Leading City Issues of 2012: Snapshot from CitiesSpeak.org

Jobs and the economy, sustainability, government performance, youth violence prevention, community design, and, wouldn’t you know it, beer, emerged as leading city themes of 2012.  We surveyed the most read posts of the year from NLC’s CitiesSpeak.org blog to get a snapshot of the top local issues on the minds of readers. In order of

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Asheville, NC – Focusing on its Strengths

It’s rare to find an economic development handbook or guide that doesn’t proclaim “Focus on your strengths. ”  It is the unofficial motto of economic development. But somehow these unique strengths look strikingly familiar from city to city, like a game of economic development Mad Libs; the word “clusters” with a choose-your-surname – bio, green,

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Supreme Court Takes Up Takings Law

Remember Nollan and Dolan?  The U.S. Supreme Court will decide a case which the Florida Supreme Court calls the clearest inconsistency in the interpretation of the scope of Nollan and Dolan in Koontz v. St. Johns River Water Management District.  NLC signed onto an amicus curiae brief filed by State and Local Legal Center (SLLC)

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Insights on Being Business Friendly

At the 2012 NLC Congress of Cities conference in Boston, Danielle Casey, Assistant City Manager for the City of Maricopa, AZ presented on ways to make cities more business friendly. The room was packed to the brim and the panel discussion lively. What were some of the key points that arose from the session? Transparency

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Medicaid: On the Supreme Court’s Docket Again

Medicaid was the show-stopper in the Supreme Court’s last term: the Court unexpectedly held in the Affordable Care Act case that requiring states to participate in the Medicaid expansion was unconstitutionally coercive. Medicaid apparently was still on the Justices’ minds three months later when the Court, on its first day back in session, decided to

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Violence Prevention Efforts in California Cities Continue Strong Despite Challenges

Ten California cities — nine longtime participants in a statewide gang prevention network, plus newly added Long Beach — gathered a few weeks ago to share practices and develop a 2013 policy agenda.  Despite prevailing challenges such as resumed high rates of violent crime, significant turnover among mayors, chiefs of police, city councils, and diminished police forces, and fewer resources than

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Angels on Ice!

The worlds of city economic development and youth development came together for a brief shining moment last week, at the LA Live! entertainment complex in Los Angeles.  Dense new residential and commercial development in and around the complex brings verve and people well into the evening, many nights each week. With oversize statues of LA

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Supporting Food Systems, Supporting Communities

“The best way to preserve farmland is to make farmers successful on that land.” This call to action from participants attending the Supporting Local Food Systems Roundtable at NLC’s Congress of Cities (CoC), speaks to just one of the many factors driving the National League of Cities’ (NLC) commitment to addressing sustainable food issues in

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New Report on Homelessness: The Good, The Bad, and What You Can Do

Last week, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released their latest national estimate of the number of homeless across the country. While there are several points of good news, there are also sober realities that must be acknowledged. The Good News Broadly speaking, in January of this year 633,783 people were homeless. This

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