by Leslie Wollack
With transportation issues a legislative priority for cities across the country, NLC leadership met with the leadership of the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) to discuss joint priorities for a new federal surface transportation program during the Congressional City Conference.
The current federal transportation program, known as MAP - 21 or Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, expires on September 30th of this year but the funding for the program could run out as early as July, according to the US Department of Transportation.
NLC President Chris Coleman, Mayor of St. Paul, Minn., and USCM President Scott Smith, Mayor of Mesa, Ariz., were joined by NLC 1st Vice President Ralph Becker, Mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, NLC 2nd Vice President Melodee Colbert Kean, Mayor of Joplin, Mo., NLC Immediate Past President Marie Lopez Rogers, Mayor of Avondale, Ariz., and NLC Past President Ted Ellis, Mayor of Bluffton, Ind.
USCM Second Vice President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Mayor of Baltimore, Md., and USCM Transportation and Communications Committee Vice Chair Paul Soglin, Mayor of Madison, Wis., also joined the discussion.
The leaders agreed the organizations should join forces in advocating to strengthen the federal intergovernmental partnerships critical to funding local infrastructure investments. They also agreed to seek expansion of the federal resources available to cities and a greater role for local elected officials in decision-making.
Want to learn more about the federal transportation program and why it is critical to cities and economic prosperity? Visit NLC's transportation resources webpage as well as NLC’s legislative priorities.