Mayors Congregate To Discuss Top Issues

Mayors Congregate To Discuss Top Issues
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Mayors Congregate To Discuss Top Issues

Over the weekend, hundreds of Mayors from the country's largest cities debated issues ranging from job creation and energy efficiency to the Gulf Coast oil spill.

But after a moving speech by Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon where he described the hundreds of threats he and his family received after he came out against Arizona's new immigration law, the conference drafted a resolution condemning the law, which gives local police broad power to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch, who voted for the resolution, says Washington made a big mistake by putting the issue of immigration in the hands of state governments:

"States and governors are not on the ground level - we are. And if we aren't given those tools, it goes to a governor, what the heck does a governor know about East Main Street in Bridgeport? These are local problems and Washington should wake up and start helping the mayors to solve the problems on a local level. We can get the money out the door faster, we can solve the problems faster and we know what they are better."

Mayor Finch moderated a panel discussion on how cities can prevent foreclosures, and what to do with abandoned properties. Norwalk mayor Richard Moccia was the only other Connecticut mayor to attend this year's conference.

For WNPR, I'm Ray Hardman.