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Mayor Mufi Hannemann will join other mayors in Washington D.C. and Chicago early next week to meet with key members of Congress about the nation’s economy, the needs of America’s cities, and Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Olympics.


“Fixing our economy and creating jobs are top priorities as we move forward with a new presidential administration,” Mayor Hannemann said. “Through the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Honolulu and more than 150 other cities have identified key infrastructure projects that are needed to improve our cities and bolster the economy.”


Mayor Hannemann will join U.S. Conference of Mayors President and Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and others for a news conference on Capitol Hill on Monday to release the conference’s second comprehensive report on ready-to-go infrastructure improvements in its “MainStreet Economic Recovery” plan.


The mayors will then meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other congressional leaders to discuss city infrastructure needs and President-elect Obama’s national economic recovery plan.


The U.S. Conference of Mayors plan calls for investing in public transportation, roads, environmentally sustainable “green-jobs,” school modernization and economic development. The initial report, announced last month, included 4,600 one-year projects in 153 cities, worth $25 billion.


For Honolulu, the first package includes 28 housing, public safety, transportation and sewer projects, which would provide 2,900 jobs and cost $456 million.


The package to be announced Monday will include approximately 15 additional projects for Honolulu that would take two years to complete, worth a total of approximately $50 million, though details are still being compiled.


“We know what our needs are, and we know how to get things done,” Mayor Hannemann said. “We can, and will, turn this economy around.”


In Chicago, Mayor Hannemann and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley will announce on Tuesday a new public-private effort to support Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.


The games are expected to enhance the nation’s international image and boost its travel industry by filling 40,000 hotel rooms and drawing world attention to Chicago and other U.S. cities.


“Holding the Olympics in Chicago will draw thousands of new visitors to the U.S. and draw world-wide attention that will inspire other travelers,” said Mayor Hannemann, who serves as chairman of the U.S. Conference of Mayors Standing Committee on Tourism, Arts, Parks, Entertainment and Sports.  “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.


Mayors Hannemann and Daley, who co-chair the U.S. Conference of Mayors Olympic Task Force, will name 12 other mayors and 9 business leaders to an Executive Steering Committee to help guide the new task force, which will meet in Chicago on January 17.


Chicago is one of four finalist cities bidding to host the Summer 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The other cities are Madrid, Tokyo and Rio de Janeiro. The International Olympic Committee will announce the 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.


Mayor Hannemann will return to Honolulu on Wednesday.




Contact: Bill Brennan, 527-6928

Friday, December 05, 2008

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