Four Takeaways from NLC’s Leadership Meeting in Kansas City

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More than 200 local leaders convened this week in Kansas City to work on key initiatives and discuss policies that can benefit your city.

Kansas City, Missouri, recently hosted NLC's 2016 Summer Board and Leadership Meeting. Among other highlights, we got to explore the city on a streetcar tour.
Kansas City, Missouri, recently hosted NLC’s 2016 Summer Board and Leadership Meeting. Among other highlights, we got to explore the city on a streetcar tour.

More than 200 local leaders convened this week in Kansas City for the National League of Cities Summer Board and Leadership Meeting and Policy Forum. This annual convening serves as a business meeting for NLC’s Board of Directors and a platform for our members on the seven Policy and Advocacy Steering Committees to discuss federal action priorities and policy positions. The summer leadership meeting also includes a number of mobile workshops, and guest speakers. Here are the highlights:

1. The New Logo and Slogan Were a Hit

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Bold and modern, the new logo embraces our role as the voice of cities in Washington; our slogan, Cities Strong Together, emphasizes our connection with the 19,000 cities and towns we represent. Up next: over the long 4th of July weekend, NLC will be relocating to our new offices just down the street from Capitol Hill.

With updated meeting and conference centers, as well as convenient access to Congress, we’ll be able to communicate in and outside of the Beltway better than ever before. These major accomplishments couldn’t have happened without the input of our leadership—this week in Kansas City, we proudly celebrated the major accomplishments NLC has achieved with their guidance and vision.

2. The Board Passed a Resolution on Gun Violence

In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history – claiming the lives of 49 victims at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida – NLC’s Board of Directors voted to call on Congress and the administration to take action to reduce gun violence.

The board’s action comes at a time of unprecedented gun violence in the U.S. Since January 2016, there have been 196 mass shootings involving four or more victims, killing 299 people and wounding 721. Looking at gun-related incidents as a whole, in the first six months of 2016 there have been more than 24,921 incidents, claiming the lives of 6,386, and wounding 13,176, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

3. Kansas City Was a Great Host

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Not only did they put up our name in lights, but the city gave us a streetcar tour, shared innovative ideas from their partnership with Cisco and Smart City Media, and treated us to a Kansas City Royals baseball game. Representatives from the Kansas City business community, federal agencies and Kansas City Mayor Sly James participated as guest speakers in the meetings.

4. The Board Discussed Key Initiatives and Considered Policy Positions

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The board approved NLC’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 budget and heard updates on several strategic initiatives, including the National City-County Task Force on the Opioid Epidemic and the 2016 Presidential Election Task Force.

Federal Advocacy Committee members focused their time in Kansas City on the National Municipal Policy, the status of NLC’s 2016 federal action agenda, and inventive local practices. For a full look at the committee’s activity while in Kansas City, click here.

About the Author: Meridith St. Jean is the Associate for Marketing, Communications & Technology at the National League of Cities.