Several Democratic mayors, in Washington D.C. for the annual Conference of Mayors, chose to boycott a meeting with President Donald Trump, who invited the mayors to visit the White House Wednesday. They objected to letters sent to 23 cities by the Department of Justice, threatening funding cuts if communities acted as so-called “sanctuary cities.”
Among those who boycotted the meeting was Plano Mayor Harry LaRosiliere, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings did attend, but said he disagrees with much of the president’s agenda and objected to the letter. George Fuller, the mayor of McKinney, who went to the meeting, says his colleagues missed an opportunity. The McKinney mayor is elected on a nonpartisan basis.
Fuller says the meeting was billed as a discussion of infrastructure and the opioid crisis.
“Specifically on infrastructure, that is a topic and subject that’s very important to McKinney,” Fuller says. “And I felt it was very important to have a dialog.” Fuller says he had that dialog with the president’s staff, not with Trump.
Fuller says the president spent time during the meeting addressing the boycott by mayors.
“He spent a few minutes on infrastructure, and spent a lot of time on immigration, and talking a lot about those cities that were boycotting,” Fuller says. “And again, what was billed to us was a meeting to discuss infrastructure and opioids. So in that regard, I was disappointed.”
Despite not hearing what he came for from the president, Fuller says it’d also disappointing that partisans on the left and right have expressed polarized reactions to what he sees as his attempt to communicate the needs of his city.
“All the rhetoric online, and all the divisiveness from both sides is absurd and disappointing, and it is the most indicative thing of…the reason our country is in the state it’s in,” Fuller says.
Written by Shelly Brisbin.