Washington, D.C. - Following President Barack Obama's 2014 State of the Union address to Congress, National League of Cities (NLC) President Chris Coleman, mayor, Saint Paul, Minn. issued the following statement:
"We applaud the president's commitment to work with local officials around the country to make 2014 a ‘year of action.' Action is what we need most; cities need a federal partner that works proactively to support the needs of our residents and communities. We are pleased to hear the president's commitment to working with local elected officials to solve these challenges and restore opportunity for all in our nation's cities.
"With economic inequality reaching historic highs and many hard-working families struggling to make ends meet, we also must provide more opportunities for our residents to succeed. That means working with our federal partners to expand and maintain our nation's transportation infrastructure so that everyone in our communities has access to education, training and employment. We call on Congress to pass a comprehensive surface transportation bill this year that gives cities a greater role in decision-making for transportation projects that grow the economy and invigorate our communities.
"Our nation's immigration system is also in serious need of reform. We cannot wait as families are pulled apart and cultural misunderstandings threaten the fabric of our communities. We support President Obama's call for meaningful immigration reform that must include support and resources for cities to integrate immigrants into their communities.
"And importantly, opportunity means giving our youngest generation the training and tools they need to be the most innovative workforce in the world. Cities across the nation are leading by providing universal pre-K for all children. We are very supportive of efforts to strengthen the educational pipeline from early care and education to postsecondary success. That means making pre-K programs affordable and accessible to all families and ensuring college and career training programs match skills with workforce needs."
The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.