Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed Explains Why We Should 'Stop Worrying About' The Federal Government

01/22/2014 02:58 pm ET | Updated Jan 25, 2014
  • The Huffington Post

During an interview with HuffPost Live at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed explained why he's urging business leaders to "stop worrying about" the federal government and instead turn their focus to America's mayors.

"We're much more accessible to people," Reed said of himself and other mayors. "I go to the grocery store, I go to the gas station, and I see people in a way that they don't see elected officials in Washington."

Reed said that while at Davos, he's encouraging business leaders to work more with mayors.

"Stop worrying about what you can do with the federal government, and deal directly with mayors," he said. "If somebody wants to partner with the city of Atlanta, they need my support and the support of eight council people. Well, 70 percent of the GDP of the United States is in cities. So if you're going to have a healthy country, you need healthy cities."

He continued, "If you don't want to spend the rest of your live trying to change government, start focusing on cities."

Earlier in the interview, Reed touted his city's strides in making wage equality a priority.

"Because of the financial health of my city, I was able just to raise [the minimum wage], so that impacts people in a real way," he said.

He also pointed to the success of Atlanta's Hire Just One program, an initiative geared at combatting unemployment by getting companies to make at least one new full-time hire.

"When we were in the midst of the toughest recession we've had in 80 years, we got 1,400 companies in the city of Atlanta to agree to hire at least one person," he said. "Our Hire One campaign resulted in 14,000 people getting jobs."

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