By Eileen Houlihan, senior writer/editor, ARTBA
Two thirds of 21 mayors surveyed by Politico Magazine said the top thing Washington could do to be more helpful to cities is to provide more funding for infrastructure. In addition, 35 percent said their city would experience more economic growth if it had better infrastructure.
The mayors were united that the federal government and Washington officials aren’t doing enough to help their cities, and most reported that their greatest challenge involved “fixing crumbling infrastructure,” a problem they overwhelmingly believe should be a top priority in Washington.
Politico released its inaugural mayors’ survey April 27, with the headline “Mayors to Washington: Do Something!” One unnamed mayor was quoted as saying, “we must do what we can on our own, locally and regionally, and support Washington to get past gridlock and invest in infrastructure that will create quality jobs and stimulate sustainable quality jobs.”
The mayors views that Washington needs to provide more funding for roads, bridges, and other infrastructure was bipartisan, and comes as Congress nears a critical deadline on how to fund the federal Highway Trust Fund. The current federal highway/transit funding authorization expires on May 31 unless Congress takes action.
The magazine surveyed mayors in more than a dozen states, including Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, North Carolina, and New York. Sixteen identified themselves as Democrats, with two Republicans and three mayors elected in non-partisan races also taking part. The mayors were asked in the survey to answer a series of questions about economic development, their biggest challenges, the most stubborn obstacles and Washington’s role in helping—or hurting—their city’s fate.
View the full survey.