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(Washington, D.C., January 21, 2010)- Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann and more than 200 of the nation’s mayors traveled to the White House today for a dialogue and discussion with President Barack Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Lawrence Summers, director of the National Economic Council.

President Obama used the opportunity to articulate his ongoing efforts to help the nation’s cities.  He outlined specific plans to put people back to work and to continue to stimulate the economy.

Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares, Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi and Kauai County Mayor Bernard Carvalho joined Hannemann for the meeting.  It was the first time the mayors of the Neighbor Island counties visited the White House.

 “It was reassuring for us to hear that the President understands the critical role that cities can and must play in revitalizing our nation’s economy,” Hannemann said.  “The President pledged the cooperation of his administration to help us all reach our mutual goals. It was also very gratifying to have him and his cabinet members take the time to listen to our specific concerns as we work together to pull our cities and our country out of their economic slump.”

President Obama specifically acknowledged Mayor Hannemann and the people of the City and County of Honolulu for the warm hospitality they extended to him and his family on their recent vacation on Oahu.

“I personally thanked him for selecting Honolulu as the host city for the APEC Summit next year, and pledged that we will work with him and his administration to ensure that the meeting is successful,” Hannemann said.

Hannemann and leaders of the US Conference of Mayors met late yesterday with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and a dozen of his senate colleagues, including Hawaii’s Senator Dan Akaka.

“Just as we are spending time strengthening our relations with the President and members of his cabinet, so too are we making members of the US Senate keenly aware of our needs and our recommendations for improving the use of federal funds to benefit our nation’s cities,” Hannemann said.

Earlier this week, Hannemann attended and facilitated a meeting with Senator Daniel Inouye for the leadership of the US Conference of Mayors, including its president Mayor Elizabeth Kautz and executive director Tom Cochran, along with Neighbor Island Mayors Kenoi, Tavares and Carvalho.