Parsing mayors' words, study finds economy, infrastructure, safety are priorities

Economic Indicators Associated Press

Economic development, infrastructure and public safety were top concerns as U.S. mayors summed up the state of their cities this year. But current events helped frame those long-standing issues in discussions of inequality, race and police-community relations.

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That's according to a National League of Cities analysis of State of the City speeches by 100 mayors this year. It's being released Thursday.

The sample reflects a range of population sizes and geographic regions. The texts were scrutinized for topics discussed as priorities.

Three-quarters of the speeches stressed economic development. It was the most-covered topic, except among cities with fewer than 50,000 residents. There, public safety was the top subject.

Housing was a top-five concern in cities of more than 100,000 people but not in smaller ones.

The Washington-based league advocates for cities.