Category: State of the Cities

How Dayton Sets an Example on Transparency

This is a guest post by Dayton, Ohio, Mayor Nan Whaley. Dayton’s data transparency initiative, Dayton Open Data, is transforming the city government from the inside out. Transparency tools are powerful for our democracy, bringing vital information about local government to homes, libraries and community meetings. With a computer or smart phone, our residents can

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The Re-Emergence of Neighborhoods

For the past five years, NLC’s Center for City Solutions has analyzed hundreds of mayors’ state of the city addresses. In this research, we examine which priorities mayors are focusing on and how their priorities change over time in response to social, economic and political trends. The 2018 State of Cities (SOTC) report covers a sample of

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Why Workforce Development Matters for Mayors

For the past five years, NLC’s Center for City Solutions has analyzed mayors’ state of the cities speeches, which highlight the priorities mayors are focusing on. The 2018 State of Cities (SOTC) report has a sample of 160 mayoral speeches between January and April 2018 and includes cities of all population sizes and across geographic

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For Cities, Opportunity Starts at Home

The National League of Cities’ (NLC) Community and Economic Development Committee is consistently one of the largest of NLC’s seven advocacy committees. That makes sense, given that survey after survey has shown that economic development is consistently among the top priorities identified by local elected officials. It doesn’t seem to matter how well or poorly

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Fort Wayne Tackles the Opioid Crisis

This is a guest post by Tom Henry, mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana. As the second largest city in Indiana, Fort Wayne, is experiencing tremendous momentum, excitement and investments like never before. Fort Wayne has become a destination city, and people across the country are realizing that this is a great place to live, work and

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Housing and Cities — A Deeper Look at the Numbers

Over the last few years, “The Rent is Too Damn High” has grown from a fringe political party in New York to a constant complaint from millennials, seniors, middle-income wage earners, policy wonks and city elected leaders. While housing issues in a growth economy might seem counter-intuitive on the surface, the research tells a much

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Why Downtown Development is Crucial for American Cities

Every year, mayors from cities of all sizes share their visions for the upcoming year in their state of the city speeches. NLC has analyzed trends in these speeches for the last five years, and it should surprise no one that economic development has remained the most popular topic. But this year, the subtopic of

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How City Leaders Can Combat Childhood Hunger

During his State of the City address this year, Adam Paul, mayor of Lakewood, Colorado, nailed it. “I have given this a lot of thought,” he said, “and I want to tell you my ‘one thing’ for this year. I want to address childhood hunger in our city. There is no excuse for children to

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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

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