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The President and First Lady Address the U.S. Conference of Mayors

The President and First Lady highlighted the economic progress made by cities since the President took office.

On Thursday, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama addressedbipartisanmayors at the White House tohighlight ways mayors are helping to make President Obama’s agenda a reality in cities across the country. Throughout the week, the mayors met with Administration and Cabinet officials to discuss ways to build on that progress, on issues from trade and manufacturing to education and paid leave.


The President highlighted yesterday’s announcement that the administration will award 13 cities, states and counties $1 billion to help build more climate resilient communities. Learn more about the initiativehere.

He also focused on some of the progress madeacross the country on issues such as:

  • The 40 cities and counties that have taken action to raise the minimum wage
  • The 20 cities and counties that are competing in our Healthy Communities Challenge to get more uninsured people signed up for health coverage
  • The 40 cities that have taken action on paid family leave and paid sick leave
  • The cities that are putting people to work, retrofitting buildings so that they’re more energy efficient
  • The President further reflected on the issues that he will continue to work on with mayors across the nation from criminal justice reform, to combating opioids and heroin, to creating a political system that reflects the best our country has to offer.

“Mayors can’t get stuck in partisan gridlock. We’ve got Republican mayors here and Democratic mayors, but frankly, if you’re a mayor, nobody cares what your party is, they care what you’re getting done.” –President Obama

In First Lady Michelle Obama’s remarks, she commended mayors from across the country on their work to end veteran homelessness.

  • In the past two years, more than 800 local leaders across America have signed on to the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness.
  • The challenge, as part of the Joining Forces initiative, is a way to solidify partnerships and secure commitments to end veteran homelessness from mayors across the country.
  • In the past year alone, local leaders have helped more than 157,000 veterans and their families secure or remain in permanent housing.

From small cities like Biloxi, Mississippi to big cities like New Orleans, Louisiana, First Lady Obama congratulated and thanked mayors for achieving the goal of preventing and ending homelessness among veterans by the end of 2015. For those still working to accomplish the goal, the First Lady encouraged them to keep moving forward and called on additional mayors and local leaders to take on the cause and move our country forward together.

“I’m not just here today to celebrate the extraordinary cities and mayors who’ve met the goal we set nearly two years ago. I’m also here to celebrate every city that still has work to do, but has refused to give up and has committed to trying even harder.” –First Lady Michelle Obama

Danielle Cohen and Simone Leiro are interns in the Office of Digital Strategy