Month: May 2013

Book Review: Confronting Suburban Poverty in America

Inner-city slums.  Rural isolation.  The affluent suburbs.  For decades, these terms have demarcated the mental boundaries of our nation’s collective understanding of the geography of poverty and wealth in America. Yet this geography has been changing rapidly in recent years – and neither our perceptions nor our poverty reduction policies are keeping pace. In a

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Food Trucks More Than a Passing Fad for Many Cities

In spring 2013, Masters of Public Policy students at The George Washington University conducted research on local policy options for food truck regulations for the NLC. This blog post is based on their preliminary report, which will be made available to NLC members as a policy toolkit in the coming months. Food trucks have expanded

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Celebrating Train Day and Transportation Week

Celebrating Train Day and Transportation Week  May is a month for celebrating transportation across the country.  National Transportation Week was held May 14-20 and Train Day on May 11.   For cities and towns, transportation is always a critical topic. Our multi-modal transportation network is essential to economic development and community vitality. Amtrak and Train Day

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The Devil is in the Design Details: Strategies to Enhance Transit Experience

I live in a region that is nationally known for its traffic congestion.  In virtually every poll, newspaper article, or blog on the topic (google “DC region traffic congestion” for proof), the DC metro area is up in the ranks.  Somewhat under the radar are the initiatives taking place throughout the region to provide viable

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PEPTA: Why NLC Opposes this Bill

This is the fourth and final part of the series on the Public Employee Pension Transparency Act of 2013, also known as PEPTA.   Why does the National League of Cities oppose a bill that ostensibly would bring greater transparency to public employee pensions, and ensure that they are fiscally sound and sustainable? Simply put, the Public

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PEPTA: Linking State and Local Government Pensions and Municipal Bonds

This is the third in a four part series on the Public Employee Pension Transparency Act of 2013, also known as PEPTA.   To “protect” the federal government from any responsibility for state or local fiscal problems, Reps. Nunes, Ryan and Issa, in the House, and Sens. Burr, Coburn and Thune, in the Senate, have introduced

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PEPTA: A Bill in Search of a Problem

This is the second in a four part series on the Public Employee Pension Transparency Act of 2013, also known as PEPTA.   Many members of Congress have expressed the belief that many state and local pension plans are about to fail, and that cities and towns across the nation are about to default on their

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Keeping a Small Town Thriving

Shepherdstown, West Virginia (population under 2,000) matches the historic charm of a Shenandoah Valley retreat with the energy and entrepreneurship usually found in a more urban setting. In the competition for best in class among small communities, Shepherdstown punches above its size and weight. Ignore the pre-Revolutionary founding (1762) and the advantages of geography (77

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Rep. Nunes and Sen. Burr Introduce PEPTA: Another Threat to Municipal Bonds

This is the first in a four part series on Public Employee Pension Transparency Act of 2013, also known as PEPTA. More and more, Congress appears to be considering legislation that is based on anecdotal and inaccurate information and not on good public policy or the facts. That certainly was the case when the House last

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Dropout Reengagement Moves Forward in Los Angeles

The City of Los Angeles and the LA Unified School District as close working partners: who would have predicted this in the midst of bitter struggles over mayoral leadership of schools a few years ago? Yet, it’s this partnership, and more, that I witnessed this week on a visit to the Boyle Heights Tech Center

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