Mayor Sly James, and thirteen other Mayors from around the country were called to the White House this afternoon to meet with President Obama, Vice President Biden, Chief of Staff Daley and Special Assistant Valerie Jarrett.
The President listened to the economic challenges the Mayors were seeing in their communities and heard about Kansas City’s successful efforts to spur economic growth, promote job creation and accelerate hiring.
“It was an honor to be invited to the White House to meet with the President and Vice President. The experience was humbling, and the interest the leaders of our nation have in Kansas City was extraordinary. I can say, they are focused on getting America back to work, and are committed to the success of Kansas City. It was proud to tell both of them in person about the hard-working people who call our City home,” said Mayor James.
“At the end of the meeting, the President said, ‘Sly, you have the last word,’ and I said that everyone had spoken eloquently about the need for investments in jobs, but I wanted to urge us to let no crisis go unused. In the cities we know we have to collaborate to succeed, and I know Congress could be helped if they adopted that same spirit. Mayor Joe Reardon of Kansas City, Kansas and I are working together on a project to bring ultra-high speed internet to our cities. While we are often competitors we recognized that we have to work together to capitalize on a once in a lifetime opportunity. Kansas City is a city of entrepreneurs like Hall and Kauffman and we are going to use this moment to increase the innovation in Kansas City in ways we have not even dreamed of yet. We are going to succeed no matter what, but some assistance on the federal level to help spur new ideas and investments in start up businesses would be appreciated,” said Mayor James to conclude the meeting.
Joining Mayor James at the meeting were: Mayor David Bing – Detroit, MI; Mayor Mick Cornett – Oklahoma City, OK; Mayor Buddy Dyer – Orlando, FL; Mayor Anthony Foxx – Charlotte, NC; Mayor Kevin Johnson – Sacramento, CA; Mayor Elizabeth Kautz – Burnsville, MN; Mayor Michael Nutter – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Mayor Jean Quan – Oakland, CA; Mayor Kasim Reed – Atlanta, Georgia; Mayor Joe Riley – Charleston, SC; Mayor RT Rybak – Minneapolis, MN; Mayor Scott Smith – Mesa, AZ; Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa – Los Angeles, CA.