Category: General

Discovering Your City’s Maker Economy

As the maker economy continues to take shape in cities across the country, it is emerging as a potential powerhouse for building strong local economies through creative microbusinesses and small-scale manufacturing.  As this industry of small businesses expands and transforms, city leaders should understand what the maker economy is and how to harness its economic

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How to Measure Pension Fiscal Health in Your City

The state of retirement funding has become an obvious fiscal concern for city governments, especially since the Great Recession. In fact, a recent National League of Cities survey revealed the cost of employee/retiree pensions ranks third (following infrastructure needs and public safety needs) among the most negative factors impacting city budgets. Perhaps more telling is

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Keeping the American Dream Alive

This is a guest post by NLC President Matt Zone, councilmember, Cleveland. The promise of economic mobility and opportunity lies at the heart of America’s culture and democratic society. At its core, this promise hinges on two basic concepts: first, that everyone has a chance to improve their economic status and wellbeing through personal initiative

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The Future of Equity in Cities

Cities are shaping the story of America. The success we have seen in our nation’s cities is clear, but the future of our urban places will be defined by how we work together — to lift all members of our communities in the future. Great places don’t rise from a blank slate — they use

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Don’t Make Cities and Towns Shoulder the Cost of Tax Reform

This is a guest post by Sam Mamet, executive director of the Colorado Municipal League. Back in the day, when I was still lobbying for the Colorado Municipal League under the Gold Dome of our state capitol, there was an old parlor game I used to have to play. It was called “Shift and Shaft.”

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Cities Apply Lessons from Veteran Homelessness to Help Senior Veterans

Last month at the University of North Carolina’s School of Journalism in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, NLC joined with Purple Heart Homes, the Housing Assistance Council, and The Home Depot Foundation to discuss the housing needs of senior veterans. As cities respond to changing age demographics among the entire population, lessons from the progress on

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How Austin, Texas Got Equitable Economic Development Right

This post is part of a series on NLC’s Equitable Economic Development (EED) Fellowship. Kevin Johns is the Economic Development Director for the City of Austin. This week I had the opportunity to talk to Kevin about Austin’s Einstein Challenge, an innovative program looking to lift out of poverty 40,000 children in the city. Carlos

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Countdown Begins on Volkswagen Settlement Funds for Cities

In October 2016, the U.S. government approved a $14.7 billion settlement against Volkswagen for violations of the Clean Air Act. As part of the settlement, $2.7 billion was set aside into an Environmental Mitigation Trust and will be given directly to states to fund projects to reduce nitrogen oxide at the local level. Cities can

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Opioid Addiction Is a Mental Health Crisis, Not a Crime Wave

This is a guest post by Chirlane McCray, First Lady of New York City. It was originally published on NBC News Think. Last year, roughly 64,000 people died from a drug overdose in the United States — the largest annual increase in drug-related deaths ever recorded in our history. Overdoses are now the leading cause of death for

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