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Courtesy: U.S. Conference of Mayors

Mayors from across the country have contributed songs written by local citizens to a growing collection being compiled by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Why it matters: The project, spearheaded by Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville, Kentucky, is aimed at mustering local pride and solidarity — and supporting the arts.

Where it stands: So far, the City Song Project features submissions from Louisville, Chicago; Reno, Nevada; Austin, Texas; Detroit, Charleston, South Carolina; Oklahoma City; New Orleans; and Burnsville, Minnesota.

  • Titles include "Sweet Home Chicago," "Cha Cha Charleston" and "Unity OKC."
  • "Lift Up Louisville" was written by artists who included Louisville Orchestra music director Teddy Abrams. It was originally meant to raise money for the city's COVID-19 response fund.
  • Per the Louisville Courier Journal: "Fischer called it a 'love song' full of 'all genres of our musicians together ... in a way that hasn't been done before in our city.'" 

What they're saying: "I love the song," Mayor Steve Adler of Austin told me of the one he contributed, "Walk with Me Austin," which has a jazzy feel to it.

  • "We had a lot of people who contributed to it, who invested a lot of themselves and their talent into the projects," said Adler, noting that local artists have had trouble finding gigs during the pandemic.
  • The song itself reflects the current times, as it was "developed really at the crossroads of the pandemic and the George Floyd racial justice actions," Adler said. "It became something that was bigger than what I had thought it was initially going to be."

The bottom line: As the authors of "Lift Up Louisville" put it: "I never thought I'd see the day when we come together/by keeping ourselves so far away from one another/It's only for now, it's not forever."

  • "How long will we have to stay all cooped up in our homes? How much longer til we can hold our loved ones close?"

Go deeper

Poll: Mayors acknowledge police violence as a problem but are resistant to major reforms

Thousands participated in a protest against racism and police brutality in August 2020 in Washington D.C. Photo: Olivier Douliery/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Roughly 60% of U.S. mayors acknowledge police violence is a "problem in their communities," but 80% believe their police departments "do a good job" attracting "well-suited" officers, according to results of the 2020 Menino Survey of Mayors published Wednesday.

Why it matters: Protests against police brutality have swept the nation since last May, when white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd, a Black man, after kneeling on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. The Black Lives Matter movement has since escalated calls to defund the police.

Updated 29 mins ago - Health

COVID cases and deaths keep falling

Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

America’s coronavirus outbreak is rapidly improving as the Delta wave recedes, and vaccines for kids — which could become available within weeks — will help the situation improve even further.

By the numbers: Nationwide, the U.S. is now averaging about 79,000 new cases per day — a 22% drop over the past two weeks.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated 29 mins ago - Economy & Business

How the pandemic caused a corporate rebound

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

WeWork becomes a public company today worth more than $9 billion — a vindication of the expensive turnaround strategy employed after it spectacularly imploded in 2019. Like many companies that find themselves at death's door, that which didn't kill them made them stronger.

Why it matters: Hertz, Alamo Drafthouse, Airbnb, and Toast are among the currently-thriving companies that were shaken to the core in the early days of the pandemic — providing further evidence for the theory that, in the words of former Fast Company editor Bill Taylor, "companies can't be great unless they've almost failed."