Author: NLC Staff

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day during COVID-19

How will COVID-19 change long-term efforts to address climate change? Is the current Coronavirus pandemic a prelude to the climate disasters cities will face in the future? On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, NLC Sustainability and Resilience experts reflect on how COVID-19 will change the way cities mitigate and adapt to climate and environmental policy.   The Future is Local By

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Homelessness and the Critical Needs of Those Most At-Risk

As the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc among communities across the globe, it is those already living at the margins who will see the deadliest consequences. For individuals who are housing insecure or experiencing homelessness, stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders can be difficult, if not impossible, to comply with, introducing further uncertainty and fear into their lives.   Among the housing insecure and those experiencing homelessness, some populations are particularly vulnerable, now more than ever. These include racial and ethnic minorities, youth and adolescents fleeing

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City Leaders Address Justice Reform with Renewed Urgency in Face of COVID-19

As COVID-19 presents daily challenges for city leaders across the United States, there is a growing need to attend to the risk and reality of the virus spread among persons in criminal justice settings. To address this, cities continue to make adjustments that protect residents, promote public safety and encourage reform. A recent NLC meeting of Mayors’ justice policy advisors highlighted examples of the procedural and policy shifts underway in various cities including Indianapolis, Newark and Philadelphia.  Two mayors shared remarks on justice reform, public safety and COVID-19:  Mayor Ras Baraka,

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Disparate Impacts of COVID-19 on Communities of Color

As local leaders respond to this COVID-19 pandemic, government decision-makers and decision-making processes will be tested in unprecedented ways. Now, more than ever, these decisions cannot only consider equity as one piece of many; they must center on equity. Without applying an explicit equity lens to each city’s COVID-19 response, the response is likely to perpetuate or exacerbate existing inequities for people of color, low-income individuals, people with disabilities, the LGBTQIA+ community, and other vulnerable

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The Case for Rental Assistance: Why It is Necessary and How Cities Can Fund It

Housing instability plagued many Americans long before the COVID-19 pandemic, but the global health crisis has recently pushed it to the forefront of many policymakers’ minds as more families are urged to shelter in place. With orders to stay-at-home to help curb the spread of the virus, the question of who has a home to stay in, and

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State of the Cities in the Wake of COVID-19

Each year, mayors across the country prepare to give a very meaningful speech: The State of the City. This is a time for local leaders to communicate about the health, stability and future of their communities. This year, however, mayors are making dramatic changes due to the impact of COVID-19, including postponing or altogether canceling

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Hazard Pay Decisions Challenge City Leaders

Cities have employees in many high-risk positions. Police, firefighters, paramedics, and EMT’s are typical examples. Private and public employers alike are considering additional compensation, or “hazard pay,” for employees working on the frontlines in midst of the COVID-19 crisis. For those cities that implement such a policy, there exists a labyrinth of rules and regulations

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Adapting City Processes and Staff to Telework

As more states and localities have implemented closures to help limit the spread of coronavirus, many cities are working overtime to transition a largely in-office workforce to telework. While telework is not possible for those in essential positions such as emergency responders, sanitation workers, and utility workers, those employees who can work from home, should

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State, Local and Federal Partnership: An Essential Tool in Addressing COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has demanded an “all-hands-on-deck” response from all levels of our nation’s governance structure. Mayors, council members, city and county health officials, governors, as well as the Administration and Congress, are all working to ensure that response and recovery efforts are “locally executed, state managed, and federally supported.” In communities large and small,

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Five Ways Local Governments are Supporting Small Businesses During COVID-19

small business owner in front of building

There is no historical parallel for the economic collapse the coronavirus is inflicting on economies around the globe. In just 3 weeks, 16 million Americans have joined the rolls of the unemployed, representing more than half the jobs created after the 2008 Great Recession. The impact of the outbreak on small businesses is particularly acute.

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