President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Mandel Ngan, Pool)
In this Dec. 19, 2014 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. In the White House, President Barack Obama has preached economic opportunity and equal access to education as cornerstones of the legacy he says he wants to leave behind. But in the contest to host his presidential library, two public universities that serve needy communities fear the playing field has been tilted against them by a pair of elite, private schools with seemingly endless funding. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
 (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Gregory Korte, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON (USA Today)—With passage of his State of the Union agenda unlikely in a Republican-controlled Congress, President Obama called on the nation’s mostly Democratic big-city mayors to adopt what he calls “middle class economics.”

“We take our partnership with you seriously, because you’re often the place where change happens fastest,” Obama told more than 200 mayors at the White House Friday.

Obama noted that cities and counties are already raising their minimum wages, granting paid leave policies and addressing homelessness “without waiting for Congress.”

“So that’s what mayors do. They get things done. They make things happen. And on other urgent issues like responding to climate change or getting more families insured, rebuilding infrastructure, making sure that our youngest Americans get the best start in life with quality pre-K — mayors like you are helping to get it done. And we want to help,” Obama said.

He told the mayors that they’re a key part of his strategy for what he’s called the “fourth quarter” of his presidency.



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