African American Mayors Respond to the State of the Union Address

For Immediate Release: January 31, 2018
Contact: Donald Gatlin, dgatlin@rabengroup.com, 202-587-2871
Evan Martinez, emartinez@rabengroup.com, 202-223-2610
African American Mayors Respond to the State of the Union Address

WASHINGTON, DC – Mayor Toni Harp, President of the African American Mayors Association (AAMA) released the following statement on behalf of more than 500 black mayors across the country in response to the State of the Union address.

“President Trump confidently declared that the state of the union is strong in his speech last night. But, as mayors, we see a different reality on the ground in our cities.

“So far, the President’s policy proposals haven’t done enough to ensure that every American has an equal opportunity to thrive. To the contrary, these policies are on track to exacerbate the economic, health, and employment challenges so many are struggling to overcome.

The President continues to promise that the recent tax reform bill will provide tremendous relief to families, but the bill mostly benefits the super wealthy and harms low-income Americans who will see their taxes increase overtime. The President’s tax bill actually harms American cities by  eliminating critical funding generated by state and local tax deductions which funds infrastructure projects, and ensures that citizens from a range of socio-economic backgrounds have access to the best possible educational opportunities. We cannot see how the President’s plan will deliver on his promise.

On the campaign trail, and in President Trump’s State of the Union address, he claimed that he will improve our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. But, his budget proposal slashes infrastructure programs that are crucial to the continued vitality of our cities. These infrastructure cuts include eliminating the Highway Trust Fund, and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which serves as a lifeline for nearly seven million families in communities struggling to pay for basic energy needs.

Finally, the President maintained his rebuke of hardworking immigrants by citing criminals and gang members as the justification for his shameful immigration policy. Nearly 44 million immigrants currently reside in the U.S., over 20 million of whom are naturalized citizens. Thirty six percent of U.S.-born children of immigrants are college graduates – five percent higher than the national average – and sixty four percent are homeowners, which is on-par with the national average. Immigrants are our neighbors, colleagues and friends. They are productive members of our society struggling to thrive in a system stacked against them. It is un-American to attack them. And, that’s why we are committed to protecting them when and how we can.”

We look forward to working with the President on these and a host of other issues that are important to the sustainability of our cities, and the prosperity of our constituents.

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