Biden speaks at National Urban League Conference - News, Weather & Sports

Biden stresses jobs, infrastructure at National Urban League

FOX19 photo. FOX19 photo.

Vice President Joe Biden says investment in infrastructure and job training is needed to increase economic opportunities in the nation's cities.

Biden took the stage Thursday as the featured speaker of the National Urban League conference in Cincinnati, his second speech to a major civil rights organization in two days. The conference's theme is "One Nation Underemployed," and Biden said the United States needs to increase its skilled workforce to meet new business needs and to improve roads, bridges, and other transportation to spur growth.

Sprinkling his speech with quotes from civil rights leaders, Biden also blasted what he called efforts around the country to repress minority voting. The Democrat spoke Wednesday to the NAACP convention in Las Vegas, decrying a wave of voter restriction efforts.

It was the first time in more than a decade that the national convention has been held in Cincinnati.

Is was scheduled to be held in Cincinnati in 2003, but later moved to Pittsburgh in protest of the race riots that happened following the 2001 shooting of an unarmed black man by a white police officer.

Republican National Convention Chairman Reince Priebus opened Thursday's session with remarks promising his party's commitment to minority voters, not just during election season. 

A panel discussion with seven mayors from across the country followed remarks from Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley. The mayors took questions audience questions with topics spanning beyond job equality towards political, women's issues, education and public transportation.

More than 8,000 people are expected to attend the 3 day conference, including Reverend Al Sharpton, Senator Rand Paul and actor Forest Whitaker.

Rev. Sharpton is scheduled to participate in a panel discussion Thursday at 4 p.m. on the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.

Friday at 8 a.m. Sen. Paul will take part in a town hall discussion on education.

Forest Whitaker will make an appearance Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Whitney M. Young Awards Gala.

[Related Link: Biden arrives to Cincy as Urban League Conference Begins]

FOX19's Megan O'Rourke contributed.

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