National League of Cities President Marie Lopez Rogers responded to President Obama's economic speech today at Knox College:
"In his speech today, President Obama said that strong communities are the best defenses against the barriers to upward mobility in our country. I could not agree more, and know these words resonate with my fellow Mayors and city leaders across America. However, Washington cannot strengthen communities from afar. Strengthening communities requires strong partnerships, strategic investments, and bipartisan collaboration between our federal lawmakers and city leaders across the country.
"The President reminded us all that we still have a long way to go towards addressing the inequalities and widening income gaps that continue to plague our economy, yet lawmakers on Capitol Hill are obstructing our progress. Congress continues to gut critical investments and programs, including vital programs that cities depend on. This must end if we are serious about strengthening our nation's cities and towns.
"Cities need a prosperous middle-class to sustain and grow our communities. We need a skilled workforce to attract new jobs and new employers to our communities, and we need investments in programs like Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), that that bring jobs to our communities and improve infrastructure and neighborhoods.
"City leaders stand ready to work with the President and anybody else who is serious about growing our economy and our communities through infrastructure investment, job creation, education, common sense immigration reform, and access to quality and affordable health care."
The National League of Cities 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.