120 Mayors on the Issues Facing Urban America

This post originally appeared in Fast Company. Read the full article here.

Mayors are leading the country forward with a positive agenda for America. While most of our eyes are glued to investigations and scurrilous revelations at the federal level, mayors are still hard at work solving the biggest issues facing their communities. In cities, we find proactive policy prescriptions; whether it’s mayors standing against a retrenchment on sanctuary city policies or making the case for infrastructure investments, they are focused on creating welcoming, safe communities.

In their annual State of the City addresses this year, U.S. mayors expressed their priorities for our cities: focusing on the economy and infrastructure, keeping community members safe, and investing in the future.

By analyzing mayoral speeches for the National League of Cities’ annual State of the Cities report, we get a detailed picture of the most pressing issues happening on the ground in cities. Our latest research finds some common themes — economic development, public safety and infrastructure — continue to be core issues for cities. However, while cities are seeing an increase in job opportunities and economic growth, they also face serious challenges including housing affordability, crime and aging infrastructure. Federal and state challenges also continue to grow as cities meet resistance from the federal administration and state legislatures wielding power to blockade city-led initiatives.

But mayors are not dismayed. Rather than dithering over basic governance, mayors are concerned with impactful issues like laying the groundwork for economic inclusiveness and exploring possibilities surrounding innovations such as self-driving cars, the sharing economy, and more.

Read the full article here.

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Featured image from Getty Images.

About the author: Brooks Rainwater is the senior executive director of the Center for City Solutions and Applied Research at the National League of Cities. Follow Brooks on Twitter @BrooksRainwater.