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Urban Issues Lost Voice in Presidential Campaign with Bloomberg Withdrawal

February 29, 2008

New York, NY - Advocates concerned with urban problems feel the presidential campaign is all but ignoring their concerns, such as urban employment and post-industrial decline, especially now that Mayor Michael Bloomberg has declined to get into the race.

Andrea Batista-Schlesinger with the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy says Bloomberg's announcement made it clear that he, too, is disappointed that urban issues aren't getting more attention.

"Mayor Bloomberg is frustrated with his city being used as an ATM by the presidential candidates, who are not really offering ideas for how to deal with cities. Eighty percent of Americans live in metro areas, and I think Mayor Bloomberg was trying to say, 'You're going to have to pay attention to these issues.'"

Batista-Schlesinger says the cities of New York State exemplify the nation's changing economy, adding that the cities are just as important as the heartland when it comes to that issue and the environment.

"In many ways, cities are the solution to the problems facing us, from global warming to efficient transportation. It's just surprising there is inadequate conversation from Democrats or from Republicans. There has been little talk about what the next President should do to make our cities stronger."

She says Drum Major Institute has attempted to draw attention to urban issues on the "Mayor TV" website,
www.mayortv.com, which features video interviews with mayors from across the country.

"We interviewed the mayor of Rochester and the mayor of Buffalo. You see how our change away from manufacturing jobs has left these cities without a strong base. And then you've got cities like New York, which exemplify how important strong local economies are."

More information is available at Drum Major Institute,
www.drummajorinstitute.org<.a>.

Robert Knight/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - NY