As federal policymakers struggle to reach agreements on many of the toughest challenges facing the country, mayors are focused on grounded solutions to critical national issues. Today, the National League of Cities (NLC) released a report that analyzes more than 150 annual speeches given by mayors from cities, towns, and villages across America. While economic development and infrastructure continued to top the list of issues, the report found that subtopics including climate change and the opioid epidemic revealed that mayors are having careful and in-depth conversations about the issues hitting their communities the hardest.
Whether you’re talking about infrastructure or climate change, mayors know that local action is critical to making our cities, towns, and villages more sustainable and economically competitive. The State of the Cities report shows that mayors are addressing these issues head-on and are planning for the long-term health and wellbeing of their communities.
“Reaching these goals is critical, not only to our region’s air quality, but to help stave off the effects of climate change which put at risk our water, forests, outdoor tourism, and the brave members of the Salt Lake City Fire Department.” – Mayor Jackie Biskupski of Salt Lake City, Utah (January 17, 2019)
With federal inaction on environmental issues like climate change, mayors are increasingly prioritizing clean energy, local ways to reduce air pollution, and municipal recycling. Following the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement in 2017, more than 400 mayors have committed to adopt and honor the goals of the agreement.