Month: September 2016

Mayors Address Energy, Environmental Issues with Greater Substance

This year’s State of the Cities analysis reflects a growing gap between leading cities and the rest of the country on issues related to energy, environment, and climate change. The last year has been monumental for anyone following environment and energy policy. A global climate change agreement was reached with a one point five degree

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Last Chance for Cities to Comment on Payday Lending Rule

Payday loans have had a tremendous negative impact on the economic success of city residents – but cities can take action and make a positive impact at the federal level by showing public support for a proposed regulation. In the United States, there are more payday lending storefronts than McDonalds and Starbucks combined. Many local

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SolSmart Designates First Solar-friendly Communities

Twenty-two communities throughout the U.S. have been recognized for removing barriers to solar energy and making it easier and more affordable for homes and businesses to install solar. If a home or business in your community wants to install solar panels, what would they need to do? Are there clear building codes, zoning rules, or

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This Month in Urban Affairs: A New Climate Data Tool for Cities, Tennessee’s Big Transit Plan, and California’s New Green Tech Economy

Our new monthly roundup of the latest reading materials filtered through an urban affairs lens. Michigan reports a six percent drop in homelessness. The report, published by the group Ending Homelessness in Michigan, also registered a 15 percent percent drop in veteran homelessness. These declines occurred between 2014 and 2015, during which 34,000 people previously living

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One Mayor’s Take: Why America Needs a New Agenda for Cities

Increased investment in infrastructure could have an enormous positive economic impact and create more vibrant, thriving cities – but federal leaders need to make the commitment. This is a guest post by Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James. The post was originally published here, and has been reprinted with permission. We all know the stories

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Leaving Mass Incarceration Behind: How Cities Are Turning to a Public Health Approach to Violence

Cities won’t solve homicides and other public safety challenges unless they identify strategies that address violence effectively. This is a guest post by Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie and Marc Schindler. As the Justice Policy Institute lays out in Defining Violence: Reducing Incarceration by Rethinking America’s Approach to Violent Crime, cities need to embrace a series of

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Mayors: Data & Technology Critical to City Leadership

The use of data to drive decision-making in cities is continuing to grow, and the myriad uses for these data are being further incorporated into city operations. Data and technology are critical components of highly functioning cities. Mayors recognize this, and seek to elevate related issues – from broadband to smart cities to data-driven government

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States Sue Over New Overtime Rules

Twenty-one states are suing the Department of Labor over new overtime rules which make it more likely states will have to pay more employees overtime. They are seeking an injunction which will prevent the new rules from going into effect on December 1, 2016. Per the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), “white collar” employees do

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How Cities Can Help Provide Healthy Meals to Children Year-Round

As students across the country settle into the new school year, there is an opportunity for communities to provide nutritious meals and a safe space for children to gather when the school day ends, as well as contribute to their academic success. This month, the National League of Cities (NLC), in partnership with the Food

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