The City of Goodyear announced that Mayor Georgia Lord will serve on the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ (USCM) Defense Transition Task Force. The mission of the task force will be to determine strategies for cities to deal with reductions in defense spending and transition issues that they will likely face as the nation shifts from combat roles in Iraq and Afghanistan. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton serves as chair of the Defense Transition Task Force.
In 2011, Congress created a bi-partisan deficit “super committee” as part of a compromise to raise the debt ceiling. The group met for three months and was tasked with reducing federal spending by $1.5 trillion over 10 years, but failed to create a plan. As a penalty for the group’s failure, mandatory across-the-board spending reductions will be imposed beginning Jan. 2, 2013. The defense portion of these mandatory cuts is $492 billion, in addition to $487 billion in defense cuts already being implemented at the Pentagon.
“If indeed these cuts amounting to nearly $1 trillion over the next 10 years must be made, then I want to fight for a strategy to ease the impact on the people who have served in wars past and the current conflict against global terrorism,” said Mayor Lord, who spent 24 years as a military wife before her husband, Ron, retired as a Colonel from the Air Force. “It goes without saying national defense is vital to everyone, especially to our residents, our employers and our community. It has been a part of daily life in Goodyear for nearly 100 years.”
With global security and aerospace company Lockheed Martin located at Phoenix Goodyear Airport and numerous military personnel that operate out of nearby Luke Air Force Base currently residing in Goodyear, Mayor Lord will look to protect jobs for Goodyear citizens working in the defense industry as well as limiting the economic burdens of defense cuts for Arizona residents.
Overall, Arizona ranks among the Top 5 states in the U.S. in defense contracts, as well as in the Top 10 in aerospace contracts. According to a George Mason University study, the $500 billion in defense sequestration would lead to a loss of 50,000 jobs in Arizona, in addition to a loss of $2.5 billion in income and a $5 billion decrease in gross state product within the state.
In addition to the Defense Transition Task Force, Mayor Lord also supports Luke Forward for F-35 aircraft training at Luke Air Force Base and is a member of the Luke West Valley Council to address community issues affecting the military base. She also currently serves on the Maricopa County Association of Governments (MAG) Regional Council and Transportation Policy Committee, Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) Board of Directors, Westmarc Board of Directors, the League of Arizona Cities Executive Committee, West-MEC Bond Committee and the Arizona Tax Commission.
For more information on the U.S. Conference of Mayors, visit usmayors.org.