88th Annual Meeting

Opposing Federal and State Preemption of Commercial Data Sharing with Cities

  • WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a fiscal crisis for cities, putting massive new pressure on municipal budgets already severely stressed by the rising general fund and capital costs; and

    WHEREAS, the pandemic is causing cities, businesses and residents to rethink virtually every part of society, including education, work, housing, transportation, law enforcement and more - to ensure health and safety in times of social distancing; and

    WHEREAS, many cities impacted by the pandemic were already working to address challenges related to economic development, housing, education, transportation, social equity and others; and

    WHEREAS, in parallel, society is experiencing a technology transformation, led by global corporations driven by private gain; and

    WHEREAS, a fundamental responsibility of municipal government is to protect public health, safety and welfare of residents; and

    WHEREAS, municipal governments have the legal authority to regulate commercial activities that, oftentimes, disproportionately impact the public's collective well-being and quality of life; and

    WHEREAS, innovative data-driven tools are enabling cities to pioneer programs and regulations to generate new revenue, operate more efficiently, ensure compliance with labor and transportation regulations and address chronic problems via planning, management and regulation; and

    WHEREAS, some tech companies seeking to avoid local regulation are pursuing state legislation in CA, MA, MN, NC, and others to pre-empt cities' abilities to request and receive data needed to pioneer new tech tools designed to improve quality of life for municipal residents; and

    WHEREAS, if state or federal governments restrict cities' abilities to innovate and use data-driven tools, cities will be denied the ability to leverage new digital tools that can advance the major quality of life and equity opportunities for residents while simultaneously unlocking latent revenue potential from the public right of way,

    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The United States Conference of Mayors opposes state and federal preemption of cities' abilities to specify to commercial companies operating in cities the type of data cities need and by when they need it, to discharge their stewardship duty and to ensure cities are not limited in their abilities to fulfill their fundamental responsibilities of protecting public health, safety, and welfare of residents, especially during a pandemic.
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