More than 200 mayors from across the U.S. are in Kansas City for the 92nd Annual United States Conference of Mayors Meeting that runs through Sunday. Several main subjects are on the agenda, including mental health, gun violence, homelessness, and the opioid crisis.

Columbia Mayor Barbara Buffaloe is at the conference advocating for America’s mid-sized cities.

“When we’re talking about the innovative things that we’re doing in Columbia to address housing issues, to address some of the co-responder issues and problems we’re trying to solve, I’m putting us up there as we are having solutions as well and our peers can learn from us,” she said. “At the same time, I’m helping advocate for us at the federal level.”

Buffaloe concluded that these are issues that affect every city.

“Everything from not having enough support for mental health from our state agencies, funding for the people to actually do the work to the creation of housing,” she said. “You know, everyone I’ve talked to from the Los Angeles mayor to the mayor from Des Moines, we’re talking about the housing crisis. We’re talking about not having enough spaces for people to be.”

In addition, national leaders from the public and private sectors are also in Kansas City learning about the challenges that municipalities are facing.

“The success that we’ve seen with some local funding that we’ve received is really important to us,” Buffaloe said. “At the same time, I think just making sure that they know who we are is important when we’re competing at a national level with other cities of a similar size, with similar projects, really putting our name out there so that they know who Columbia, Missouri is.”

The mayors will also address top priorities for the next presidential administration before the election in November.

The theme of the 92nd annual meeting is “Shared Voice to Drive Progress.”

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