Name three things accomplished by the U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Salt Lake City this week besides the movement of hot air:
Stumped, are we?Spend your time reading about McGwire and Sosa instead of learning how 60 or so American mayors plan to deal with youth violence, drugs, housing, welfare woes and kids who can't jog a mile without meltdown?
Salt Lake Mayor Deedee Corradini took a few minutes at the end of Saturday morning's meeting of mayoral minds to tick off a few of the more substantial initiatives to emerge from the session since Thursday.
Corradini, president of the national mayors organization, said three days of "very intense meetings" had produced:
- "A draft national action plan" on youth violence that will be completed and sent to the White House for evaluation by Oct. 15.
Mayors are hoping that document will foster "a national dialogue," she said, on pressing issues such as violence in schools, guns and what to do with the children of working parents after school.
- An OlympiKids program that will use the Olympics as a tool for promoting youth fitness through running and walking.
"Our kids are out of shape in this country," said Corradini, who plans to ask local school officials to get their schools in the fitness groove. "We need to get kids physically fit, as a lifetime habit."
- A plea for 100,000 school counselors - an idea modeled after the federally funded COPS program that put 100,000 police officers on the nation's streets - to help students deal with educational and personal problems.
Corradini said U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, who addressed the conference Thursday, likes the idea "and is already working on it."
Delaware Gov. Thomas Carper, who addressed the conference Saturday morning, said he's encouraged by the growing sense of cooperation between mayors, governors and the federal government in tackling urban problems.
Carper, chairmen of the National Governor's Association, noted it will take a unified effort by all levels of government to move people off welfare, clean up polluted areas, provide adequate day care and keep youths out of prison.
"This is a partnership we need to build and strengthen," he added.
Mickey Ibarra, and director of intergovernmental affairs for the Clinton Administration, said the nation's cities and towns can count on the federal government to push for the resources needed to deal with pressing urban issues.
"Our president understands that cities matter," said Ibarra, a former Hillcrest High School teacher who left Utah in the early 1980s to pursue a career in public service.
Corradini also outlined other concerns addressed by mayors such as bolstering metropolitan economies, channeling some federal transportation money to cities and dealing with the Year 2000 computer transition.
"Internet taxation is a major issue for us," she added.
The conference concludes its work Sunday with a luncheon meeting at Sundance Resort with actor/activist Robert Redford.