NASHVILLE — Democratic National Chairman Paul G. Kirk Jr. told big-city Democratic mayors Sunday that they should ask 1988 presidential candidates to commit themselves to a "new American partnership" with more federal support for urban problems.
Kirk told the mayors that he urged all the 1988 contenders to go before the mayors' annual meeting here because the eventual Democratic nominee must promise more help for America's cities. Seven declared or potential Democratic candidates are scheduled to appear.
"The Democratic mayors can be assured that the Democratic Party will have a national message for a national audience in 1988," Kirk said. "And you can also be assured that the voices and the values of the families of America's cities will be part of that message and a part of that audience."
Kirk delivered a harsh indictment of the Reagan Administration and GOP policies of major cutbacks in aid to cities, saying: "The Republican policy toward the cities of America has been the same as toward the people of America--a 'survival of the fittest' approach.
"They deprived the mayors of needed revenues and gave you all the responsibilities," Kirk said. "But . . . you can't go it alone any longer. The time for a new American partnership is now."
Kirk's remarks, prepared for a meeting with Democratic mayors, came a day before the first of nine presidential hopefuls addresses the 55th annual Conference of Mayors. The meeting ends Wednesday.
Although nearly all the Democratic aspirants will appear, only TV evangelist Pat Robertson and former Delaware Gov. Pierre S. (Pete) du Pont IV, among the Republicans, were scheduled to address the mayors.