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Focus of State of the City Speeches - 7/23/15

A recent National League of Cities study analyzed one hundred state of the city speeches delivered by mayors from across the country.  These speeches summarize the most important issues facing urban America today and the initiatives that mayors are using to address them.  Based on as assessment of these speeches, economic development is the most pressing issue in urban America today. 

As reported by the New York Times, three quarters of the year’s speeches stressed economic development, with significant focus given to job growth, business expansion, minimum wage increases and the revitalization of downtowns.  While a number of large U.S. cities have become focal points in twenty fifteen due to expanding violence, public safety was a secondary focal point in many large city mayoral speeches. 

However, issues related to public safety represented the most covered subject among cities with fewer than fifty thousand residents.  Other issues that received significant focus in mayor speeches included roads, drinking water sewers and broadband.  Housing represented a top-five concern in cities with more than one hundred thousand people, but did not make the top five in smaller communities.

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.