Investing in People and Places

For the United States to remain globally competitive, our economy – especially its workforce – needs to continue to improve, adapt and innovate. The key strength of American enterprise has always been innovation. Here, in the rough and tumble competition of the marketplace, the lone entrepreneur toiling in the garage is the patron saint of

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To Grow Small Businesses, Doing What Local Governments Do Best is Best

The recent recessionary period has garnered new attention to the role of small businesses in generating economic growth.  As a result, many local governments have renewed interest in policies to support and grow their small business community.  But how do we know what really works? During a recent meeting of the Atlanta and Dallas Federal

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Crying Wolf about Municipal Defaults

‘Tis the season of white elephant gifts, a popular holiday game where participants exchange gifts whose value exceeds their usefulness. Unfortunately, it is also the season of Wall Street analysts crying wolf about the municipal bond market – warning of white elephant projects and near-bankruptcy state and local governments. Wall Street analyst Meredith Whitney leads

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Communities Don’t Build Themselves

Most people have never heard of Bob Holmes, Egidio Teixeira and Nelson Merced. Likewise, the names of George McLean and Vaughn Grisham mean very little to most folks anywhere in America. However, for the residents of Dudley Street in Boston or to the small business owners in Tupelo, Mississippi, these names, when uttered, evoke the

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Kobe, Days 2 and 3: From Questions to Answers — The need for local leadership

This post is by Neil Bomberg, NLC’s Program Director for Human Development and Public Safety. What appeared to be a conference without answers was rapidly transformed on the second day into a conference with significant answers on how governments can work toward improving the health of their residents and citizens.  The answers, the conferees agreed,

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The View from The 45th Floor

This post is by Neil Bomberg, NLC’s Program Director for Human Development and Public Safety. Last week while in Japan, I had the privilege of meeting with representatives from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government in their 45 story headquarters building in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan.  The twin towers and the adjoining Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly building are visible

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A Conference Burdened by Questions and an Apparent Lack of Answers: Day One of the World Health Organization’s Global Forum on Urbanization and Health

This post is by Neil Bomberg, NLC’s Program Director for Human Development and Public Safety. The first day of the Global Forum on Urbanization and Health was filled with questions that seemed unanswerable.  The presentations by representatives from sub-Sahara Africa, the Middle East, North America, Latin America, Europe, East Asia and South Asia raised numerous

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Heading to WHO Global Forum on Urbanization and Health

It was just a short while ago that the World Health Organization’s Global Forum on Urbanization and Health in Kobe, Japan was month’s away. It is now less than a week away, and the excitement about the meeting appears to be growing. The agenda has been set, the National League of Cities’ role in the

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Housing Needs for the Next Decade

For local policy makers anticipating the economic landscape in the post-recession and post-foreclosure period, there are three factors that will influence decisions about new housing development – the number of homeless families; the slowdown in household formation; and the severe cost burden that so many face for housing. The combination of these factors means that

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