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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                    June 28, 2007

Release No. M-71-07






Mayor Mufi Hannemann concluded a productive five days at the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ 75th annual meeting in Los Angeles with the successful adoption of 11 resolutions he sponsored to bolster international tourism to the United States, support arts and culture and public broadcasting, and repeal the REAL ID Act of 2005.


The conference was preceded by Mayor Hannemann’s talk on tourism at a one-day Travel Business Roundtable session chaired by Jonathan M. Tisch, chairman and CEO of Loews Hotels.


Mayor Hannemann said, “The annual meeting provided an excellent forum for us to make a case for the importance of the visitor industry to our economy.  For example, I joined Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in calling for the easing of travel restrictions from China.  China represents a potentially huge visitor market for Hawaii and our West Coast brethren, and collaborating on mutually beneficial policies is an excellent way to leverage support and build stronger working relationships with other municipalities.


“My experience in working with my fellow mayors from across the country has been immensely gratifying as we share ideas and look for ways to address the problems and challenges we all face, no matter what the size of our jurisdictions or the location of our cities.  I’ve come away with some great ideas I’d like to consider for Honolulu, and I hope I’ve been able to share our successes with other mayors.


“I’m also pleased that the U.S. Conference of Mayors joined me in supporting Senator Daniel Akaka’s initiative to repeal the REAL ID Act.


“I was very proud to accept two awards on behalf of the City and County of Honolulu, the first for our Tour de Trash program and the second for our climate protection endeavors.  Considering the number of cities in the U.S., this national recognition is tremendous and reflects very highly on our outstanding City team.”


The resolutions introduced by the mayor and adopted by the conference called for:


·       Increasing international travel to the United States through visa reforms, entry improvements, and a national promotional campaign.


·       Urging the Bush administration to enter into a bilateral agreement to expand leisure group travel from China to the U.S.


Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, who cosponsored the resolution with Hannemann, noted, “By streamlining the process, the United States has a great opportunity to experience an increase in the number of visitors from China to this country, creating a boost in national and local economies.”


·       Supporting strategies to stimulate private contributions to the arts and arts education in America.


·       Encouraging congressional funding of $430 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.


·       Repealing the REAL ID Act and restoring the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, which gives states more regulatory flexibility.


·       Supporting Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.


·       Urging Congress to immediately develop a comprehensive plan for combating the crisis of domestic and international piracy and counterfeiting of goods.


            Mayor Hannemann accepted two awards on behalf of the City and County of Honolulu.


            2007 City Livability Award:  Honolulu’s Tour de Trash copped an Outstanding Achievement Award for cities with populations of 100,000.  The award, sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, honors and recognizes mayoral leadership in developing and implementing programs that improve the quality of life in America's cities.


            Tour de Trash gives residents an up-close look at the recycling and waste processing technology and a peek behind the typically closed doors of businesses that have instituted successful recycling programs.  Tour de Trash’s goal is to facilitate better public discussions and decision-making on recycling and waste management initiatives that benefit the quality of life in Honolulu.  The tours have encouraged residents to learn more about their trash and have led to a tighter partnership between government and industry on waste management strategies.


            Tom Cochran, executive director of the USCM, said, “Our City Livability Awards Program gives the conference a chance to highlight mayoral leadership in making urban areas safer, cleaner, and more livable.  It is also an opportunity to showcase the creativity and commitment of mayors and city governments across the country.”


            2007 Mayors’ Climate Protection Award:  Honolulu earned an honorable mention for the 2007 Mayors’ Climate Protection Award, sponsored by Wal-Mart Stores.  This award recognizes and honors mayors for outstanding and innovative practices that increase energy efficiency in their cities and help curb global warming.  Honolulu was selected from a pool of more than 100 applicants based on mayoral leadership, creativity and innovation, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and improved quality of life in the community.  The City’s selection was largely due to the planned fixed guideway system Hannemann is championing.


            During the conference, the mayors heard from California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and presidential candidates U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich, and former Senator John Edwards.


Mayor Hannemann serves as chair of the standing committee on tourism, arts, parks, entertainment, and sports (TAPES) for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.  He also sits on the advisory board.


In his capacity as TAPES chairman, Mayor Hannemann presided over the 2007 Public Leadership in the Arts Awards, where he and his colleagues honored Randy Jackson of “American Idol” for his support for music education; Jimmy Smits of “West Wing” and “NYPD Blue” for his efforts to develop Latino scholarships and career opportunities; and Miami Mayor Manuel Diaz and Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano for their roles in bolstering the arts and arts funding, respectively.  The awards are sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Americans for the Arts.


In August 2007, Mayor Hannemann will host the Japanese Association of City Mayors at the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Honolulu.  The mayors will discuss a number of issues, including what cities are doing for climate protection and business development.  U.S. Conference President Douglas Palmer and Executive Director Tom Cochran will lead the delegation of American mayors.  Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba of Hiroshima, Honolulu’s sister city, is expected to participate along with other mayors from Japan.





Bill Brennan, 527-6928

Jeff Coelho, 527-6066

Thursday, June 28, 2007

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