Friends and Colleagues:
My column in today's Huffington Post focuses on putting the nation's long-neglected cities and metro areas back on the political agenda.
Next week, Barack Obama will be addressing the US Conference of Mayors annual meeting, while John McCain has so far not accepted the USCM's invitation to speak. To win the White House, Obama has to both increase turnout in cities and capture more than a majority of suburban voters. My article, which draws on a Brookings Institution report released this week, suggests how an Obama Administration and the next Congress might address the challenges and potentials of America's metro areas, cities and suburbs alike. The U.S. has many serious problems that are disproportionately located in cities and older suburbs, but these are national problems and require federal solutions. We can't have a strong national economy without healthy metro areas.
Don't miss tonight's (Friday's) "Bill Moyers' Journal" on PBS-TV. Tonight's show is about "inequality in America" and includes a segment on the exciting Los Angeles labor movement, which has become a dynamic model for rebuilding this important wing of American progressive politics. The Nation this week has a special issue on "the new inequality" with many interesting articles about what's wrong and what to do about it.
Finally, I encourage you to read this op-ed column in Wednesday's Los Angeles Times by Peter Dumon, the owner/ operator of the Radisson Hotel at Los Angeles Airport. Dumon has agreed to comply with the city's living wage law, adopted in 2007, that requires a dozen LAX-area hotels to provide salary and benefits equal to $10.64 an hour to their workers. He urges the other hotel owners to comply with the law rather than mount a divisive and costly referendum challenge to it. Dumon is an example of the kind of responsible businessperson that we should honor and whose enterprise we should support.