Category: General

How Cities Can Revive Recycling

As America celebrates the 49th Earth Day, we reflect on how much has changed and how much more still needs to change to create a more sustainable world. Municipal recycling has always been closely linked to Earth Day as one of the most direct and personal ways that Americans contribute to sustainability efforts. But if you’ve

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How to Reconnect Your Youth to the Natural World

A young boy having a positive outdoor experiences

“With access to nature, we have real racial disparity in our city. If you are a middle-class kid, your parents or scout troop are making sure you have positive outdoor experiences. This is not the case for a kid struggling with not having enough food and the trauma of everyday life,” said St. Louis Mayor

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How American Cities Made Earth Day

On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans from all walks of life took to the streets, the auditoriums, and college campuses to put environmental concerns on the front page. This first Earth Day was a response to dire environmental challenges of the era. An oil well blew out and spilled off the coast of Santa

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Local Leaders Will be Our Climate Change Heroes

As another Earth Day approaches, I feel the need to make a confession related to something I heard at a climate conference two years ago. The speaker (who will remain anonymous), exclaimed to the jam-packed and dumbfounded room, “Folks, somehow, I am able to hold two totally contradictory ideas in my head at once: ONE

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How Local Leaders Can Strengthen Summer Learning

Whether you are a municipal leader thinking of ways to solve city challenges or looking to support existing youth programs, look no further. NLC’s partners at the Wallace Foundation have put together a Summer Learning Toolkit that local leaders can share with program providers to develop and strengthen high-quality summer learning programs. Cities play a

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Why Timbs v. Indiana Won’t Have Much Impact

Timbs v. Indiana has received a lot of attention because it deals with a controversial subject—civil asset forfeitures. But as a practical matter this case is unlikely to have much of an impact. What this case now requires under the federal constitution has long since been required under state constitutions. In Timbs the Supreme Court

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Is Rent Control Available to Your City?

Local Tools to Address Housing Affordability: A State-by-State Analysisis the fifth annual report produced in partnership with the 49 state municipal leagues. This post is part of a series highlighting findings from this new report. As the housing crisis rages on, cities are experimenting with a number of tools — that is, where they have

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Helping Cities Find Equitable Ways to Assess and Reform Fines and Fees

The National League of Cities (NLC) is assisting six member cities to assess and reform their use of local fines and fees and develop equitable collections strategies as part of the new Cities Addressing Fines and Fees Equitably (CAFFE) technical assistance and grant initiative. Cities chosen for the CAFFE cohort include: Aurora, Colorado; Baton Rouge,

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Your Constituents Will Have Questions About the 2020 Census. Here’s How to Answer.

Residents frequently turn to local leaders with questions and concerns related to the census—this will be doubly true with the many changes to the upcoming 2020 Census. After reviewing frequently asked questions, NLC compiled a list of answers and responses that will set your community at ease. These originally appeared in NLC’s report, Preparing for

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America’s Fastest Growing Cities Are Becoming More Diverse, But Face Rising Inequity

Ninety-eight percent of growth in the hundred largest cities since 2000 was from growth in minority populations. A Brookings Institution analysis of the 2011- 2015 American Community Survey found that despite this increased diversity in cities, racial segregation has only moderately declined. Dominantly white neighborhoods in cities were 79 percent white in 2000 and 72

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