MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — President Donald Trump has it all wrong, said New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, making his inaugural speech as the president of the non-partisan United States Conference of Mayors.
“America’s greatness is alive and well in cities and towns across this country—from urban to rural to suburban, from coast to coast,” Landrieu said, speaking to a ballroom full of mayors from around the country.
Landrieu said that the health care bill being debated in the Senate will “make us sicker,” and urged Congress to slow down the process—and listen to people like mayors who can get beyond the political debate and talk about what the real world effects of the legislation would be.
Landrieu said that’s symptomatic of larger problems coming out of politicization, from a country that doesn’t value the lives of young black men enough to change the relationship between police and communities, or doesn’t care enough about fixing the addiction and opioid crisis to get past debates over how to fund the programs.
Landrieu urged his colleagues to try to break through the noise of cable news and Washington warfare, summoning his own city’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina as an example of what can and should be done.
He referenced the agenda that the Conference walks out of its annual meeting here with, in opposition to the Trump administration on tackling climate change, immigration reform, infrastructure and health care: “Mayors do not be afraid. When you speak, people will listen. When you act, people will follow.”
“In these moments of uncertain chaotic and sometimes frustrating times, the families that we represent cannot look to Washington to answer,” Landrieu said. “We as mayors must fight to occupy the radical center, where we put people over politics.”