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|This archived article was published before the 2 November 2004 US elections
Senator John Kerry promises US cities
a partnership in fight against terrorism
In Philadelphia, Democratic Presidential candidate US Senator John Kerry spoke before the National Conference of Black Mayors on domestic security and the burden the Bush administration has put on America’s mayors to protect their cities.
A spokesman for the John Kerry campaign told City Mayors that while President Bush thinks it was okay for America’s mayors to bear these costs alone, John Kerry had a common sense plan to give mayors the resources they needed to keep their communities safe and secure.
"We can build a stronger America if the partnership between Washington and US cities is strong; if there’s real respect between the federal government and the local government; and when there’s a fundamental understanding that Washington can’t work unless mayors can do their work," John Kerry said. ?The ideology that ‘you’re on your own’ is bound to fail both for your cities and the nation because you and I know that we’re all in this boat together," the Democratic challenger added.
In his speech, Senator Kerry specifically focused on homeland security and said that when it came to security at chemical plants, he would put America’s security ahead of the chemical industry’s interests. He stressed he would work with mayors, and that together, they would make America stronger and more secure.
"It’s nearly two and a half years after 9/11 and the administration is still dragging its heels and we’re still fighting to secure chemical plants where a terrorist attack could be devastating," Senator Kerry told the audience of mayors. "I wish their policies were as tough as their words. What are we waiting for? Why won’t they lead this nation to take every step to prevent one of our own chemical plants from being turned into a weapon of mass destruction against our own people?"
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are more than 100 chemical plants where a terrorist attack could endanger more than one million people. The Democrats claim that despite this well-documented danger, the Bush administration had yielded to the interests of the chemical plant lobbyists and backed away from its own EPA recommended regulations.
Senator Kerry said that as President, he would take real, common sense steps to make cities across the country safer. Building on legislation by Senator Jon Corzine, John Kerry would require chemical plants at risk of terrorist attack to implement adequate physical security, including fences, guards, and surveillance, as well as using less dangerous technologies when practicable.
"I’m running for President because I believe that we are all in the same boat," Senator Kerry told the Conference of Black Mayors. "I believe that no matter what our differences, we can work together to build a stronger America. We can work together to make our country stronger as we fight and win this war on terror."
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