit of this conference of mayors alive. to rise above bitter partnership, to rise above hate
in this pandemic to produce a collective concensus of 67.1 billion dollars coming directly, not just to new york, not just to chicago, but little old butler georgia, where i grew up, they got some damn money, too, so everybody got a piece of it and let me tell you something, nancy pelosi is -- she is the queen of this piece of legislation. i can tell you, she is the -- [applause] >> her daddy, her daddy was a mayor, her brother was a mayor and although, you know, she's got that san francisco feel, she's still a baltimore girl. so when she comes -- when she comes to this, when she comes to this organize, i hope you'll give here a standing ovation to thank her, to mick sure -- make sure we had the funding. today in our great city, our capital of washington d.c.,
we're finally together again. challenge of america, you know, you do the potholes, you pick up the trash, you put people in jail, you wipe away the tears, but the challenge of america always comes from main streets, from your neighborhoods. but i say it to you, those who come with us can be a part of history, a part of history on the right side of history. in 1963, a young president came to hawaii and he came with five on civil rights and we supported him, and we supported president johnson in '64, a white mayor, a businessman from atlanta, georgia named ivan came and testified for public accommodation. in 1965 we stood with president johnson and worked with him on
the voting rights act, which is threatened today. and you may not know this, but in 1963, in the headquarters of the conference of mayors, my former boss worked with bayard rusten to help martin luther king. and we had cbgd. we had an incredible relationship with president nixon of course later in 1971 the mayors stood in philadelphia to say bring our boys home, we went on record against the vietnam war. so through the years we were there with president carter on women rights. and we did everything we could in the '80s with aids epidemic and a dark haired doctor came into this hotel and we told american people about the aids
epidemic. so, there's something about this group called the conference of mayors. we do, we do bridges, we build buildings, we have beautiful cities, but there is a social movement that we have that's very special. some presidents have said we have to be great again. i say we are great. we are great. [applause]. and i'll say this, you know, i was very impressed what president george w. bush said in shanksville, pennsylvania, talking about the frontline workers, and i feel like that mayors in this room are frontline workers. he said, i don't know what they're talking about, you are america, the america that i know and you mayors are the conference of mayors which continue to take us through the storm, the darkness, the rain and the wind. no matter who is in the state house, no matter who is in the white house, no matter who is
in congress, together, you know, now and always, mayors have, mayors can, and mayors will make the difference. and i was very encouraged with our president suarez when we had the young mayors. there's something about the young mayors, when they come in here, some of them look like my grandchildren. i swear to god. i'm told as hell, i tell you right now. let me tell you, i listened to mr. barnett and mr. fisher and the young mayors, one of my favorite people was francis albert sinatra, he said this, out of the tree of life, you picked up the plums, you came along and things started to hum and still the best is yet to come. jack kennedy said let us go forth. ronald reagan said, you ain't seen nothing yet.
thank you very much. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the united states conference of mayors president, mayor of miami, francis suarez. [applause] >> well, i forget to take off the mute button. have to roll with the zoom jokes. good afternoon mayors and welcome to the official opening session of the 90th winter meeting of the u.s. conference of mayors. we have mayors from 41 states. we have mayors representing every size community as well. mayors gathered here represent every corner, every creed and every version of american life. can we have all the mayors please stand up?
[applause] >> but we also know that we can't have a conference like this without thanking the following organizations for their partnership, sponsorship and collaboration during this year's winter meeting. first, the american beverage association, the american hotel and lodging association, americans for arts, comcast, dol seed, the ewing marion kaufman foundation, godaddy. [laughter] >> that sounds like godaddy. godaddy. keep saying it and keep laughing. and hdr. ike, infrastructure. starbucks, where is my
espresso, where are you guys, double espresso waiting outside? and wells fargo and please give them all a big round of applause. [applause] >> so now it is my distinct honor and pleasure to introduce the district of columbia mayor, mayor muriel bowser to welcome us to her home city and hometown. [applause] >> well, good afternoon, everyone. i'm going to risk this in a room full of mayors by saying, welcome to the best city in the world. it is my pleasure indeed, mayor suarez, to welcome you to washington d.c. to thank you all for your leadership. i want to thank you, mayor suarez and congratulate you on assuming the our leadership of
mayors, and i want to thank tom and his team for bringing us altogether in person. let's give the u.s. conference a big rund of applause. [applause] >> i have to emphasize what's been said, that we represent the governments that have been working day in and day out to keep our communities safe. we've been doing it in person. we're keeping our schools open and our business sector thriving and our communities moving forward. for nearly two years, our cities have grappled with this coronavirus and we have evolved with this virus. and although the pandemic has prevented us from hosting our big embassy reception this year, i am hopeful that we will return to that big celebration very soon.
i know that our ability to move forward has been aided by the efforts of the biden-harris administration and the american rescue plan and the infrastructure and jobs act. i am quite sure that your cities have experienced what we have with the transformative infusion of dollars. thanks to these investments, d.c. is set to rehabilitate and replace some of our oldest high cost bridges and highways and replace them with new infrastructure. in addition to traditional infrastructure, we're also employed to build out charging stations, more high speed internet and we will continue to improve our water infrastructure. we know, too, that we're looking forward to other
investments like continuing to reduce prescription drugs costs, expanding affordable housing, expanding the child care tax credit, and for goodness sakes, having more of our children in free pre-k three. these are not contentious issues, these are recognizing the reality of what everyday americans are experiencing. and as mayors, we know that covid is not our only emergency, and tom, you're quite right. we're responding to gun violence that has increased in cities and towns, and we're facing new concerns about housing and homelessness, cyber security and climate change and we're doing it all at once and we know, too, that we're focused on our very democracy and focused on making sure that we're protecting the precious right to vote and for us, in d.c., getting the right to vote in congress, and that is why --
[applause] >> it's so important that we pass the john lewis voting rights act in the 51st state admissions act for washington d.c. when cities come together, we can rise to our nation's largest challenges. and as mayors, we have been at the forefront, whether we are giving out tests, make sure that people are getting vaccinated, and getting masked, you name it, we've done it in the last two years. in the next two years, may even be the most important, we're in charge of the comeback is what i like to say in d.c. and that comback has to be worthy of the 24 months of sacrifice that we've made. and i know that we can do it, we're going to work with the conference to make sure that the federal government is going to be right there with us, whether it's testing, saving public transit, transforming our downtowns, making more and
better use of our public spaces. this is what will bring back america's cities and i know we can make it happen. welcome to washington d.c., keep pushing, mayors, we can get this done. [applause]. ♪♪ >> so true to form the minute that i went back stage there was a double espresso for starbucks waiting for me. wherever you are in the back of the business council, the former president, president fisher, put me in charge of revenue so for the business council members, thank you. now, i'm pleased to call our new ceo, ceo and trrt director to the stage, tom cochran. that was a joke. come on over here, tom.
>> i'm coming out to thank a very special person. she is the 79th president of the united states mayors conference, nan whily. >>. [applause] . >> i started here at the age of 12 and i've served 54 presidents and i think, you know, here political leadership and political skills surpasses most. she's got a heart as big as ohio and i hope they know that. and my final thing is this, the best person i've ever known to get drunk with. ladies and gentlemen, watch the video.
[laughter] >> joining us now president of the u.s. conference of mayor, the mayor of dayton, ohio, nan whaley. mayor whaley, it's great to have you on the show this morning. >> i will come out of covid area, find you in your cities, and hunt you down and now on that. >> this is what we're made to do. they need to hear from us, they need to feel the heat. we just have to be ferocious about it and i'm into being on ferocious on that. i'm looking forward to having the senate feel the power of the u.s. mayors. >> joining me now are two democratic mayors, nan whaley, dayton ohio and mayor bill peduto. why do the mayors act and the senators don't? >> because we are in the streets, because we know the family members. >> we see the blood. >> literally.
>> and when i first became the press of u.s. conference of layer is send a letter to the biden white house, hey, this is the list of thing we can be in partnership to do more. less than a week later the president responded with ways we asked to have that help so we're grateful for the strong partnership we're seeing between the white house and cities across the country. >> i think of how seattle mayors took on the first onslaught of covid and helped the nation prepare for its reality. and i think of how d.c. mayor muriel bowser to attack on the front porch and she met the tear gas and helicopters with a paintbrush and i remember miami mayor francis suarez, he went on tv and fighting the coronavirus in his own body to
speak to the nation of its seriousness. nearly every night i turn on my tv and social mead and see mayor interviewed on the crisis of the day. i must say we've given the nation the leadership it deserves. >> never has it been more important for us to pull together in league, these have been such trying times, but i have never been prouder of how you, the nation's mayors have stepped up to face our shared challenges head-on. this is not the time for shrinking or shallow leadership, instead, we must be bold, decisive, and truthful to the american public. what we're not out of the woods yet, it's clear that vaccines are working, america is back open for business, and there are better days ahead. one big reason for that is the fiscal assistance directed to states and cities, an accomplishment that i
personally and this organization are quite proud of. america's mayors had been and still are on the front lines of this pandemic. cities are bearing the brunt of efforts to keep people healthy and safe and the costs were significant. we needed washington to support us, as we spot the virus on the ground, and prepare to fight the long-term negative impacts of covid. jeff williams, who was mentioned here, the mayor of arlington, texas and i were tapped to lead the conference's efforts to secure fiscal assistance from american cities, a midwestern democrat and a southern mayor. and the conference of mayor sent letters to congressional leadership urging them to take immediate action on the american rescue plan and this was signed by over 400 mayor. >> 65.1 billion dollars. every city in this country gets a part of that 65.1 billion. and we could not have done it
without nan and jeff williams and so, it was an honor to be a part of that. and i just want everyone to understand just how important she was in doing that. >> as you all know, lawmakers in washington have begun to debate the next stage of a people's agenda, with a focus on long overdue infrastructure. mayor holt used to joke that we were in infrastructure week for an entire year for mayor. and a nationwide major investment likes this and reimagine of america's transportation, water. communication and energy systems has long been a top priority for mayors. we have a real opportunity before us to transform the backbone of this country. that's why i'm proud to say that today that i, along with 369 bipartisan mayors, representing all 50 states have sent a joint letter to the
bipartisan congressional leadership expressing our support for the bipartisan infrastructure framework that recently came together in the senate and is supported by president biden. in closing, i want to acknowledge that so many of the challenges before us are not easily solved. but that is what being a mayor is all about. running forward not away from problems casting aside politics and partnership to serve a higher calling. to support our residents, all of them and our communities above all else. this spirit drives the u.s. conference of mayors, since i first joined this organization, it's inspired me to seek out bold ideas and fights for them. i know my fellow mayors feel the same. i am honored to have been elected to lead the conference
and to have the friendship and the support of those of you that are here today. let's show this country, especially those in washington, that big things are still possible. thank you. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the one and only nan whaley. [applause] >> you guys, you look beautiful in person. oh, my gosh. i am so excited to be here with you all today and there's no where, and you know this, there's no where i love being
more than in a roomful of mayors. let me start by thanking tom cochran for that wild and wonderful introduction, completely untrue, and video. and more importantly, i want to thank tom for his friendship and guidance and support, since my first days of mayor of dayton and then term as president of this organization. tom, we did great things together and i want to thank all the staff of the u.s. conference of mayors that do great work every single day. and all that they did to help us realize a historic year of accomplishment. thank you for your friendship and constant support of every mayor in this room. you know who you are and you make us all look as good as possible. mayor suarez, i know you'll do a good job for the next 18 months and thank you for all you did as my vice-president.
you all being a mayor has been the honor of my lifetime and one of the most fulfilling part of that working with other mayors, particularly with the united states conference of mayors, becoming involved in this organization is one of the best decisions i've ever made. allowing me to meet mayors all over the country to learn from and to lean on and you know, being a mayor can be lonely. the buck stops with you. as i always say, when you're a mayor, you don't have the luxury of saying that's not my problem. for better or for worse, this is a particularly unique and challenging job that only a handful of people really truly understand. one of the very first things i did in my first term was attend the mayor's institute of city design. you remember mayor fisher in louisville, kentucky. after that i was hooked and i
can say that so many was hatched from that meeting. and getting involved in national advocacy no democratic way or republican way to fix a pothole and too often folks in this city forget that. the idea of mayors coming together across party lines to fight for what is best for cities, was so powerful to me, that we replicated it in ohio. i am very proud, co-founded the mayors bipartisan alliance, from ohio's largest 30 cities. it finally gives our cities a real voice at the state house. i'd like the ohio mayors to stand up because they're the most awesome. oh! . [applause] >> and all of you were there
for me in the toughest of times. this was especially true when my community faced a senseless mass shooting. so many mayors literally hundreds, reached out just to check in on me. and just as powerfully, mayors from communities that had experienced similar tragedies, reached out to offer advice and guidance. i've tried my best to pay that forward as other mayors have to face such tragedies. it is simply unacceptable that our national policy failures have allowed these mass shootings to continue with the burdens placed on local communities. this organization surrounded the mayor of el paso after shootings in our cities, and put out a call for gun legislation. when i became president of the conference, one of the first things we did was send a letter
signed by mayors and tom cochran to push president biden and address the steps they're taking on gun violence. the president listened and acted and announced steps that a.t.f. would take to hold rogue gun dealers accountable and the justice department launched five jurisdictional strike forces to help reduce gun violence, interrupting gun trafficking across the country and taking other key actions, clearly, there's so much more to be done. i have faith that all of you will continue this work and honor those who continue and who have lost their lives in preventible violence. please do not give up. what i appreciate about usgm its staff, all of you and the leadership, is that you've always given me the
opportunities to develop my leadership and that is why, it was such an honor to be chosen by other mayors to lead mayors. i'm so proud of what we accomplished while i was president of uscm. while our nation is more politically polarized than ever and republican and independents, and democratic mayors came together to get things done for our communities and pass legislation that will have historic impact. now, i don't need to tell this room that the covid-19 pandemic has been an absolute disaster for our cities. our residents were disproportionately impacted and businesses closed and local revenue plummeted. and yet, for a time, support for state and local governments was on the cutting block from covid relief packages. our communities born the brunt of that crisis, but the aid that was needed became a political football. but your hard work paid off. even before i became president
i was so honored to be asked to co-lead the effort to pass the american rescue plan. our weekly zooms and bipartisan lobbying got our communities the resources we need to weather this storm and come out stronger than before. i want to especially thank my partner in that effort, former mayor of arlington to brought 80 mayors to the support of arpa. i'd like to william -- welcome former mayor jeff williams to say a few words. >> marrinan whily, my goodness, what can you say? this is a lady you want to serve with. she brings passion, determination, and enthusiasm and makes everyone want to serve. and she was awesome throughout the zoom calls, the many zoom conferences that we had in seeking direct funding for our
cities. it was an honor to serve, needless to say, but, nan, you are awesome. let's give mayor, nan whaley another hand. and tom cotton, did you know he's a georgia bull dog, his which is come, experience and ability to work through whatever diversity that we had or adversity that we had, he made it happen. tom, you're a tremendous leader here for our conference and thank you for encouraging all of us, thank you, tom cochran. [applause] >> and then the u.s. conference of mayor's staff. so many work they've gotten, david burns and i could go on and on and they used countless hours and used their skills to make this happen. this endeavor we thought would last two or three months and not over a year and lastly, i need to thank each one of you
because the mayors came together to make this happen. you worked hard and in fact, so many of our zoom conferences, you guys participated in. and we discussed the fact that it was more than just the physical health care that we were faced with. we had mental health issues that we had to deal with and then obviously, the economic and financial needs of our citizens that had to be addressed. one particular zoom call that stands out was with the mayors of indiana. they had many of those cities had not recovered from the recession in '09, 2010. they were still suffering before the pandemic ever hit, and with it, it just added the challenges. and they listed out so many and it was so difficult. and nan and i are just going, whoa, that's pretty amazing, the challenges they still faced. but here was what was inspiring. the mayors of indiana were not giving up.
they had resolved. they knew that the answer was to get direct funding to our cities because mayors know where the needs are. this is how we can get to recover. well, it inspired all of us and in addition each and every one of the zoom conferences that took place across the nation, more and more mayors came together. they reached out and made the difference and yes, the mayors stood together as a strong front of the u.s. conference of mayors, to make a difference. and our stature had risen and it resulted in a record amount of direct funding to cities. and this conference has been very uplifting because we've heard how those rescue funds are being put to use, and the benefits that are happening. not spending, but investing in making a difference. and yes, we have a huge responsibility ahead, to continue to spend those because we need to show our nation that
one of the best investments they can make is direct funding to our cities. well, thank you, thank you to mayor nan whaley and tom cochran and thank you to you mayors or stepping up and making a difference and because of us standing together and showing america how we can work together, it is a great day in washington d.c. [applause] ♪♪ >> when i became uscm president i said one of mine was to keep the emergency fiscal assistance we secured for all cities through arpa. together we presented any so-called clawback of the 65.1
billion to help pay for the infrastructure bill as was seriously on the table for some time in congress. and we worked closely with the white house and treasury department to make sure the regulations met our local needs, but we didn't stop there. for decades, our nation has been failing our cities by failing to seriously investigate in our infrastructure. our roads, our bridges, our water systems, our transit, our climate resilience suffered by national disinvestment. and once again, mayors get it done. and i say that sincerely. without the work of mayors, i'm not sure this bill would have passed. i was so, so proud to work with oklahoma city mayor david holt and all of you to get this historic bill across the finish line. mayor holt, where are you? i want to recognize first, you're the funniest mayor this this room and second, you're the best to work with. please give mayor holt a round
of applause. [applause] >> because of your effort. we now have a once in a generation opportunity to invest in our communities. our nation and its cities can revitalize our infrastructure, create good paying jobs and make our economy more sustainable. more resilient and more just. not only is this law important action on behalf of the american people, but it's important evidence of what is possible with bipartisanship. mayors understand what it's like to roll up our sleeves and get to work. because the work isn't done. our nations and our cities still face monumental challenges. we cannot continue moving our country forward until we finally pass the voting rights legislation. [applause] >> in my final days as your
president, we issued a bipartisan letter, a bipartisan letter to the senate urging passage of the essential voting rights protection laws. the john lewis voting rights advancement act and the freedom to vote act must be passed by the senate and must be signed into law, full stop. [applause] >> as our letter stated, american democracy is stronger when all eligible voters participate in elections. yet, voting rights are under historic attack and our very democracy is threatened by state actions. this cannot be allowed. and there's so much more to do to ensure our country and our cities fully recover from covid 19 and come back. and pass the build better back and give every kid and every
community an opportunity to thrive. mr. mayor, these challenges are daunting, but i can think of no better group to put them on. and when i was your president to six months, a president who listens and invites us to the white house, who knew, all of us working together not just the democrats or republicans or independents, but as mayors. to help lead the nation and our cities through unprecedented times. from the bottom of my heart, i thank all of you for making all of these accomplishments possible, they're not mine, they are ours together, and more importantly, they are the american people's. those who have given us the privilege to serve them and lead them. let me end with this, in addition to being a place for policy and advocacy, and the
sharing of ideas, this organization is truly a family. regardless what any of us go on to do after being mayor, i know that we will all look back on our time together and say that, in good times and in bad, we had each other's backs. you all will always be in my heart and i know that you will continue to blaze a path forward that makes our great nation stronger and more equitable for all. thank you all, you are terrific, and you all are my heroes. thank you. [applause] >> i love you guys. now you guys, i got a lot done
that last week as one of my last acts as the conference of marry made an executive decision to recognize somebody who has dedicate today subl public service and worked tirelessly for protect our vulnerable citizens. and fought for national laws to provide us all with new tools to protect our citizens and the environment. most of us here are dedicate today improving our communities, but the former mayor of lima, ohio david burger dedicated over 32 years as mayor and another 12 years in community service. he's fought for all of us by drawing national attention to a stubbornly difficult and sometimes boring topic, the impact that unfunded federal mandates had for our most economically vulnerable citizens. in 2009, conference convened the epa and the 12 angry
mayors, in a pivotal meeting that changed the way that they deal with cities. mayor berger educated congress and the administration about the unintended household financial building of rising water utility bills on the least financially capable people in our society. a direct result of his efforts is the growing awareness of federal and mandate and injustices and congress adopted a new amendment to the clean water act that provides mayor with a new tool called integrated planning that more accurately accounts for household financial impacts when they set permit conditions. i want to personally thank mayor berger for working on this for over a decade and make a difference for us all. i want to officially present mayor david berger, united states conference of mayors, joseph p riley, jr. for the award for courage for outstanding leadership and tireless work and promoting
1989? i was privileged to be elected. i ran in-- for eight terms, i ran in 15 elections and they were all contested. and through all of that i have to say that not only was i privileged to be a part of the u.s. conference of mayors and the ohio mayors' alliance and the support that came from all of you, but i also had a partner who today shares with me the fact that it's our 42nd wedding anniversary. so, dear, i think you're out there. [applause] >> i love you and thank you for all the support that you gave me through these years. [applause] >> finally, i just do want to
thank tom cochran, the staff, judy sheehan, dr. rich anderson, everyone who makes this organization what it is. it's absolutely critical to not just our local communities, but to our nation that this organization remains vital and focused because what's on the agenda today is nothing less than the united states of america. thank you all. [applause] ♪♪
>> ladies and gentlemen, on january the 3rd i had the pleasure of being in miami, florida when we inaugurated francis suarez to be your 80th president of this organization. miami is a very special place. the statue of liberty looks to europe. miami is the capital of latin america, miami looks to the west, to the east, to the south and to the north, it is a great privilege to be there. a very emotional day. young andrew, the son of the mayor, gave the pledge of allegiance. i think he's nine years old. i told young andrew, i said, andrew, you remember for mayor, you come here and i'll be back
to give you the gavel. [laughter] >> the other thing that was very special was his father, xavier suarez, who is a mayor back in the '80s and '90s, and so i thought about that, you know, we've had a situation here where we've had father and son mayors. we had temple we had the mitchells, in chicago, daleys and we had the landrieus, and now we have the suarez's. ladies and gentlemen, let's watch the video. thank you. >> the omicron surge is putting a major affect on the american people. >> and the major climate fears. >> hour strength is forged in
our adversity. ♪♪ our city is number one in the nation in tech jobs, number one in the nation of tech job migration. we've reduced poverty by 50%. our primary duty is to inspire. to inspire each and every one of us to reach and to dream and to love and to be compassionate of others, to make sure that we stop focusing on the things that divide us and start focusing on the things that unite us. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the
80th president of the united states conference of mayors, francis x. suarez from miami, florida. [applause] >> we've got the miami cheering section in full effect. thank you so much, mayor. and after that beautiful tribute that mayor berger gave to his wife if i don't say something nice about my wife i may have to sleep on the couch. what's impressive about this conference is that there's never a time you don't get good advice. of course, the past presidents who are here, president benjamin and president fisher and president barnett, president told me my staff, you need to smile more when you're up there.
they need to feel your personality and of course, tom said, mr. mayor, you've got to talk slower. it's hard because i'm so caffeinated, you into what i mean, if you hear me talking slow and smiling at the same time. you'll know why. honored guests, fellow mayors, ladies and gentlemen, let me first thank the u.s. conference of mayor and my brother and sister mayors for entrusting me with the presidency of this incredible organization. and the role of representing all of america's cities. the greek statesman periclese once said all good things flow to our cities because of their greatness and we see in our cities across the country, the future of american innovation, creativity, freedom, and greatness. let me also thank and welcome back all of you for your service to our nation, and to
one another. this greatness has also been especially apparent in the words and deeds, service and valor of our mayors and first responders of the covid-19 pandemic. mayors have stood on the front line of american democracy, we have served our citizens in need. assisted the afflicted, housed the dispossessed, supported the dislocated and comforted those in despair. it's great to see you, to hear you, and to connect with all of you in person and personally. thank you. [applause] >> it is in this, the ordinary actions of everyday life, that we have witnessed the extraordinary virtues of everyday americans. the past year has been a year
of extraordinary, ordinary days. for me, december 4th of 2020 was a pretty normal day. i came home, i was exhausted, i think you can all relate with that, i laid down in my work clothes, didn't have the strength to take them off and of course i pulled out my phone to distract myself. in my case, i opened up twitter. and i was checking my timeline, i came across a tweet. ... help? and that set off an extraordinary set of events. it was a very innocent tweet. it was simple and honest and an impulse i've had for my 12 years of public service. you see, many years ago, i realized that for any years ago i realized that for any city too thrive they have to have a growing tech ecosystem.
today i have three-year-old, that every single day shows a me how to take a selfie with her pacifier. so whether i like tech or not, or regardless of what party i'm from, it's not a partisan issue. we all want the jobs and careers that give meaning to our lives and value to our families. on that, we all agree. and as cities we have a choice. whether we ignore the opportunities of tech and pretend they don't exist and that will leave us behind, or embrace them, leveraged them for the good of our people so that our tomorrows will be better than our yesterdays. i believe that by using technology we can economically empower a new generation that can earn, invest, and own the fruits of its own labor.
even now the debate over the role of crypto currency is a perfect example, and i can give you a little tutorial after one-on-one. we believe crypto currency and the use of c blockchain can open up the economy to the individuals and groups that event historically excluded by the free market and financial institutions. this is why in consultationn onh vice president hillary and executive committee of u.s. conference of mayors, and all you brother and sister mayors, i will ask america's's mayors to join me to form a crypto compact for america, that advances nonpartisan policies to continue the growth of an open and fair, accessible and accountable crypto currency market that promotes innovation and innovators for a generation. [applause]
you can tell how many have digital wallets. as mayors we know the power of telling our story. each of us tells a story of our cities in a unique and beautiful way. and so last december after the so-called tweet heard round the world i did something very atypical for myself as a public official. i tweeted about everything, about 800 times alone in the month of december. i even tweeted in the middle of the night with elon musk. it was an impossible conversation with my wife when she woke up. i should the start of our transformation, a cuban version of a podcast. with helped rcd create a template for success that transcended a moment and is now part of a larger american tech
movement.ve in just do some my tweets connected with portal apostate of the thatvi garnered over 29 million impressions, that's one in every ten americans. simply put, in this new world if we can work anywhere, you want to live somewhere where taxes are low, quality of life is high, and your community respects, and the cape v.a.'s are there to prove it. american cities are leading the way a national recovery and on this tech expansion. in miami we have created thousands of steady jobs and high-paying careers and have unemployment rate of 3.7%, which is, which is almost an entire point better than the rest of the state of florida. our cities are the tech center of the new american innovation revolution. and mayors must lead the way. we