(Harrisburg) -- Harrisburg was the smallest city at the table when more than a dozen newly elected mayors and mayors-elect recently met with President Obama at the White House.
City leaders from Seattle to Charlotte gathered in the Roosevelt Room for a 90-minute meeting, during which President Obama made it clear cities are central to the country's growth.
Mayor-elect Eric Papenfuse says Harrisburg has an unprecedented opportunity to partner with the federal government on new initiatives. He made the case for the city becoming a testing ground for new urban policy.
"Our problems are manageable. They are scalable," Papenfuse explains. "And if the federal government were to invest in Harrisburg, I believe that they will find that we can solve our problems in ways that will serve as a model for other cities throughout the country."
He singles out early childhood education and transportation as two areas of potential partnerships.
Papenfuse, who calls the experience both remarkable and humbling, says the group of 16 mayors has pledged to stay in touch and develop best practices for each other to share.
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