Category: city administration

One Small City’s Big Steps to Undo Systemic Racism

The Village of Park Forest, Illinois was established in 1948 to house military veterans as the nation’s first planned community after World War II. Park Forest was initially designed as one of the few communities without restrictive covenants by religion. Building on that ten-year tradition, Park Forest was racially desegregated in 1959 when the first African-American

Continue reading

Three Commitments for Local Leaders in 2019

As we begin 2019 and lay out plans for our communities, it is equally important to take time to set personal intentions for the new year. Here are three commitments that I hope every local leader can make in 2019. Put yourself (and your family and friends) at the top of your priority list There’s

Continue reading

Top 5 NLC Reports from 2018

What did city leaders want to learn about most this year? The numbers don’t lie: autonomous vehicles, recycling, small cell deployment, the census and local trends. At the National League of Cities, we are dedicated to ensuring that cities are able to thrive and stay abreast of emerging issues in an ever-changing national landscape. And

Continue reading

An Inside Look at Economic Development in Japan

This post is part of a series on NLC’s Equitable Economic Development (EED) Fellowship. This year, a familiar face was selected to participate in the Japan Local Government Center’s Council of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR) Fellowship Exchange program. Martha Brown, the deputy commissioner for the Department of City Development (DCD) of the city of Milwaukee,

Continue reading

Building a Well-Managed Local Government: The Value of What Works Cities Certification

Cities face a range of issues these days – from public transportation and infrastructure to housing affordability and environmental concerns. Each has a direct impact on improving the quality of life of residents, which is exactly what our goal as civic leaders should be. That’s why the National League of Cities (NLC) and Results for

Continue reading

How Cutting Printing Costs Helped Restore a Park

I recently met with a councilman from SeaTac, a small city in the inner-ring suburb of Seattle that boasts about 30,000 residents. As a new councilman in the middle of his first term, Peter Kwon initially asked a lot of questions. And like many of our city leaders and their staff, Councilman Kwon was already

Continue reading

Ensuring Sustainable Pension Funding for Your City

We’ve been hearing about municipal bankruptcy and Chapter 9 a lot over the past few years. But to what extent has this become the norm? Very little, according to a Governing analysis of eligible local governments that have filed for bankruptcy protection. In fact, there have been a total of only 680 bankruptcy filings since

Continue reading

Why the Census is Headed To SCOTUS

For more on how to prepare your city for the 2020 census visit NLC.org/census. In March 2018 Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross issued a memorandum stating a citizenship question would be added to the 2020 census questionnaire. In In Re Department of Commerce the Supreme Court will not be deciding whether this question may be

Continue reading

5 Things Cities Can Be Grateful for This Thanksgiving

Elected officials rarely get the chance to pause and reflect. For many of us, elected office is a second—or third—job, and there is always another project to complete, another problem that must be solved, or a council meeting to attend. The truth is—most of us like it that way. As local leaders, it’s in our

Continue reading

How One City Uses a Trust to Control Pension Costs

Pensions are consuming local governments’ budgets, and many are struggling to make their payments. In Walnut Creek, California, as in a lot of cities around the nation, revenues are flattening, while expenses for employee benefits and basic services are rising. Not to mention, as our cities continue to age, infrastructure needs are ever present. Even

Continue reading