Leading Together: Putting Cities Front and Center in the Campaign for President

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Cities are integral to the fabric of America. And with voters going to the polls for the 2020 presidential election in just about a year, our communities must be heard and the opportunities and challenges before us have to be amplified in the race for the White House.

At a moment of deepening partisanship, we’re working across party lines to lead the National League of Cities’ 2020 Presidential Election Task Force — created to keep local priorities atop the conversation in this election cycle.

The Task Force is working to unite elected officials — representing communities of all sizes, rural and urban — to create a 2020 platform that elevates the concerns in our communities. We convened for the first time on Monday, and are forming a coalition that is bipartisan, inclusive, diverse, and ready to lead with urgency and expertise. Our mission is to create stronger partnerships, strengthen collaboration, and create a platform that represents the values of America’s local communities.

That unity of purpose is why this effort is called Leading Together. And we’ll be doing just that: lifting up our values, elevating the discussion, and  always working to improve the lives of our residents and protect the economic vitality of our communities.

We are honored to lead this important work and look forward to sharing more with you in the days and weeks to come.

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About the Authors: Eric Garcetti is a fourth generation Angeleno and the 42nd Mayor of Los Angeles. He was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley — the son of public servants and the grandson and great-grandson of immigrants from Mexico and Eastern Europe.

The Mayor’s priorities include: to give children and families of every race, faith, background, and income the chance to get a good education, live on safe streets, earn a decent wage, breathe clean air and drink clean water, receive affordable medical and child care, and build a future of their own choosing.

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Prior to being elected with 86 percent support from Miami residents, Mayor Francis Suarez served as Miami Commissioner for District 4 for eight years. As Commissioner, he achieved many goals, including implementing ShotSpotter technology in the city, a state-of-the-art gunshot detection system, setting up a transportation trust fund, which allocates funds for current and future transit projects, and passing the Reverse Redline legislation, authorizing lawsuits against several major banks for discriminatory mortgage lending practices. As a result, the city’s lawsuit reached the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled that cities have standing to sue banks under the Fair Housing Act for such discriminatory practices. Mayor Suarez helped negotiate the Tri-Rail connection to Downtown, offering free ridership to Overtown residents for life. He also ushered in the free trolley system in Miami, which carries an average of 450,000 passengers per month.