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Politics

Mayor Says San Diego Doesn't Wait For State, Federal Governments To Solve Problems

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A Conversation with London Mayor Boris Johnson and San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer

The mayors of San Diego and London said at a Brookings Institution forum Thursday that cities are increasingly taking control of their destinies and not waiting around for higher levels government to solve their problems.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and London Mayor Boris Johnson said devolution of government is becoming a major factor in civic life.

"We don't wait for the state government or the federal government to come in and solve our problems," Faulconer said. "We'd be waiting a long time if we did that. We have to, and we do, control our own destiny."

Faulconer participated in the forum in Washington, D.C., because San Diego is part of Brookings' Global Cities Initiative, the think tank's program on civic competitiveness.

He touted San Diego's collaborative approach between major institutions, the opportunities presented by the proximity of the international border with Mexico, and the city's library system as a place where people come together.

Johnson, the irrepressible leader of one of the world's largest municipalities, said high-tech industries are remaking the local economy on a scale unseen since the industrial revolution. London, with a population of 8.6 million, remains the world's financial capital, he said.

Moderator Bruce Katz, director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, said San Diego was once flat on its back with the financial crisis and recession, but it now "a truly diversified economy of tech and innovation."

Faulconer's East Coast trip included a tour of national media outlets in New York earlier this week, in which he touted San Diego's "innovation economy."

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