Month: October 2016

Here’s What City Leaders Need to Know About Pension Budget Discussions

Incorporating an active policy discussion about pension funding into the budget process – even in well-funded cities – is important, because the earlier pension funding problems are confronted, the less costly they will be overall, and the less burden will be placed on future generations of taxpayers. This is a guest post by Les Richmond.

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A Crash Course in Urban Development

The Urban Land Institute has recently developed a day-long training geared specifically towards elected officials to help them better understand the nuts and bolts of municipal real estate projects and how they’re financed. Community activists sometimes decry market-based urban development projects (and their managers) using words like monstrosity, Satan, and scumbucket. But any public official

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Solar-friendly Cities Challenge Winners Announced

Two U.S. cities have been recognized for removing barriers to solar energy and making it easier and more affordable for homes and businesses to install solar. Here’s how they achieved that recognition. The National League of Cities (NLC) is delighted to announce the winners of the SolSmart Cities Challenge. In August, NLC challenged cities across

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Do We Have to Obey the Mayor?

Clashes between the mayor and city council sometimes have a devastating impact on a city’s well-being. A few simple principles can keep the lines of authority clear. This is a guest post by Ann G. Macfarlane. After fifteen years in this business, it seems to me that questions of authority are some of the hardest

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The Inside Story of the “Keep GM” Movement

One mayor’s dynamic, collaborative management model essentially saved a U.S. manufacturing city – Lansing, Michigan – using public-private partnerships. Here’s how it was done. This is a guest post. The post was co-authored by David Closs, Tomas Hult and David Hollister. When car-making giant General Motors decided to close its plant in Lansing, Michigan, in 1996, one person –

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Cities Should Let the Sharing Economy Thrive

In too many cities across the country, sharing economy platforms face outdated rules that prevent competition in favor of incumbent industries. Ultimately, public policy that stifles competition, limits innovation, or hinders sharing economy platforms is bad for local economies. This is a guest post by Dusty Brighton. “Be your own boss.” Traditionally, when people hear

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How Cities Can Implement Successful CSA Programs for Local Families

Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs) are emerging in as a way cities can help even the most low-income children and families save for college and potentially disrupt cycles of multi-generational poverty. When higher education becomes an expectation as early as kindergarten, parents save and children know that college is an attainable goal. CSAs often include an

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Women Are Being Jailed at the Highest Rates Ever. Here’s How Cities Can Help Stem the Tide.

Recently, the national conversation about mass incarceration has turned local, focusing on county and city-run jails that act as incarceration’s front door. A missing element to that discussion, however, is the fastest growing correctional population: women. As revealed in a new report – Overlooked: Women and Jails in an Era of Reform – by the

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