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City conference makes trip to capitol.

Participants attending the American Cities Conference in Philadelphia traveled to the U.S. Capitol to deliver their message about the need to refocus national resources on domestic concerns and, in particular, the needs of cities.

In a press conference on Capitol Hill, the organizer of the American Cities Conference, Pennsylvania State Senator Chaka Fattah, presented draft legislation to U.S. Senators Harris Wofford (D-Penn.) and Arlen Secter (R-Penn.), calling for establishment of a National Commission on Cities. Flanked by local elected officials, and representatives from business and neighborhood groups, Fattah called on the national political leadership to make city issues a top priority.

The Commission

The three-day American Cities Conference brought together local elected officials and representatives from business, neighborhood and non-profit groups. (See related story) The proposed National Commission on Cities also would be made up of the many varied and diverse interests who believe, as Fattah does that "We simply must save the city."

The commission, according to the Pennsylvania State Senator, like the conference as a whole, "Is a first step in recognizing a fundamental common interest between the school superintendent of Buffalo and the transit director in San Diego, between the Denver Chamber of Commerce and the Baltimore City Planning Department. The potent force of broad based, bi-partisan urban interests must begin to recognize its great commonality and calling. City stakeholders need not be independent and alone. Because we are interdependent, because our fates are linked, we can build consensus and force back the tide crashing upon our cities."

The commission would act as a forum on behalf of the nation's cities. Through public hearings the commission would receive the views of a broad spectrum of citizens on the status of American cities, and on ways to restructure national priorities to provide for an investment program which will enable city leaders to address the severe fiscal infrastructure and social crises currently plaguing urban areas.
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Title Annotation:American Cities Conference attendees took their message to Washington, D.C., and called for the establishment of a National Commission on Cities
Author:Brookes, James
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Article Type:Brief Article
Date:Feb 17, 1992
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