01/22/2012 12:07 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2012

Arianna Addresses U.S. Mayors: Country's Solutions To 'Come At Local Level'

Arianna and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi addressed the U.S. Conference of Mayors on Jan 18, challenging the nation's local leaders to become a voice for the people they represent.

In her speech, Arianna called on American mayors to become active members of their communities and address the growing gaps between the nation's rich and poor. She hit at the heart of what many consider to be an astounding trend in the US: the increasing downward-mobility of the American middle-class.

With an emphasis on Aol's Patch network of hyper-local sites, Arianna also told the conference of the growing need to address and cover the nation's often neglected poorest citizens.

In her blog post prior to the conference, Arianna explained why she feels the recovery of America's economy begins at the local level.

That's why I believe the solutions the country is so desperately looking for are going to come at the local level -- from our mayors and engaged citizens working with their communities. It's our cities, not the nation's capital, that are the real idea factory of our country. It's the Mayor's Mansion not the White House from which bold decision-making is likely to originate. It's from any house on your street not the House of Representatives where projects that will make your community a better place to live in are more likely to surface.

You can read her post in full, here.