Mayors across the country are working hard to strengthen local economic ecosystems, given the economic challenges cities face today.
As a former Mayor myself, I understand those challenges – How do we create more jobs? How do we attract new businesses? How do we enhance our workforce? And equally as important, how do we leverage the state and federal resources that may be available to help us achieve our economic goals and objectives?
The Obama administration understands these challenges and knows that cities play a vital role in strengthening our nation’s economy.
We are finding ways to be a better partner, and that is why today the administration launched the Strong Cities, Strong Communities  (SC2) initiative in Fresno, Calif.,  and five other cities: Chester, PA ; Cleveland, OH ; Detroit, MI ; Memphis, TN ; and New Orleans, LA .
We know that development happens from the bottom up - that the best ideas come from America’s communities. Whether investment comes from the federal government, states, the private sector, or ideally all of the above, resources do more good when they serve a well-developed, robust plan.
In Fresno, for example, this bottom up approach will help the region capitalize on the coming high-speed rail station to improve the downtown area and to build on a successful neighborhood development program to help create new economic opportunity and jobs.
We can’t have a strong national economy without strong cities. The 14 federal agencies participating in this effort are working to break down traditional Washington silos and identify ways to partner more effectively with cities and regions across the country.
This is an important initiative that will help to support cities across the nation, create a new framework for intergovernmental cooperation and strengthen the American economy.