2,000 City Leaders Convene in Washington for National League of Cities Congressional City Conference

Press Release
Press Release

WASHINGTON — March 7, 2015 More than 2,000 city leaders and delegates from cities and towns across the country are convening in Washington for the 50th annual National League of Cities (NLC) Congressional City Conference to advocate for city priorities with Congress and the Administration.

President Barack Obama will address delegates Monday, March 9 to speak about the many partnerships and connections that unite all levels of government working to make our communities, and our country, stronger. Delegates have more than 100 meetings scheduled with members of Congress and their staffs, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, on issues including e-fairness, transportation and protecting municipal bonds. The convening is March 7-11 at the Marriott Wardman Park hotel.

President Obama's address comes at a time when the federal government continues strengthen local partnerships that are critical to promoting economic development, building transportation infrastructure, protecting the health of our residents and improving the lives of our young people.

"I am excited to welcome city leaders to Washington to network and advocate for the critical priorities that cities need from our federal partners," said Clarence E. Anthony, CEO and executive director of the National League of Cities. "We are thrilled to have President Obama and a number of his cabinet officials address our delegates, and look forward to meeting with members of Congress and their staffs on the importance of city leadership on the many initiatives that build stronger communities and improve the lives of our residents."

A number of the president's top appointees, including a number of former local elected officials, will address city leaders:

  • U.S. Secretary Jeh Johnson, Department of Homeland Security
  • U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz
  • U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy
  • U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell
  • U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez
  • U.S. Housing & Urban Secretary Julián Castro

On Tuesday, March 10, NLC will hold a town hall event for the Race, Equity & Leadership (REAL) initiative. REAL was created after recent events prompted many city leaders to examine the critical issues of race and equity and how it impacts our society. In the town hall event, city and community leaders will examine how racial biases affect communities, policies, systems and structures including law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

The town hall is moderated by Juan Williams (FOX News) and features a panel discussion with:

  • Karen Freeman Wilson, mayor, Gary, Ind.
  • Suzanne Chan, vice mayor, Freemont, Calif.
  • Matt Zone, councilmember, Cleveland, Ohio (NLC 2nd vice president)
  • Julie Nelson, director, Local and Regional Government Alliance for Race and Equity
  • Sherman Justice, Black Youth Vote Fellow, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation

The Congressional City Conference concludes with a Capitol Hill briefing on the critical importance of passing a long-term, multi-modal transportation bill that ensures local governments have control over decision-making in their communities. Participants include: 

  • NLC President Ralph Becker, National League of Cities
  • NLC Transportation & Infrastructure Services Chair Robert Bauman, alderman, Milwaukee, Wisc.
  • NLC Transportation & Infrastructure Services Vice Chair Patrick Wojahn, councilmember, College Park Md.
  • NLC Executive Committee Member Priscilla Tyson, councilmember, Columbus, Ohio

The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.

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