Local Governments Lead the Charge on Providing Emergency Leave to Employees

A historically heated conversation around paid sick leave might come to a boil today, Wednesday, April 1, when the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) goes into effect. Two things will change: Certain employees will be entitled to two weeks (80 hours) of paid sick leave over and above any time already taken off. Certain

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The Education Impact of COVID-19

Cities and towns across the country are seeing widespread closures of K-12 and post-secondary education institutions. Currently these closures may be extended well beyond the original two-to-four-week span, pending continued assessment of uncertain developments in the Coronavirus outbreak. Millions of children, parents, teachers and school workers are/will experience significant disruptions that extend well beyond students’ education achievements. Significant social, nutritional, housing and health services are also affected by school closures. The most vulnerable people will be hurt the most, as times of crisis especially expose

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Homelessness Support During the Spread of COVID-19

Cities across the United States, from Burlington, Vermont to Los Angles, California, are being nimble to stop the spread of COVID-19 in their communities by taking proactive measures to ensure individuals experiencing homelessness are protected during this crisis. However, recommendations to exercise social distancing and to shelter in place are nearly impossible for those in

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What’s the Difference Between Shelter in Place, Safer at Home, and Stay Home Orders?

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, local governments are not only forced to provide essential services under dangerous circumstances, they are also responsible for clearly communicating emergency procedures to the public. This often requires taking terms used by emergency personnel and translating them for a much broader audience. The task of taking technical information

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Addressing Health Care Shortages and Needs During COVID-19

City leaders play an essential role in helping residents navigate to the safest and best possible health services to meet ongoing needs. They do this through: collaborating regionally, with partner organizations, state and federal officials, and local businesses;   providing resources; and   communicating clearly to residents, especially to vulnerable groups.   Swift, efficient, and timely action from city

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The Deal is Done: How Much Can Cities Expect from the 3rd Coronavirus Package?

Today, Congress passed and the President signed the CARES Act, which, among many things, provides local governments funding to meet the immediate needs of residents, households, and small businesses on the economic margins. The Coronavirus Relief Fund, established under the CARES Act, provides $150 billion for state, local and tribal governments to use to cover

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Coronavirus Communication: Make Your Messages Hit Home

Listen to a recording of NLC’s Webinar: COVID-19 Crisis Communication “It’s not what you say in a crisis. It’s what you do.” That principle guides my thinking about crisis decision making. It’s why I try to take my classes into the pressure-packed confines of board rooms to see what happens when threatening events rob organizations

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Food Access During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Significant disruptions in community and regional services, as well as mass school closures due to Coronavirus, can keep people from having their basic needs met, including access to food. These include impacts to the youngest among us, school-aged children, low-income and poor vulnerable adults and the elderly. In this time, once reliable school meals and other regular operations are in flux; these disruptions may

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Retooling Criminal Justice Responses for Equity and Continued Public Safety

Cities have already begun to alter arrest and detention practices in order to support social or physical distancing and related measures in response to COVID-19. In many cases, these alterations continue efforts underway to retool local public safety efforts to rely less on high and disproportionate arrest and incarceration rates. Sustained momentum with such practices will reduce risks for several groups:   The nation’s three million first responders;   Persons experiencing mental health crises, substance use disorder issues, and homelessness, who might otherwise go to jail;  

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