After the news was delivered that a poor crop harvest, a rodent infestation and a number of other factors led to a bread shortage in France, Marie Antoinette had but one response: “Let them eat cake!” It could be successfully argued that today’s progressives are as out of touch with their constituents as the Queen of France once was with her own subjects.
hen President Trump called out Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) last month for the deplorable conditions in his Baltimore, Maryland district, it shined a light on a very dark place in America—Democratic-run cities and their long history of corruption, crime, greed and neglect. While the media went into overdrive to twist Trump’s words into a racist comment, one fact remains clear: Democrat-run cities are beginning to smell like day-old fish.
In Los Angeles, the homeless problem resembles Dante’s depiction of hell rather than its namesake of the City of Angels. Sidewalks are covered in human waste and excrement and diseases eradicated centuries ago, such as Typhoid, have returned. Drug and alcohol abuse is rampant, leaving shells of human beings wandering in the middle of streets, harassing and assaulting bystanders and defecating in broad daylight. But Los Angeles is just one metro area in a long line of Democratic-controlled cities that have turned into urban jungles of despair.
In the Daily Mail today, a Sacramento, California business owner says she’s had enough and is relocating because she has grown sick of the multiple break-ins and having to clean up the syringes, urine and feces outside her business every day. Salon owner Elizabeth Novak addressed her concerns directly to Governor Gavin Newsom: “I want to know what are you going to do for us Californians? I’ve had a business in downtown Sacramento for 15 years—a successful business. I now have to leave my place of business, I have to close my shop. I just want to tell you what happens when I get to work. I have to clean up the poop and the pee off of my doorstep. I have to clean-up the syringes.”
Rather than learning from the Motor City’s total implosion more than a decade ago, Democrat-run cities have continued to enact the failed progressive policies they have been implementing for more than a half century. We have all watched as the abandoned houses of Detroit burned and the Midwest prairie and wildlife returned to swallow whole city blocks. And no one seriously argues that Detroit’s long relationship with corrupt government officials were to blame for this once great city’s demise.
In Chicago, 1,692 people have been shot so far this year. On a recent warm summer night this July, seven people were shot in what is believed to be a gang and turf related drug war on the lakefront. In August 2018 over another warm summer weekend, 72 people were shot in just two days. In Obama’s Democratic-led, gun-free city, people are dying at alarming rates.
In Philadelphia, gangs of black youth form flash mobs, connecting with one another on social media in a sick game to rampage, loot and create violent chaos on city streets. Last week, six Philadelphia police officers were shot trying to apprehend a suspect while a crowd of mostly black residents in North Philadelphia taunted and laughed at the officers on the scene. And predictably, or perhaps because he suffers from amnesia, Democratic Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney called for greater restrictions on guns even though it hasn’t done one single thing to stop the violence in Chicago. Criminals don’t follow laws.
“Our officers need help. They need help with gun control. They need help with keeping these weapons out of these people’s hands. This government, both on federal and state level, don’t want to do anything about getting these guns off the streets and getting them out of the hands of criminals,” said Kenney.
While I applaud conservative activist Scott Presler’s efforts to organize a cleanup of the rat-infested streets of Baltimore following Trump’s acerbic remarks, it isn’t a long-term solution for what is ailing our cities. I also applaud Fox News’ latest project to “chronicle the toll progressive policies have had on the homeless crisis in four West Coast cities: Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Portland, Ore. In each city, we saw a lack of safety, sanitation and civility. Residents, the homeless and advocates say they’ve lost faith in their elected officials’ ability to solve the issue. Most of the cities have thrown hundreds of millions of dollars at the problem only to watch it get worse.”
For far too long, those on the right have turned a blind eye toward what is happening in cities such as Chicago, Washington, Philadelphia and Baltimore. We have abandoned our cities to Democratic rule and taken it as gospel that it will always be thus. But is the time finally right for the right to wrest control of our cities away from the Democrats? To roll up our sleeves and reverse the half-century trend of decay and criminality the Democrats have created?
If the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors, which convened June 28 to July 1 in Honolulu this year, is any indication of what we can expect in the years to come, there is much work to be done. Much of the organization’s agenda and many of the speakers were not promoting practical, real-world solutions to education, crime, employment and homelessness, but rather on solving such issues as global warming and pushing for universal gun control.
It is abundantly clear that this organization is steeped in failed Democratic ideology, their agenda a virtual road map of what progressives consider to be their governing priorities in our American cities and what these Democrat leaders want to do in the cities they control–even when they have demonstrably failed. For this reason alone, it’s time we all start paying attention.
As these mayors boarded planes to far away Hawaii, many leaving their residents to stew in human filth and waste, I took a deep dive into the U.S. Conference of Mayors organization to learn just what these city officials were flocking to in Hawaii to talk about this summer.
But before we even touch on the organization, its agenda and its players, think about this. Rather than inviting HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson or Lynne Patton to address our nation’s huge housing and affordability problems or President Trump’s opportunity zones, the U.S. Conference of Mayors invited Caroline Kennedy, former Parkland student David Hogg of March For Our Lives and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Haw.) to address attendees.
The U.S. Conference of Mayors bills itself as a bipartisan coalition representing cities with a population of 30,000 and larger. But just how bipartisan are they? And why did this “bipartisan” coalition of U.S. mayors hold a National Conference of Democratic Mayors Reception that was closed to the press and open only to Democratic Mayors and NCDM Alliance members?
The NCDM Alliance is a group that works with the World Health Organization and the United Nations to “strengthen civil society,” and claims that “Improving the health of populations, including preventing and controlling NCDs [noncommunicable diseases] is integral to ensuring progress across the three pillars of economic growth, social equity, and environmental protection—with the ultimate goal of achieving sustainable development.” I trust you can read between these lines well enough.
In just August alone, 250 mayors demanded action on gun violence, urging the U.S. Senate to pass some form of gun control and attacking the Second Amendment, including Republican Mayor Margo of El Paso. The Conference also worked to make the counting of illegal immigrants in the U.S. census a reality by joining a 26-member coalition of 15 states, the District of Columbia, 3 counties, and 6 cities in opposing the State of Alabama’s attempt to advance a “discriminatory agenda” and “tilt the power within Congress and the Electoral College by refusing to count every individual in the 2020 decennial census.”
The group even moved to intervene as a defendant in the federal case of Alabama v. U.S. Department of Commerce in the Northern District of Alabama. Their goal? “To ensure the case is properly presented and that every resident in America—irrespective of citizenship status—is counted in the decennial census.”
Out of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ 13 listed trustees, 8 are Democrats, 4 are Republican and 1 an Independent:
- Steve Adler, Austin, TX (Democrat)
- James Brainard, Carmel, IN (Republican)
- Shane Bemis, Gresham, OR, (Republican)
- J. Christian Bollwage, Elizabeth, NJ (Democrat)
- T.M. Franklin ‘Frank’ Cownie, Des Moines, IA (Democrat)
- Hardie Davis, Jr., Augusta, GA, (Democrat)
- Bill de Blasio, New York, NY, (Democrat)
- Jorge O. Elorza, Providence, RI, (Democrat)
- John Giles, Mesa, AZ, (Republican)
- Hillary Schieve, Reno, NV, (Independent)
- Francis X. Suarez, Miami, FL, (Republican)
- Sylvester Turner, Houston, TX, (Democrat)
- Martin J. Walsh, Boston, MA, (Democrat)
And who are these “Republicans” serving as trustees? Mayor Shane Bemis of Gresham, Oregon is one of a quarter of the “Republicans” who signed the Mayor’s Compact to Combat Hate, Extremism and Bigotry. I’ll just leave that right here.
Following the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that was organized to protest the removal of a historical statute, the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the Anti-Defamation League held a press conference after a violent clash between Antifa members and a white supremacy group, where Mayor Bemis declared, “President Trump’s actions have consequences, and his lack of moral clarity is destroying a storied political institution. There is clearly an absence of moral leadership from the president.” This despite the fact that the media’s misrepresentation of Trump’s remarks following the event have been clearly and thoroughly debunked. Trump wasn’t referring to the white supremacy group or Antifa when he said there was good people on both sides. He was referring to those who wanted to preserve the historical statute and those who wanted to see it removed. But I digress.
In March 2017, Mayor Bemis also took part in a bipartisan group of mayors who declared an “immigration day of action” to protest President Trump’s effort to curb illegal immigration through an executive order to cut funding to cities that adopt sanctuary policies. Speaking against the President and the executive order, Mayor Bemis said, “You can’t expect local law enforcement to be an arm of the federal government in this process.” Indeed, not.
“Republican” Mayor and trustee James Brainard of Carmel, Indiana, was one of the hundreds of Indiana mayors who signed onto a letter calling for the U.S. Senate to act on gun safety legislation and enact laws to extend background checks following the shootings in Dayton and El Paso. Indiana’s red flag law already allows courts to issue orders to bar somebody from possessing guns if they’re deemed potentially dangerous, but it appears Brainard wants more.
Brainard is also a fervent environmentalist who supports solar energy as a way to “reduce Carmel’s carbon footprint,” even in a part of the country that isn’t known for its sunshine. Rather than worrying about the city of Carmel’s local problems, Brainard is more concerned with climate. In November 2014, former President Obama appointed Brainard to his Tribal Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience and he even appeared on Al Jazeerah America to talk climate on August 27, 2014.
A true disciple, Brainard has also promoted a climate-related vision within the U.S. Conference of Mayors as the co-chairman of its Climate Protection Task Force, which he said helped to convince most U.S. cities to “accept goals toward lowering their greenhouse gases.” Brainard believes that human activity, such as burning coal and driving cars, is contributing to climate change. And we all know what a huge problem that is in American cities like Chicago and Philadelphia.
Mesa, Arizona Mayor John Giles, also a “Republican” trustee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, serves as the Chair of its Immigration Task Force, where he was caught on a hot mic with outgoing Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) bashing the Republican Party, Roy Moore, and President Donald Trump.
Flake, who opted not to run for re-election due to his sinking popularity, was caught by an ABC affiliate saying, “…[if we] become the party of Roy Moore and Donald Trump, we are toast.” Mayor Giles responded to Flake with, “And I am not throwing smoke at you, but you are the guy. Just for fun, think about how much fun it would be, just to be the foil, you know, and point out what an idiot this guy [Trump] is.”
And what did Mayor Giles, like his other Republican trustee peers at the U.S. Conference of Mayors have to say about the 2020 census question? During a press call organized by the Leadership Conference Education Fund, a civil rights and research group, Giles said, “It is hard to imagine anyone that would think this is a good idea. An undercount doesn’t really serve anyone,” Giles said. “It is a poor decision to try to include this question on the census.” He also said the addition of the question is a “real threat to my city” because it will result in an undercount of residents and lead to less political representation, less funding for city services and bad data. No matter that these residents may not be U.S. citizens.
These are the four Republican trustees, or the four horsemen of the Democratic apocalypse, serving to make the U.S. Conference of Mayors the stellar bipartisan organization it purports to be. Tom Cochran, the CEO and Executive Director of the Conference isn’t much better. In a July 29, 2019 tweet, he defended Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake, despite the fact that she does, indeed, preside over a rat-infested city with a pesky trash pickup problem. It appears that solar energy and sustainability are far more sexier than actually having city workers collect the city’s actual trash.
When asked to weigh in on another progressive mayor’s group that joined an Evanston, Illinois lawsuit seeking to get an injunction against the Department of Justice’s for withholding federal grant money from jurisdictions that enact sanctuary policies for illegal aliens, Cochran said, “The Conference [of Mayors] believes that the Department’s immigration-related notice, access and compliance restrictions exceed the limited, largely administrative authority that Congress gave the Attorney General in the Byrne JAG statute; violate the U.S. Constitution; and represent an unwarranted federal intrusion into local policing practices that will jeopardize public safety.”
Among the topics that were discussed at this year’s U.S. Conference of Mayors was an astounding amount of environmental presentations, with gun restriction coming in as the second favorite talking point. In fact, if you were not aware that this was a conference of U.S. mayors, you could be forgiven for thinking you were attending an environmental group’s annual meeting, particularly if you sat through the Mayors Climate Protection Awards Lunch. Topics included:
- A Sustainable Normal: From Tesla Superchargers to Bike Share 309 to Organic Community Gardens
- Using Buying Power to Change the Gun Industry and Other Prevention Strategies
- Immigration: Responding to Current Challenges
- Local Solutions to Help Women and Minority Entrepreneurs
- Moving to a Carbon-Free Economy: Local Policies & Innovative Best Practices
- The Recycling Crisis in U.S. Cities: Working Together for a Sustainable Future.
- Accelerating climate Change Action Through Reporting: CDP
- The Pathway to 100% Renewable Energy in American Cities
- San Jose’s Strategy for Renewable Energy—-SJCE
- Smart Energy Solutions: Deploying Microgrids for Reliability, Security, and Affordability
- Ocean Current Energy Initiative
- PGE’s Wheatridge Hybrid Renewable Energy Facility—38-MegaWatts of Wind, Solar and Battery Storage
To be sure, there was a smattering of speeches on housing and infrastructure, but these subjects were dwarfed by the amount of Democratic policy talks on sustainability, the environment and gun control.
My dive into just one local government leadership organization is not meant to be a comprehensive and complete report into either the U.S. Conference of Mayors or what policies are being pushed upon our mid-sized cities by other NGOs and organizations, but it should be enough to terrify you of just how entrenched Democratic dogma has become in our cities and just how much needs to be done to promote and advance conservative programs and policies. Even the all-powerful and left-leaning LGBT lobby has infiltrated the organization, with the U.S. Conference of Mayors launching its first and own LGBT Alliance at this year’s event.
It isn’t that those on the right don’t care about the environment, eating organic and nutritious food or even the civil rights of marginalized groups like LGBT, it’s that the number of Americans sleeping on the streets with mental illnesses and addictions and the number of families who are drowning in debt as the cost of living chips away at their stability, are far more pressing issues than unproven programs purported to minimize our carbon footprint.
And it’s understandable why the global green initiatives being pushed by the U.S. Conference of Mayors is, quite frankly, unpalatable. What Americans need now isn’t another Democratic mirage of “progress.” Perhaps our city officials like Baltimore’s Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake should be spending their time on how they can provide clean drinking water to cities such as Flint, cleaning up their educational system so it serves the poorest among us and ensuring their policies promote decent, affordable housing. Never mind simply taking out the trash.
And rather than inviting David Hogg or Caroline Kennedy to speak to their attendees, perhaps these mayors should find someone who can actually help them solve their ransomware problem, which recently crippled 23 Texas towns to the tune of $12 million.
Republicans have already lost the cultural wars, the media wars, the educational wars, and the war to control our most powerful cities. At this point, what do we have to lose? Turns out, a lot.
Look for my next reports on the National League of Cities and other organizations that are shaping the policies of our nation’s cities and exactly what and how President Trump’s Executive Order to create “opportunity zones” in more than 8,700 distressed communities across the country is progressing.