When a disaster strikes – a Katrina…or what’s happening now in cities like Cedar Rapids and Des Moines, or a six-alarm blaze or a shooting –it's City Hall we lean on, it's City Hall we call first, and City Hall we depend on to get us through tough times. Because whether it's a small town or a big city, the government that people count on most is the one that's closest to the people. And it's precisely because you're on the frontlines in our communities that you know what happens when Washington fails to do its job. It may be easy for some in Washington to remain out of touch with the consequences of the decisions that are made there – but not you. You know what happens when Washington puts out economic policies that work for Wall Street but not Main Street –because it's your towns and cities that get hit when factories close their doors, and workers lose their jobs... and families lose their homes because of an unscrupulous lender. That's why you need a partner in the White House. You know what happens when Washington makes promises it doesn't keep and fails to fully fund No Child Left Behind –  because it's your teachers who are overburdened, your teachers who aren't getting the support they need... and your teachers who are forced to teach to the test, instead of giving students the skills they need to compete in our global economy. That's why you need a partner in the White House. You know what happens when Washington succumbs to petty partisanship and fails to pass comprehensive immigration reform –because it's your communities that are forced to take immigration enforcement into your own hands, your cities' services that are stretched... your neighborhoods that are seeing rising cultural and economic tensions unnecessarily because Washington is not doing its job... that's why you need a partner in the White House. You know what happens when Washington listens to big oil and gas companies and blocks real energy reform –because it's your budgets that are being pinched by high energy costs, your schools that are cutting back on textbooks to keep their buses running... and it's the lots in your towns and cities that are brownfields. That's why you need a partner in the White House! Now, despite the absence of leadership in Washington, we're actually seeing a rebirth in many places. Obviously, Exhibit A is what my friend Rich Daley has done. He’s made a deep and lasting difference in the quality of life for millions of Chicagoans. I'm thinking of Mayor Cownie, who's working to make his city green; or Mayor Bloomberg, who's fighting to turn around the nation's largest school system... or Mayor Rybak, who's done an extraordinary job helping the Twin Cities recover from the bridge collapse last year…and so many other mayors across this country who are finding new ways to lift up their communities, who are building on the extraordinary diversity... and immigration, and new ideas that are the hallmark of cities. But you shouldn't be succeeding despite Washington – you should be succeeding with a hand from Washington. Neglect is not a policy for America's metropolitan areas. It's time City Hall had someone in the White House you could count on the same way that so many Americans count on you. And that's what this election is all about – because while Senator John McCain is a true patriot, he’s a genuine American hero... he’s somebody who has performed magnificent service to this country. The fact is he won’t be that partner. His priorities are very different from yours and from mine. And I speak, by the way, not just to Democrats but to Republicans as well. At a time when you're facing budget deficits and looking to Washington for the support you need, he isn't proposing a strategy for America's cities. Instead, he's calling for nearly $2 trillion in tax breaks for big corporations and the wealthiest Americans –at the same time as he’s actually opposed to more funding for the COPS program and the Community Development Block Grant program. That's just more of the same in Washington.