LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is in Washington, D.C. today for the 2022 U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting, where mayors from U.S. cities with more than 30,000 residents will hear from congressional leaders, Biden administration officials, foreign ambassadors and other experts.
Garcetti, who chairs the group's Infrastructure Task Force, spoke Wednesday morning at the opening news conference hosted by USCM President and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.
``What a joy it is to be with my fellow brother and sister mayors, where we do come to show that the 30,000 local communities of America not only still do work, but that America can work. Because we look at a society that is increasingly finding what separates us, but when we go home, we find what unites us,'' Garcetti said.
The goal of the meeting is to discuss how to achieve the cities' 2022 goals, and Wednesday's sessions focus on metropolitan economies and immigration issues, as well as implementing the spending of American Rescue Plan Act funds and reducing gun violence and homelessness.
Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia Fudge, and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo are scheduled to participate in the conference, which runs through Friday.
Garcetti on Wednesday spoke about the bipartisan infrastructure bill that was passed in 2021, but called on Congress to pass another significant piece of President Joe Biden's agenda, the Build Back Better Plan.
``It's been great to finally see the physical infrastructure -- to finally have funds that are going to help to rebuild bridges and railways, ports and airports, waterways, etc. -- but we need the human infrastructure passed, we need Build Back Better,'' Garcetti said.
``We need Build Back Better to be passed, we need the environmental and climate assistance, which right now really is not flowing at the level that meets this crisis,'' he added.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors began in 1932 during the Great Depression, when cities across the country were facing bankruptcy and millions of people were unemployed.
This meeting, which 179 mayors are scheduled to attend, is the conference's 90th Winter Meeting.
The 90th Annual Meeting is scheduled for June 3-6 in Reno, Nevada. During the annual meeting, committees recommend policy positions to be adopted by the conference, and each member is given the opportunity to speak about an issue and vote on each resolution. The adopted policy positions are meant to represent the views of the nation's mayors and are given to Congress and the president.