On Thursday, February 7, representatives from the National League of Cities (NLC), federal leaders and representatives from state municipal leagues held a briefing on the federal-local partnership needed to solve the most pressing challenges of our time, including infrastructure, public safety, workforce development and housing. At the briefing, members of Congress and their staffs heard from U.S. Representative Dan Kildee (D-Michigan), NLC Immediate Past President Matt Zone, councilmember from Cleveland, Ohio, Nevada League of Cities and Municipalities Vice President Daniel Corona, mayor of West Wendover, Nevada, and Maryland Municipal League President Bridget Donnell Newton, mayor of Rockville.
“As local leaders, we see firsthand what policies work and the solutions our residents need from all levels of government,” said National League of Cities (NLC) Immediate Past President Matt Zone, councilmember from Cleveland, Ohio. “We’ll need to work together to address our nation’s toughest challenges, including rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure. Building strong federal-local partnerships can result in solutions for our residents that will strengthen local economies for generations to come.”
"Cities are the United States of America, not a special interest group. The state of the union is the state of our cities," said Rep. Dan Kildee from Michigan’s fifth district. "There is not a circumstance where our nation is prosperous, and our cities are struggling. We have an opportunity right now for a major federal infrastructure investment. I'm going to push for a very specific, very clear Marshall plan to rebuild our cities."
Local officials also shared stories of how strong federal-local partnerships could improve the lives of their residents. President Newton noted that in Rockville, there is a renewed emphasis on community broadband access to bridge the digital divide. The city is looking for federal legislation to combat the preemption of local authority in the deployment of broadband networks. She also implored Congress to set aside partisan politics and “get to work on the people’s business”. “Municipalities leave partisan politics at the door and do the work of the people together”, said Newton.
In 2019, NLC’s top legislative priority is rebuilding and reimagining America’s infrastructure. NLC’s Rebuild With Us campaign has prioritized 50 ways Congress can work with cities, towns and villages in six key areas:
- Transforming transportation infrastructure
- Preparing a skilled workforce
- Improving broadband access
- Ensuring clean and safe water
- Supporting community resilience
- Investing in infrastructure