Urban Conversations Conference: Strengthening the Middle Class with discussants Byron Brown, mayor of Buffalo; Manny Diaz, mayor of Miami; Mufi Hannemann, mayor of Honolulu; Lisa Servon, associate professor and director of the Community Development Finance Project at Milano; and Anthony D. Weiner, U.S. Representative (D- New York).
As income disparities between wealthy and working-class families become more pronounced, middle-class neighborhoods are disappearing from many American cities. How are leaders working to make their cities livable for middle-income families and affordable for the millions aspiring to gain a foothold in the middle class?
Urban Conversations brings together elected officials and leading thinkers from across the nation to foster fresh perspectives and new insights into the key challenges facing urban America and to discuss strategies for addressing them- The New School
Mayor Byron Brown took the Oath of Office as the 58th Mayor of Buffalo, New York on December 31, 2005.
Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog. He is also an MSNBC contributor, appearing regularly on Morning Joe and other dayside programs. Prior to joining The Post in 2007, Capehart was the deputy editor of New York Daily News’s editorial page from 2002 to 2005. He worked as a policy adviser to Michael Bloomberg in his successful campaign for mayor of New York City, he was a national affairs columnist for Bloomberg News from 2000 to 2001, and he was a member of the Daily News editorial board from 1993 to 2000. Capehart and the Daily News editorial board won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing for their series on the Apollo Theater in Harlem.
Manuel (Manny) Diaz served as Mayor of Miami from 2001–09. During his tenure, Diaz re-engineered the city’s government and developed the vision of Miami as an international city. His innovative programs included such areas as urban design, sustainability, and infrastructure investment. He was a Resident Fellow at Harvard’s Institute of Politics and is author of the upcoming book Miami Transformed: Rebuilding America One Neighborhood, One City at a Time.
Mufi Hannemann is the 12th mayor of the City and County of Honolulu, the 13th largest municipality in the United States. Following a career in business, government, and politics, he took office on January 2, 2005, Honolulu's first native-born mayor in almost 40 years.
Fred P. Hochberg
Fred P. Hochberg is chairman and president of the Export-Import Bank of the United States and one of the highest-ranking business leaders in the Obama Administration. Under his leadership, in fiscal year 2010, Ex-Im Bank approved $24.5 billion in export financing, a 70 percent increase over the past two years, which supported $34.4 billion worth of exports and 227,000 American jobs at more than 3,300 US companies. Of these authorizations, more than $5 billion was for small businesses, a record for the bank. The bank also tripled its renewable energy export financing. From 2004 to 2008, Hochberg was dean of Milano, The New School for Management and Urban Policy in New York. From 1998 through 2001, he served as deputy, then acting administrator of the Small Business Administration. Prior to his service at SBA, Hochberg was the long-time president and chief operating officer of the Lillian Vernon Corporation.
Lisa J. Servon
Lisa J. Servon is Dean of Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy. She is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Work Life Policy. Former Associate Professor and Associate Director, Community Development Research Center. Dr. Servon was also assistant professor at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. Professor Servon's teaching and research focus on urban poverty, community development, economic development, and gender issues. Her book, Bootstrap Capital: Microenterprises and the American Poor, was published by Brookings Institution Press in 1999.
Anthony David Weiner is a Democratic politician from New York. He represents New York's 9th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. The district includes parts of Brooklyn and Queens.
Associate Professor Lisa Servon explains that the sub-prime mortgage crisis has a ripple effect that hurts other parts of the economy. This crisis underscores the need for financial literacy education in schools. Congressman Anthony Weiner adds that frank discussion from public officials would help alleviate confusion about economic policy.