BOSTON — The Latest on the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which is gathering in Boston (all times local):

12:45 p.m.

A bipartisan group of U.S. mayors is calling for action to stem gun violence as they kick off a four-day gathering in Boston.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is meeting in the city starting Friday to discuss issues including infrastructure and school safety.

At an opening press conference, mayors took repeated digs at the divisiveness in Washington and touted their effectiveness and ability to remain above the partisan fray.

Mayor Steve Benjamin of Columbia, South Carolina, said mayors must lead the way to push for stronger gun policies. Benjamin, president of the mayors' group, says it's time for "decisive action."

Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles also called on President Donald Trump's administration to halt its policy of separating children from the parents after they cross the U.S. border. Garcetti called the practice "inhumane."

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This story has been corrected to reflect that Benjamin said it's time for "decisive action," not "divisive" action.

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Midnight

A bipartisan coalition of mayors says American cities are overwhelmingly driving the nation's economy.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors, which is gathering in Boston starting on Friday, says in its latest "Metro Economies" report that metropolitan regions accounted for about 96 percent of the country's job growth in 2017. It says cities and their suburbs added nearly 2 million new jobs.

The report projects cities in the American South and West will see the strongest economic growth into 2019, but also warns that the looming retirement of the baby-boom generation will likely slow economic expansion across the country.

More than 250 mayors are gathering in downtown Boston through Monday to focus on infrastructure, cybersecurity, school safety, immigration, automation and other issues impacting cities.