January 19, 2021

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, with 283 of his mayoral colleagues from across the country, this week encouraged President-elect Biden and the new Congress to provide direct fiscal relief to all cities—large, medium, and small—and boost support for America’s vaccination program.

Kansas City fell under the required population threshold for direct CARES Act funding last spring, losing out on millions of dollars for the Kansas City Health Department for testing and contact tracing, the Kansas City Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services, the Kansas City Police Department, and facilities sanitation as Kansas City worked to slow the spread of COVID-19. Direct aid to cities is vital for Kansas City as the City works to inoculate our community.

President-Elect Joe Biden has proposed a comprehensive package of relief measures that includes $350 billion in direct aid to state and local governments and a national vaccination program. The bipartisan group of 284 mayors today wrote to Congressional leaders, urging them to take swift action.

“With few exceptions, cities have been largely left without direct federal assistance,” the mayors wrote. “The lack of adequate support has resulted in budget cuts, service reductions, and job losses. Sadly, nearly one million local government jobs have already been lost during the pandemic. Our essential workers deserve federal relief like any other sector. The $350 billion in direct relief to state and local governments included in President-elect Biden’s American Rescue Plan would allow cities to preserve critical public sector jobs and help drive our economic recovery. Providing direct, flexible aid to cities is the most efficient and immediate way to help families and their communities who have been suffering for far too long.”

“Furthermore, cities must be central to a deliberate strategy to accelerate vaccinations throughout the country,” the mayors continued. “We support President-elect Biden’s proposal to mount a national vaccination program and the provision of additional resources to cities to bolster our efforts to contain the spread of the virus.”

“Your quick action on President-elect Biden’s plan is a crucial step to making meaningful progress in one of the most challenging moments in our country’s history. The United States Conference of Mayors is eager to work with Congress and the incoming Administration to meet this challenge. We encourage you to take up the President-elect’s rescue plan as soon as possible in the 117th Congress.”