Ask NLC

Where can I find best practices or resources on key issues that affect my city?

NLC's Center for Research & Innovation serves as a resource for a wide variety of issues affecting cities, including economic development, city finances, governance and civic engagement, housing, community development, immigrant integration, infrastructure and sustainability.  The staff at the Center does extensive research on these issues, compiling best practices, providing effective solutions, and creating toolkits and action guides for use by city officials.

Back to top.

Where can I learn more on developing city programs and assistance relating to youth, education and families?

The Institute for Youth Education and Families (YEF Institute) is a special entity within NLC whose purpose is to help municipal leaders take action on behalf of children, youth and families in their communities.  The five core areas of focus for the Institute are 1) education and afterschool, 2) youth development, 3) early childhood development, 4) safety of children and youth, and 5) family economic success.  The Institute employs a number of strategies and tools to assist communities in these areas:  action kits, technical assistance projects, workshops and training sessions, targeted research and surveys, and audioconferences and email listservs. Visit the YEF Institute page for more information on these topics and available resources.

Back to top.

What programs does NLC offer to help me save my city time and money?

NLC currently offers eight Enterprise programs, or programs designed to save cities and their residents time/and or money.  For a complete list and descriptions of the varying programs, including how your city can be involved, visit the Enterprise Progams page.

Back to top.

How can I become a member of NLC?

Becoming a member of NLC is simple!  All municipalities-any size-are eligible as long as they are first members of their state municipal league.  Print and complete the Membership Application, then email, mail or fax it in with check or credit card payment to Member Services.  You will hear from us as soon as we process your application.

Back to top.

What are the benefits of being a member of NLC?

The benefits of membership in the National League of Cities are plentiful!  Check out the member benefits list to get a taste of what membership offers to cities and their leaders.

Back to top.

What are the dues rates of NLC membership?

Dues for NLC membership are based on the city's population according to the most recent U.S. census.  The dues rate chart can be found here.

Back to top.

How can I learn more about the fall Congress of Cities & Exposition (fall policy and business conference)?

The Congress of Cities is NLC's annual policy and business conference, held in late fall.  Upcoming conference dates are:

November 28 - December 1, 2012  (Boston, MA)
November 12-16, 2013  (Seattle, WA)
November 19-22, 2014 (Austin, TX)

For more information about the conference including the agenda, registration, lodging, and exhibiting, please visit the Conferences page.

Back to top.

How can I learn more about the Congressional City Conference (spring legislative conference in DC)?

The Congressional City Conference is NLC's annual legislative conference held each spring in Washington, DC.  Upcoming conference dates are:

March 9-13, 2013
March 8-12, 2014

For more information about the conference including the agenda, registration, lodging, and exhibiting, please visit the Conferences page.

Back to top.

How can I be a speaker at an NLC conference?

NLC chooses conference speakers through its Speaker Database.  If you are interested in being considered, go to the Speaker Database and follow the steps to complete all requested information.  In the months leading up to the conference, NLC staff will review the database and contact speakers who have expertise on the topics of the particular sessions.  We will maintain your information in the database for future events and webinars, so if there is not an opportunity to speak immediately at an upcoming event, there still may be an opportunity in the future.

Back to top.

How can I learn more about leadership training programs?

The Leadership Training Institute (LTI) within NLC creates and produces educational seminars to strengthen core leadership skills for local elected officials and others in local government.  Participants can obtain credit for the seminars they've taken and work towards various levels of recognition from LTI.  Seminars are offered in conjunction with both the Congress of Cities and Congressional City Conference, as well as on their own several times a year.

Back to top.

What webinars does NLC offer?

Webinars and audio conferences on a variety of topics are offered by different groups within NLC.  Please check our Education and Training page to view the upcoming schedule.

Back to Top.

What are the seven Policy & Advocacy Committees?

NLC has seven policy committees who work to shape NLC policy and lead advocacy efforts in Washington, DC.  The policy committees are as follows:

Community & Economic Development (CED)
Energy, Environment & Natural Resources (EENR)
Finance, Administration & Intergovernmental Relations (FAIR)
Human Development (HD)
Information Technology & Communications (ITC)
Public Safety & Crime Prevention (PSCP)
Transportation Infrastructure & Services (TIS)

Back to top.

How can I join a Policy & Advocacy Committee?

Each of the above committees is comprised of a full committee and a smaller, more focused steering committee.  To participate as a member of the full committee, an individual must be appointed by their state municipal league director.  Please contact your state league if you are interested in serving on a committee.  In order to be on the steering committee, an individual on the policy committee must submit an application.  The NLC President will make appointments based on these applications and input from state leagues.  More information can be found on the Committee pages.

Back to top.

What is the time commitment required to serve on a Policy & Advocacy Committee?

The full committees meet twice each year.  At the Congressional City Conference, NLC's legislative conference, committee members are called upon to advocate for NLC's legislative priorities on Capitol Hill, as well as help set the policy agenda for the year.  At the Congress of Cities, committee members review and approve policy proposals and resolutions.  These action items are then forwarded to NLC's Resolutions Committee and considered at the Annual Business Meeting, also held during the Congress of Cities.

Generally, each steering committee meets four times per year.  At the Congressional City Conference, the steering committee plans for the year, scheduling its spring and fall meetings.  At those meetings, committee members hear guest presenters, discuss advocacy strategies and develop specific policy amendments and resolutions.  At the Congress of Cities, the steering committee sets forth the action items that the policy and advocacy committee considers.

Back to top.

What are the Member Networking Councils and how can I join?

The member councils were established to provide members an opportunity to network and exchange information with other city representatives experiencing similar challenges, as well as to ensure that the interests of the councils are reflected in NLC's policy.  Currently there are four councils - Large Cities Council, Small Cities Council, University Communities Council, and First-Tier Suburbs Council.  For more information about what is covered by each council, who participates, how often they meet, and how you can get involved, please visit NLC's Member Councils page.

Back to top.

What are the Constituency Groups and how can I join?

Constituency Groups are networks within NLC membership that share common interests and concerns. They have been established over the years to reflect the diverse interests and backgrounds of NLC's membership, and they work collaboratively with NLC to contribute to leadership development, policy formulation, advocacy, and program activities. The groups, led by elected officers and Boards, meet at both NLC annual conferences and sponsor special activities and workshops throughout the year. Most groups have a nominal membership fee.  The groups are as follows:

Asian Pacific American Municipal Officials (APAMO)
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Local Officials (GLBTLO)
Hispanic Elected Local Officials (HELO)
National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO)
Women in Municipal Government (WIMG)

Back to top.

What are NLC's priority issues?

NLC's legislative priorities change annually following the Congress of Cities & Exposition and can be found on the Advocacy page.

Back to top.

How and when should I contact my Congressman?

The state municipal leagues organize advocacy efforts for their cities around the March Congressional City Conference.  Additionally, NLC alerts members when there is action required on a particular issue and will instruct members on the best way to reach out to their representatives.  In the meantime, NLC members can also act on their own to make their voices heard.  Here are some tips from NLC.

Back to top.

How can I begin or stop receiving NLC e-newsletters?

Nation's Cities Weekly e-newsletter is a member benefit and is delivered to all member individuals with an email address in our database.  NLC also offers a variety of other, more topic-specific e-newsletters.  To manage your subscription preferences or see which other e-newsletters are available, log in to myNLC and click on "e-Newsletters" under Resources on the left.  You can also manage general email preferences here.  If you have any questions, please email Member Services.

Back to top.

Request A Custom Quote