Working in partnership with 49 state municipal leagues, the Center for Federal Relations serves as both a resource and an advocate for the more than 19,000 cities, towns, and villages the organization represents. Advocacy efforts focus on advancing NLC's annual legislative agenda, monitoring regulatory action, and championing legal issues of national importance to local governments.
NLC’s federal advocacy efforts are central to its mission to protect municipal interests, seek federal funding to support local investments, and ensure national attention is focused on the needs of cities and towns across the country. Leadership—with input from members, Policy & Advocacy Committees, and Federal Relations staff—sets the organization’s annual legislative agenda, which helps to guide advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill.
Because federal rules and regulations often affect local government operations, budgets and development, NLC works to ensure that federal agencies consider the local government perspective when developing regulatory policy.
Recognizing that the federal court system is responsible for much of the law affecting cities and their scope of authority, NLC's Legal Advocacy Program is a complement to the organization's legislative outreach on behalf of cities. Through the Program, NLC serves as an advocate for local governments on legal issues of national importance and provides support to cities and towns involved in significant litigation or administrative adjudication that could affect municipal organization, operation, powers, duties, or financing.