A national mayoral task force formed by Mayor Kevin Johnson met Monday in New York for the first time to discuss the issue of income inequality in cities.
Johnson launched the Cities of Opportunity Task Force at the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting in Dallas in June. Johnson is the president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and appointed New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh to lead the task force. The group met at Gracie Mansion, the mayor of New York’s official residence.
Johnson said in a statement that the group would “recommend both national and local policies that will help to give everyone opportunity.” Those policies could include proposing increases to local minimum wages and working to increase access to affordable housing.
“The nation’s mayors have an obligation to do what we can to address issues of inequality in the country while Washington languishes in dysfunction,” Johnson said in a written statement.
The task force’s meeting coincided with the release of a report by research firm IHS showing that jobs gained during the economic recovery pay 23 percent less than the jobs lost during the recession. And it showed that 73 percent of the nation’s large metro areas have more households making less than $35,000 than households making more than $75,000.