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CHICAGO – Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann joined U.S. Conference of Mayors President and Miami Mayor Manny Diaz and Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley today to announce a new public-private effort to support Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.


            On behalf of the Conference, Hannemann also presented the mayors’ MainStreet Economic Stimulus package to Valerie Jarrett, a co-chair of President-elect Obama’s transition team. Hannemann and other mayors unveiled the plan’s latest details yesterday on Capitol Hill and urged federal support for infrastructure projects in the nation’s cities.


“Mayors are uniquely positioned to help President-elect Obama achieve his goal of creating 2.5 million new jobs to revitalize the economy, because of their expertise and experience dealing daily with infrastructure projects,” Hannemann told Jarrett.


Jarrett is an attorney with extensive experience working on city and urban issues, and will serve as a senior White House advisor and assistant for intergovernmental relations. She confirmed that she will be the Obama administration’s direct link with cities.


“She knows first-hand that cities can be catalysts for economic development,” Hannemann said.


Jarrett also briefed Hannemann on plans for her and Obama to visit Oahu this month. The visit will be strictly personal and private, Jarrett told Hannemann.


            Hannemann said he is grateful that Obama is working on arranging a meeting with the leadership of the Conference of Mayors soon, similar to the one he recently held with the nation’s governors.


            Jarrett will also be the Obama administration’s point person on Chicago’s Olympic bid, and Hannemann briefed her on how the Conference of Mayors will assist the effort.


            As Chairman of the Conference’s Standing Committee on Tourism, Arts, Parks, Entertainment and Sports, Hannemann said he is very enthusiastic about Chicago’s Olympic prospects.


“Holding the Olympics in Chicago will attract thousands of new visitors to the U.S. and draw world-wide attention that will inspire other travelers,” said Hannemann. “We believe many of these guests will visit other U.S. cities, including Honolulu, in conjunction with their Olympic travel and that the Games will create new interest in travel to the U.S. We are going to do all we can to support Mayor Daley and his efforts to bring the Olympic Games to our country.”


The Olympic and Paralympic Games are expected to boost the nation’s travel industry substantially and draw international attention to Chicago and other U.S. cities. The Games will also provide an opportunity to inspire young people in cities across the country and around the world to participate in sport.


Mayors Daley and Hannemann, who co-chair the U.S. Conference of Mayors Olympic Task Force, named several mayors and business leaders to an Executive Steering Committee that will help guide the task force, which will meet in Washington D.C. for the first time on January 17. The task force will be composed of mayors and business leaders from across the country who want to support the Olympic Movement.


“The Olympic and Paralympic Games present our country with a unique opportunity to generate international goodwill, create new businesses and jobs and attract hundreds of thousands of visitors. This is not just Chicago’s bid, it’s a chance for our nation to build bridges of friendship with the world,” said Daley. “We are also pursuing the Olympic Games to build passion with sport for future generations around the world through the Olympic Movement. We want and need the support and enthusiasm of all the cities across the country to help us achieve our goals and to bring the Games back to the United States.”


Chicago is one of four Candidate Cities bidding to host the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The other cities are Madrid, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro. The International Olympic Committee will announce its final selection in October 2009.


The U.S. Conference of Mayors adopted a resolution in support of Chicago’s bid at the group’s 75th Annual Meeting, held in Los Angeles in June 2007. President-elect Obama has announced his full support for Chicago’s Olympic bid.


The following mayors and business leaders have confirmed their involvement in the Olympic Task Force Steering Committee:



  • Mayor Manuel Diaz (Miami, Florida)
  • Mayor Mufi Hannemann (Honolulu, Hawaii)
  • Mayor Richard M. Daley (Chicago, Illinois)
  • Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (Los Angeles, California)
  • Mayor Ardell Brede (Rochester, Minnesota)
  • Mayor Kevin Burns (North Miami, Florida)
  • Mayor Elaine Walker (Bowling Green, Kentucky)
  • Mayor Greg Nickels (Seattle, Washington)
  • Mayor Elizabeth Kautz (Burnsville, Minnesota)
  • Mayor Mick Cornett (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)
  • Mayor Ralph Becker (Salt Lake City, Utah)




  • William “Bill” Anton, Chairman & Founder, Anton Airfoods
  • Noel Hentschel, President & CEO, AmericanTours International
  • Christopher Nassetta, President & CEO, Hilton Hotels Corporation
  • Penny Pritzker, Founder & Chair, Classic Residence by Hyatt
  • Glenn Tilton, Chairman, President & CEO, United Airlines
  • Jonathan Tisch, Chairman & CEO, Loews Hotels



Contact: Bill Brennan, 527-6928

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

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