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Fraser asks colleagues to work for change with new administration.

NLC President Don Fraser, Mayor of Minneapolis, last week wrote to mayors of the nation's cities and towns to ask for assistance in working with the new Clinton administration in shaping a national economic recovery program to provide immediate stimulus with long term economic benefits to the national and local economies.

Fraser wrote to the mayors that the NLC plan had been adopted in New Orleans after considerable discussion with leaders of President-elect Clinton's transition team. He wrote that those leaders had specifically requested more details and examples of how the NLC plan could work quickly and effectively. He urged mayors to enroll in this effort and to meet and raise it with their Congressional delegations, noting:

"We have a unique opportunity and a responsibility as leaders to be a part of effecting changes in our country."

Fraser's efforts came as President-elect Bill Clinton met with members of Congress and said he continues to press for a short term economic stimulus plan.

Clinton, making his second trip to Washington since his election, made it clear that he views an immediate economic action plan along the lines proposed by NLC's Board of Directors and adopted by NLC's membership as critical to ending the recession and beginning a long-term economic strategy for the future:

"There is no difference in my mind between my short-term economic strategy and a long-term economic strategy with one single exception, and that is: should the deficit be increased with a real stimulus in the short run for this year, to pay for the things we talked about all along, or should we go ahead and pay for it all this year and then start with our aggressive deficit reduction program in the next year?"

Clinton responded to his own question by saying, "That is a very tiny difference."

The NLC Economic Recovery Plan urges that restarting the economy and changing federal budget and spending priorities to reduce the federal deficit be addressed immediately and in tandem. It calls for a focused stimulus package to be enacted by the administration and new Congress in the first 100 days to set the nation on a path of economic recovery as part of an overall plan to reorder federal budget priorities. In order for the plan to be successful, it must rely on tried and tested programs and existing delivery systems that can produce the most efficient action and results in cities and towns.

In his letter, Fraser wrote: "We are convinced that local governments are the key to effective implementation of any national strategy to get the economy moving again."

Because the transition team is on a fast track, Fraser urged that the more specific the information and examples NLC can provide about its recommendations, the more helpful it would be in shaping a final plan for President-elect Clinton to present to the Congress and the nation in January:

"Your letters will be most effective if they provide specific examples of new investments this plan could mean for your community, how many jobs these investments might create, bow quickly, and how that would improve your local economy."

Clinton named the top economic cabinet and advisor positions to his administration last week (See page 1) and invited more than 200 individuals to Little Rock this week for a two-day economic policy conference. After the conference, he, his advisors, and his new economic team are expected to begin making final decisions about his economic recovery plan.
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Title Annotation:includes related information on the proposed NLC economic recovery plan; National League of Cities President Donald M. Fraser
Author:Shafroth, Frank
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Dec 14, 1992
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