Category: cities lead

Ocala, Florida’s Fiber Delivering for Decades

This is a guest post by Lisa Gonzalez, senior telecommunications researcher at The Institute for Local Self-Reliance. In 1995, when city leaders in Ocala, Florida, realized it was time to replace copper connections between utility substations, they chose to go with fiber optics for better supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) operations. That same year,

Continue reading

Cities Can Amplify Formerly Incarcerated Voices to Drive Justice Reform

This is a guest post form Ronald Simpson-Bey, who serves as the Director of Outreach and Alumni Engagement at JustLeadershipUSA. For any criminal justice reform policy to be truly effective, and for it to deliver the results that are long overdue — the decarceration and decriminalization of black and brown communities and communities experiencing poverty

Continue reading

Mayors Agree States and Cities Must Work Together

In his early February state of the city address, Mayor Steve Schewel of Durham, North Carolina, was blunt with his constituents: “Here is a hard truth we must face: Despite our best efforts, Durham will not reach its true greatness while our state government weakens environmental protections, drops teacher pay to the bottom of the

Continue reading

Lessons in Leadership From Puerto Rico

In Puerto Rico, mid-April means bright sunshine and hot afternoons. This year, it also means recovery. We met Amelia on a tour through Utuado, a mid-sized city located in the central mountainous region of the island. Standing in her sister’s backyard, surrounded by fallen debris and an overturned chicken coup, she held a machete in

Continue reading

5 Things We Learned at the Congressional City Conference

This week, more than 2,300 city leaders and delegates from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia convened in Washington to deliver a simple message to Congress and the Trump Administration: Rebuild With Us and fix America’s infrastructure. For four days starting March 10, delegates to the Congressional City Conference shared solutions to common

Continue reading

Housing Solutions for Veterans Offer a Path Forward

From 2010 to 2017, homelessness among American military veterans declined by an astonishing 46 percent. This historic progress was the result of sustained partnerships between federal, state and local officials, as well as philanthropy, the private sector and nonprofits. The progress for veterans is encouraging — but veterans only represent a fraction of the 553,742

Continue reading

What City Leaders Had To Say In 2017

In 2017, local leadership took center stage in the American political arena. Whatever the issue — climate, immigration, foreign affairs, public safety, law — mayors and city councilmembers emerged as a clear voice of reason in an unsteady time. Throughout the year, we’ve proudly worked to elevate the voices of city leaders on CitiesSpeak, bringing

Continue reading

The Most Effective Federal Grants for Mid-Sized Cities

As 2017 comes to a close, city leaders are concerned about the future of critical grant programs. Earlier this year, the Trump Administration released the Department of Housing and Urban Development budget for fiscal year 2018, which proposed the sweeping elimination of flexible block grant programs, including Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and HOME Investment

Continue reading

Our Eight Most Popular Articles of 2017

In January 2017, America’s cities faced a precarious moment. After several years of runaway growth in downtowns and neighborhoods, major cities were at their most wealthy, safe, and vibrant point in decades. Meanwhile, mid-sized cities and small towns continued to struggle with growing challenges — and a divisive 2016 campaign season had laid those inequalities

Continue reading

Planning a More Resilient Future: Four Takeaways From the 2017 Resilient Cities Summit

This post was co-authored by Katharine Burgess, Jeremy Sigmon and Cooper Martin. Last week, an inspirational group of mayors, senior city officials, and nationally-recognized experts gathered in Stowe, Vermont, for the 2017 Resilient Cities Summit, hosted by the National League of Cities (NLC), the Urban Land Institute (ULI), and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Against

Continue reading