This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2015, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
As mayors from a diverse cross section of the country, we have this in common: our admiration for Ralph Becker.
Cities are the new pacesetters for progress in America. Partisan squabbles continue to prevent action in Congress and in state governments, but real and effective programs that bring about positive social change are occurring at the municipal level.
Over the last few years, Salt Lake City emerged on the national scene as a city of innovation and good governance, particularly when it comes to civic engagement. Your city, under Becker's leadership, has become a model for what many of us are striving to achieve in the areas of sustainability, transportation, economic development, fairness and opportunity, social justice and civil rights. Clearly, Salt Lake City has been fertile ground for Ralph Becker's innate decency and his passion for urban planning and civic engagement.
As CEOs of other great cities, we see the remarkable strides Salt Lake City has made during Becker's tenure, and we are all watching his mayoral campaign closely. In the final weeks of this race, we hope you value what we value, and you re-elect Ralph Becker for four more years.
Mayors matter when it comes to moving a city forward. To implement a sensible, progressive and inclusive agenda in any community, it takes strong and proven leadership, cooperation and compromise, and a willingness to make tough choices. That's a fine description for the hard work and significant results that have characterized Ralph's leadership, and the promise he can bring to City Hall in the next four years.
Salt Lake City is a national leader in sustainability, and many of our communities turn to yours for ideas and inspiration. One such idea is Becker's Project Skyline, which incentivizes private businesses to accelerate their investments in energy efficiency, set and track benchmarks, and improve air quality. We are inspired by your net-zero public safety building, and are watching eagerly as your community builds the nation's first net-zero airport.
Many of us have followed closely your city's fairness and equality agenda with its strong public commitment to civil rights and social justice. We are impressed by how you've addressed chronic homelessness, particularly by reducing chronic veterans homelessness to nearly zero. The 5,000 Doors Initiative is viewed around the country as an aggressive and practical approach to addressing the housing shortage for middle- and low-income families.
We applaud Becker's commitment to have Salt Lake City lead by example by paying every city employee a living wage and to close the gender wage gap for women working for city government. And it's a testament to your commitment to equality that your non-discrimination law, which began as a city ordinance, was adopted by the state of Utah and is now being replicated in communities around the country.
The relative size of Salt Lake City, along with the unique professional background of Becker, has established Salt Lake City as a national model in our current metropolitan revolution. We've come to know your mayor as a visionary leader who understands how to get things done and deliver practical results every day. He and his dedicated team have put Salt Lake City on the national and even international map, and made it one of the most vibrant and livable cities in America.
Being the mayor of a major U.S. city isn't easy, and no one knows that better than we do. This job requires discipline and focus to solve complex and thorny problems, but that's only half of it. A truly successful mayor has innate compassion and empathy. Ralph Becker has the management skills, intellect, and the heart to govern well, and to lead genuinely.
We are grateful for the opportunity to work with Ralph Becker and to learn from him and with him. We encourage voters to re-elect him to finish the job he started for the residents of your great American city.
Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles; Ed Lee, San Francisco; Michael Nutter, Philadelphia; Christopher Coleman, St. Paul, Karen Freeman-Wilson, Gary, Ind.; Charlie Hales, Portland, Ore.; David Bieter, Boise; Marilyn Strickland, Tacoma; Nan Whaley, Dayton; Greg Fischer, Louisville; Helene Schneider, Santa Barbara; Sly James, Kansas City, Michael Hancock, Denver; Greg Stanton, Phoenix