Mayors Seek to Stave Off Fiscal Cliff

As reported in Governing, a delegation of mayors from some of the country’s largest cities are lobbying Congress to emphasize the negative impact that the fiscal cliff will have on America’s cities.  Governing reports,

The mayors of Baltimore, Denver and Philadelphia are among more than a dozen scheduled to meet with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, along with their own congressional delegations, at the U.S. Capitol.

Their message? Cities — facing their sixth consecutive year of declining revenue — are at their breaking point. Further cuts to federal programs impacting cities could have devastating effects on municipal budgets, particularly in areas involving social services, economic development and infrastructure.

The mayors have drawn particular attention to the potential loss of $243 million in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) as a result of the cuts which will take effect in January if Congress fails to act.  As described,

CDBG funds are one of the biggest direct sources of federal aid to cities (much of federal funding is delivered to states), putting it high on mayors’ priority lists. It’s also important to them because there’s wide flexibility in terms of how cities can use those funds.

“We use [CDBG grants] in very diverse ways,” Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake told Governing. “They’re helping us build jobs, helping us stabilize communities — all of that would be in jeopardy.”

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