State of the Cities in 2011: A New Era of Regional Collaboration

This is the sixth in a seven-part series about mayors’ 2011 State of the City speeches. Mayor John Monaco of Mesquite, Texas quoted late President Ronald Reagan in his 2011 State of the City speech when he said, “A recession is when your neighbor loses his job…a depression is when you lose yours.”  While neighboring

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State of the Cities in 2011: Infrastructure a Prerequisite for Economic Success

This is the fifth in a seven-part series about mayors’ 2011 State of the City speeches. In difficult economic times, the need to invest in city infrastructure—transportation, public works and technology—does not decline.  Rather, residents still expect usable roads, transit options, clean water and technological advances.  And as cities struggle to maintain economic competitiveness, mayors

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State of the Cities in 2011: What Are Mayors Saying About Economic Development?

This is the fourth in a seven-part series about mayors’ 2011 State of the City speeches. In various “State of the City” addresses, local leaders stressed that the best way to improve their city’s economic position is to increase investment within the city, which they admit is no easy task.  Whether it’s through promoting second

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State of the Cities in 2011: Sustainability, But What’s in a Name?

This is the third in a seven-part series about mayors’ 2011 State of the City speeches. Mayors across the country are implementing initiatives to drive economic recovery while protecting the environment, promoting public health and creating vibrant communities with a unique sense of place.  These programs fulfill the triple-bottom-line definition of sustainability – bringing concurrent

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State of the Cities in 2011: Building a More Efficient Government

This is the second in a seven-part series about mayors’ 2011 State of the City speeches. In a nation where fiscal responsibility is in the spotlight, and groups are grappling for funding, the “State of the City” addresses we read clearly show that city governments are in search of ways to balance their budgets. Unfortunately,

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The State of the Cities in 2011

This is the first in a seven-part series about mayors’ 2011 State of the City speeches. From our office in Washington, D.C., NLC staff address local issues on behalf of city leaders from across the country.  We think we know where city leaders’ heads are, but how do they actually view their cities’ progress?  And

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Ideas Require a Team to Carry Them Forward

The New York Times called John Fetterman of Braddock, Pennsylvania the “Mayor of Rust.” To his credit, the mayor accepts the moniker as a compliment. To be sure, there are many accomplishments for which Mayor Fetterman can be proud. He has embraced land banks, urban agriculture, and green roofing as initiatives to revitalize his community.

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We All Might Want to Walk to Breakfast

I’m supposed to want a rambling four bedroom colonial with a two-car garage on a cul-de-sac, given my demographics of age, marital status and educational achievement. Big surprise: that’s not what I want. Seriously, who actually wants to get in the car every time there is a need for a loaf of bread, a light

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An Essential Role for Fannie and Freddie

For all the talk about reform of the mortgage finance system, the anticipated changes to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae are likely to be rather modest. In the run-up to Secretary Geithner’s end-of-January deadline to offer a proposal to Congress, only two options are under serious consideration to support the goal of ensuring long-term liquidity

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Crying Wolf on Municipal Defaults, Part 2

Here we go again.  Meredith Whitney, the Wall Street analyst who appeared on CBS’ 60 Minutes in December and predicted “50-100 sizeable municipal defaults” totaling “hundreds of billions of dollars,” appeared on CNBC this morning and claimed that there would be “indiscriminate selling” of municipal bonds because “local leaders want to default on debt investors

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