This April recess, NLC is encouraging city leaders to engage with their members of Congress while they are at home in their districts for two weeks. Don’t let Congress leave America’s cities behind — join us this week and next as we #FightTheCuts proposed in the administration’s budget.
This post is part of a series on the 2018 federal budget.
Now is the time to fight to protect critical funding to cities. Today, Congress starts a two-week period of recess, during which our federally-elected officials have the chance to return to their home districts, connect with constituents, and, in many cases, hold town hall meetings. This recess, one of the key issues on the minds of members of Congress traveling back home will be the long battle for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget waiting for them when they come back to Washington, D.C., on April 24.
President Donald Trump’s recently released budget proposal is a non-starter for cities. It slashes funding for crucial programs that cities and their residents rely on by cutting more than $54 billion in domestic spending across the board. Make no mistake — no city in America would be better off under the president’s budget proposal, and we must stand together to fight the cuts.
We need local elected officials to take this opportunity to send a clear message to Congress early on: this budget season, Congress must stand with cities. Here are five ways you can fight back against the proposed cuts and tell your representatives that when they get back to Washington, they need to work on a budget that puts cities first.
1) Visit Your Member of Congress’ District Office
Take advantage of the fact that your congressperson is at home in your city during the next two weeks. Learn about how proposed budget cuts may impact your city and how you can set up a meaningful meeting with your member of Congress.
2) Call or Write Your Member of Congress
In-person meetings are always best, but you can also use our template and write a letter to your member of Congress urging them to stand with, and invest in, America’s cities. You can also use our script to call your member of Congress’ district office and urge them to develop a budget that’s focused on building prosperity, expanding opportunity, and investing in America’s cities.
3) Write an Op-Ed and Have It Locally Placed
Pen a letter to your editor or draft an op-ed highlighting your advocacy on behalf of your city, and ask your member of Congress to not cut vital sources of city funding. We’ve already created an easy-to-use template.
4) Engage Through Social Media
Print our easy-to-use #FightTheCuts banner and Tweet your photo with it to @LeagueofCities. Let’s see how many local elected officials we can document standing up for cities.
5) Visit nlc.org/FightTheCuts
Our strength as an organization lies in our members. We need city leaders to fight back against the proposed budget cuts and tell Congress to approve a budget that works for cities. Find other creative ways you can take action on our #FightTheCuts campaign page.
About the author: Irma Esparza Diggs is the Senior Executive and Director of Federal Advocacy for the National League of Cities.