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PR- 315-08
August 14, 2008


Forum Recommendations to be Presented to Next President in His First 100 Days

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, U.S. Conference of Mayors President Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, Conference Vice President Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels and other mayors from around the country today held their second Mayors '08 Action Forum. The forum, held in New York City, focused on infrastructure, and the mayors called for a new local/federal partnership to bring critical investment to our nation's cities in transportation, water and other critical public infrastructure.  Further, the mayors want to ensure that infrastructure investments are climate and energy centered and that existing resources are used more efficiently.

"Today's action forum has put the spotlight on the national failure of our infrastructure policy," said Mayor Bloomberg, co-chair of the national infrastructure coalition Building America's Future. "It's a failure that has two fundamental causes: the federal government is not investing enough in our infrastructure, and, when it does, it's not investing wisely. If America is going to remain the world's economic superpower, this must change."

"National problems require national investments," said Mayor Diaz. "The American Society of Civil Engineers grades our nation's infrastructure at a D requiring a $1.6 trillion investment just to fix it.  A bridge collapses in Minneapolis, steam pipes explode in Manhattan, levies burst in New Orleans, these are not isolated incidents, they are symptoms of an underfunded national infrastructure."

The mayors also released a report on water infrastructure that shows for every one dollar invested in public water and sewer infrastructure services, approximately $8.97 are added to the national economy.  Public infrastructure is the foundation for economic development - access to roads, water, sewer, communication technologies, and electricity are all essential to the economy. 

Other key findings of the report reveal:

  • Recent estimates are that one dollar of water and sewer infrastructure investment increases private long-term output (Gross Domestic Product, GDP) by $6.35.
  • The U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) estimates that for annual general revenue and spending on operating and maintaining water and sewer systems, each additional dollar of public revenue from providing water and sewer services increases revenue in all industries by $2.62.
  • DOC estimates that adding one new job in local water and sewer creates 3.68 jobs in the national economy to support it
  • An indirect benefit of local government investment in "green water and sewer infrastructure" such as protecting one hectare (2.5 acres) of wetlands for source water protection yields $4,177 annually in avoided water treatment costs, and another $10,000 in other ecoservices categories (e.g., water supply, climate regulation, recreation, etc.)

The Mayors Action Forum on Infrastructure is the second in a series of mayoral forums in key cities around the country intended to challenge the next Presidential Administration to invest in America's cities and metropolitan areas - the economic engines of the nation. These areas account for 86 percent of the Gross Domestic Product and house over 85% of Americans.  Recommendations from this forum and four others will be presented to the next President of the United States during the first 100 days of the new administration.


Stu Loeser / Jason Post   (212) 788-2958

Elana Temple (Conference of Mayors)   (202) 861-6719

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