Parsing mayors' words, study finds economy most common focus

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

NEW YORK (AP) — Economic development, infrastructure and public safety were top concerns as U.S. mayors summed up the state of their cities this year. But current events helped frame those long-standing issues in discussions of inequality, race and police-community relations.

That's according to a National League of Cities analysis of State of the City speeches by 100 mayors this year. It's being released Thursday.

The sample reflects a range of population sizes and geographic regions. The texts were scrutinized for topics discussed as priorities.

Three-quarters of the speeches stressed economic development. It was the most-covered topic, except among cities with fewer than 50,000 residents. There, public safety was the top subject.

Housing was a top-five concern in cities of more than 100,000 people but not in smaller ones.

The Washington-based league advocates for cities.