Conference of Mayors Leaders at NLC
Kautz Takes Conference of Mayors Membership Campaign to National League of Cities in Denver
By Conference Staff
December 20, 2010
The Conference of Mayors Membership Campaign moved to Denver December 1-3 as the National League of Cities (NLC) gathered for its 2010 Congress of Cities and Exposition.
Conference of Mayors President Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth B. Kautz traveled to Denver to engage directly with the NLC leadership, members and business members on both legislative strategy for the 112th Congress and promoting membership in the Conference of Mayors.
The Conference of Mayors and NLC have been united on key priorities such as full funding for the Community Development Block Grant and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant. As the federal government moves to a discussion of deficit reduction, this shared agenda will be more important than ever as the organizations work to educate Congress and the Administration on how these partnership programs leverage private-sector capital and create jobs.
Outgoing NLC President Loveridge
In commenting on his year as President, Riverside (CA) Mayor Ron Loveridge said, "The 2010 NLC legislative agenda represented the central issues of our time; they included jobs and a robust economy, energy independence, housing, transportation and infrastructure investment, and immigration reform."
"More so than any president in my lifetime as a political science professor at the University of California, Riverside, Obama has shown an interest in the good city, and a willingness to listen to mayors and council members from across the country," Loveridge said.
He added that, "We are now halfway through the current four years of the Obama Presidency, and historically it is in the early years that major legislative initiatives are likely to pass. Also, the promise of the new Office of Urban Policy has not been realized."
Speaking to the economy, Loveridge said, "By many accounts, the national recovery remains uncertain. And if cities falter, we could see the nation's recovery also falter. NLC data shows that we face shrinking revenues and budget shortfalls of historic proportions. NLC estimates that cities face a shortfall of $56-83 billion over the next two years. Recent research jointly done by NLC, The U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the National Association of Counties indicates that nearly 500,000 public sector employees will lose their jobs this year and next."
Loveridge commented on how NLC strongly supported the Local Jobs for America Act, additional funding for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, transportation investment, and comprehensive immigration reform, but "the 2010 ‘big ticket- items on the NLC agenda were, in quick summary, defined and limited by partisan conflict and congressional gridlock."
Discussing funding for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, he said, "These grants are transforming American cities, making them more energy efficient by allowing them to spend real money on high priority ‘green- projects. However, neither the President nor Congress proposed funding these Grants for a second year, much less a third or beyond."
New NLC Officers
At the conclusion of the Conference, NLC elected new officers:
- President: Charlotte (NC) Council Member James E. Mitchell Jr.
- First Vice President: Bluffton (IN) Mayor Ted Ellis
- Second Vice President: Avondale (AZ) Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers
In his inaugural address, Mitchell said that he will focus on: sustainability, immigration, small business development, transportation and infrastructure improvement, and economic development that focuses on getting people not just the jobs they need, but the jobs they want.