5 ways to Connect City Hall to Capitol Hill at the Congressional City Conference

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city hall to capitol hillNLC’s annual Congressional City Conference is taking place in our nation’s capital from March 8th through the 12th this year. This event is an opportunity to network and share best practices with  over 2,000 local and appointed city officials. It’s also the only event that brings representatives from across local governments together to advocate for a common agenda that strengthens our cities and communities. You’ll be able to connect the issues that matter most in your city hall to the work that is being done on Capitol Hill and across the rest of the federal government.

We know you’re busy and need to make the most out of your time. So here are five ways to maximize your time at the Congressional City Conference and connect city hall to Capitol Hill.

1.   Advocate for issues that matter most to cities.

Cities are stronger when they are working together towards a set of common goals. With input from our membership and Policy and Advocacy Committees, NLC has identified six federal action priorities  for 2014. The need for action on these issues is imperative, and we believe the political climate is ripe for change. At the conference, Advocacy Central will offer resources to help you advocate on each of the following  six federal action priorities:

2.  Tell your representatives what your community needs.

During the conference, there will be time available to visit your congressional delegation on Capitol Hill. This time offers a unique opportunity to discuss the issues most important to cities in person with federal legislators and their staff.

In order to make the most of the experience, we recommend that you  request and schedule meetings with your legislators before you arrive in Washington.

3.   Hear from national newsmakers.

The Congressional City Conference brings top administration officials directly to you. You’ll hear from U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan  and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan on how the work their agencies are doing is greatly impacting cities.We’re proud to also have U.S. Representative Steve Womack from Arkansas on the agenda.  In addition, you’ll hear from national media powerhouses Gwen Ifill from PBS and Andrea Mitchell from MSNBC.

4.   Learn how federal laws affect your city.

Our lineup of workshops and NLC University seminars will provide you with the latest information from policymakers and national experts. Topics ranging from the federal budget forecast to environmental regulatory reform will keep you informed and help you take advantage of all the programs and resources that the federal government can offer local leaders.

Our workshops are designed to showcase best practices in cities across the country and give you the chance to hear from and interact with federal officials.The NLC University sessions are intended to help you develop  professional leadership skills and cultivate topical expertise.

5.   Participate in the policy process.

Early on at the Congressional City Conference, you will be able to join in the National Municipal Policy debate by participating in one of our policy committee meetings. Policy committees are responsible for setting and developing NLC’s National Municipal Policy positions. The committee meetings at the conference are where local leaders come together and introduce the topics that will be put on the table for debate for the upcoming year at our Congress of Cities conference in November. Policy meetings will be held for the following committees at the conference:

  • Community & Economic Development
  • Energy, Environment & Natural Resources
  • Finance, Administration & Intergovernmental Relations
  • Human Development
  • Information Technology & Communications
  • Public Safety & Crime Prevention
  • Transportation Infrastructure & Services

See you in DC in March!