State of the Cities 2013: As the Economy Goes, So Goes the City

This is the second post in a seven-part series on trends and themes in local leadership. Every year, economic development accomplishments and future goals feature prominently in mayors’ State of the City Addresses. It’s easy to understand why; as the economy goes, so goes the city. Constituents want to know that their mayor is doing

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Building for the Future in an Uncertain Present: State of the Cities 2013

“Synergy is when the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. When applied to finding new solutions to the challenges we face in building a community, this requires an inclusive process that seeks input and ideas from many people. In doing so, we can generate new and better ways of doing business.” On

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General Dempsey: Trust Runs From the Battlefield into Cities

During his presentation at the Congressional City Conference last week, the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey, walked nearly 1,200 attendees through multiple aspects of a photo (below) showing two soldiers from Afghanistan. The General underscored the importance of veterans in communities and the need for local leaders to ensure

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“My job is to make sure people are safe.”

When was the last time you saw public officials representing Americans of all backgrounds having a reasonable discussion on how to prevent gun violence? For the mayors addressing a standing-room only crowd of municipal officials visiting Washington, D.C., for NLC’s Congressional City Conference this morning, the impact of gun-related deaths and injuries is personal, immediate, and demanding of a pragmatic and sensible response.

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Local Food Systems Strongest with Local Leadership

The 1969 fire on the Cuyahoga River  has gone down in history for causing a nationwide outcry that compelled the federal government to clean up and ensure the safety of our waterways. This, amongst other efforts, resulted in the Clean Water Act (CWA) and the creation of the Federal Government’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Through rulemaking

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Losing a Youth Development Icon

I know that some municipal officials devote their entire lives to public service.  In Boston, Tom Menino has served as mayor for nearly 20 years, and spent almost a decade before that as a member of the City Council.  Richard Daley dominated Chicago’s City Hall and political life for a generation, as his father had

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Latest in Economic Development

This week’s Latest in Economic Development looks at a new regional partnership in St. Louis, ideas for improved small business permitting, more on a library co-working space, and the economic development effects of the sequester. Have thoughts to add? Comment below or send to mcconnell@nlc.org. St. Louis City and County announced a new partnership for

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Higher Education Proposals in the President’s State of the Union Address

In addition to the early education plans unveiled in his State of the Union address, President Obama proposed a series of new education initiatives with a goal to better prepare students to enter the workforce.  His proposals aim to ensure that American high schools are providing students with necessary skills, make college tuition affordable, and

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What the President’s State of the Union Proposals Would Mean for Early Childhood Education

In his State of the Union address last week, President Obama outlined several ambitious initiatives to strengthen the nation’s education system.  One of his proposed reforms would expand access to high-quality preschool and early learning opportunities.  The president emphasized the importance of early childhood education and noted that, “Study after study shows that the sooner

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Nineteen Million

Sometimes a single number shakes me in my boots – a budget line, a murder rate, a grant amount. Currently, the number “rocking my world:” Nineteen million. Nineteen million is the number of young adults who will qualify for relatively low cost health insurance under provisions of the Affordable Care Act.  That’s about half of

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