Top Moments from the Virtual 2021 Congressional City Conference

This week local leaders, partners and municipal staff came together virtually for the 56th annual Congressional City Conference (CCC). Local leaders were able to hear from a dynamic lineup of speakers, engaged in session workshops, and discussed top federal priorities for cities, towns, and villages.

Here are our top moments:

Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, Announces $250 Million in Grants for Health Literacy to Local Leaders

Vice President Kamala Harris Addresses Local Leaders During the 2021 Congressional City Conference

During our opening general session, Vice President Kamala Harris addressed CCC attendees discussing the next steps of rescue and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, upcoming key priorities of the administration, and additional opportunities for partnership with America’s local leaders. In her remarks, she announced that the administration’s new initiative to improve health literacy, equity, and access in underserved communities. Find out more at

Secretary Pete Buttigieg Addressed the Importance of Partnership and Building Back Better

Also joining the NLC virtual stage, Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, spoke with Mayor Steve Williams of Huntington, West Virginia on the importance of creating sustainable and resilient transportation across the country. In the fireside chat, Secretary Buttigieg channeled his inner former mayor and discussed how local leaders have solutions and ideas that can help bring equitable and innovative infrastructure to our nation. In addition to being a key main stage speaker, Secretary Buttigieg attended a listening session with NLC’s Board of Directors, to talk transportation and infrastructure needs and projects in America’s communities.

Addressing COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy and Equity was a Top Priority for Local Leaders

Local leaders have been on the frontlines of this pandemic. Nearly a year later, conference attendees were focused on addressing vaccine hesitancy, equitable distribution for communities and ways to engage residents with trusted information around the vaccine. During CCC, general sessions speakers Dr. Anthony S. Fauci and Dr. Rochelle Walensky shared the importance of equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine and how local leaders can support response efforts of the pandemic.

Additionally, NLC hosted a COVID-19 Vaccine panel highlighting the ways local leaders can address vaccine hesitancy within their communities, work to distribute trusted information around the vaccine and partner with local organizations to distribute the vaccine equitably.

Gina McCarthy Highlighted Climate Change as a Priority for Local Leaders

When White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy spoke to citi, town and local leaders, she emphasized the importance of combatting climate change together as a nation, how we can rebuild from this pandemic with equity and resilience in mind, and the work local leaders can do alongside federal and state partners to empower residents. She reminded attendees that local leaders must continue to bring innovative ideas and solutions to the table to move our nation forward.

Rounding out the conversation on climate change, NLC announced the eight Leadership in Community Resilience grant winners: Alton, TX, Arlington, MA, Cedar Rapids, IA, Dubuque, IA, Flagstaff, AZ, Portsmouth, NH, Raleigh, NC, Spokane, WA.. Learn more about these winners and the Leadership in Community Resilience Program.

Dr. Mark Zandi Shared the Fiscal Impact of COVID-19 for Municipalities

In a fireside chat with NLC First Vice President, Mayor Vince Williams of Union City, Georgia, Dr. Mark Zandi, Chief Economist of Moody’s Analytics spoke about the importance of local governments to our nation’s fiscal stability, and how local leaders can work to move their communities forward into economic recovery.

“Local governments are critical to regional economies in three key ways: jobs, programs that local governments operate, and critical services we all rely on in our daily living. Local governments are key to the fabric of a well-functioning economy, so if a local government is struggling, so will that local economy.”

Dr. Mark Zandi, Chief Economist, Moody’s Analytics

Virtual Hill Day and Direct Relief to Cities, Towns and Villages

Over the last year, NLC has worked alongside partner organizations, businesses, State Municipal Leagues and of course, local leaders from across the country to respond to the pandemic and advocate for direct relief to all cities, towns, and villages. As CCC came to an end, local leaders celebrated a historical win with the American Rescue Plan Act, which included $65.1 Billion in direct aid to all 19,000 municipalities in our nation. CCC’s virtual Capitol Hill Day saw an incredible 350 local elected leaders from 37 states meet with 92 Members of Congress and 222 congressional offices to thank federal leaders for their support of the historic legislation, as well as discuss next steps for recovery and rebuilding our nation.

#NLCDelivers Direct Relief

Learn everything you need to know about the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) and what that means for America’s cities, towns, and villages.