WASHINGTON — MAYORS from some of the nation's biggest cities, saying they will hold national leaders accountable, led some 150,000 people through Washington Saturday to demand money to halt the decline of urban America.
Speakers at the march, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson and New York Gov. Mario Cuomo (D), criticized the Bush administration for ignoring urban problems and called for a major shift of money from defense to domestic programs.
"I don't want to hear, Mr. President, that you've got the will and not the wallet," said Mr. Cuomo, who said the United States should invest $50 billion in its cities.
Federal, state, and local officials marching cited a list of problems that included homelessness, unemployment, poverty, and crime.
They also demanded that cities get a big chunk of money to rebuild roads and other infrastructure and create jobs.
The "Save Our Cities, Save Our Children" march, organized by the US Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities, has been in the works for a year. But it gained new impetus after the riots that erupted in Los Angeles.