New York, Oklahoma City mayors vow to improve mental health services at Fordham conference

New York, Oklahoma City mayors vow to improve mental health services at Fordham conference
New York City Mayor Bill di Blasio and Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett recently agreed to bipartisan cooperation on improving mental health services throughout the country at Cities Thrive, a two-day conference for leaders hosted by Fordham University.
 
“A mayor’s work is rarely partisan,” Cornett, a Republican and the president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said. “The work that we do is about providing services and trying to create a better quality of life in our cities. So we look for opportunities to work across the aisle.”
 
In the recent election, Oklahoma voters passed two statutes: one that reclassifies some property offenses and simple drug possession as misdemeanor crimes and a second that will see funds saved by that reclassification directed to sending those in need to mental health services rather than to prison.
 
“People have assumptions across states and regions, but God bless the people of Oklahoma; they took an important stand on behalf of addressing the issue of incarceration and the issue of mental health,” Di Blasio said. “This is something we have to foster everywhere in the country. When we show how universal it is ... (and) when it takes on that meaningful and real aura of bipartisanship, the movement gains power. We have a chance to do that here.”

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