Cities Stand United in Support of Local Authority and Inclusiveness in Face of State Actions to Preempt Local Control

North Carolina House Bill 2 Latest in Series of State Actions to Limit Local Decision-Making

WASHINGTON—Recent actions taken by states to limit or preempt local authority—including the recently-passed North Carolina House Bill 2 (HB2)—present a dangerous challenge to the principle of local control and run counter to the notion that inclusiveness is a fundamental pillar of strong cities. The National League of Cities (NLC), representing the collective voice of 19,000 cities, towns and villages, condemns HB2 and similar actions taken by state governments in Indiana, Alabama and others that restrict local authority to protect residents from discrimination, establish minimum wages, build and operate broadband networks and promote immigrant inclusion, among others.

"The nation's cities are united in the fight for the principles of local authority. Local authority embodies the idea that local elected leaders have the responsibility—and are in the best position—to make decisions that affect their residents and communities," said National League of Cities (NLC) CEO and Executive Director Clarence E. Anthony. "Whether it's standing by our values of inclusiveness, setting wage levels that actually match the costs of living, or affirming the importance of immigrants in the fabric of our communities, local governments play a critical role in creating an environment where cities—including all of our residents, and the businesses they use and own—are able to thrive. That's the reason why local governments are the most trusted level of government—because we know our residents best, and they depend and rely on us in our fight toward progress."

"Cities will not stand down as states aggressively seek to undermine the fundamental rights of localities to determine their own destinies," added Anthony. "North Carolina's HB2 is the latest in a deeply disturbing series of actions taken by states to preempt local control in favor of partisanship and politics. As a nation founded on the principles of equality, we have proven time and again that unity—not division—makes our nation stronger."

HB2 was passed in reaction to the City of Charlotte's expanding its anti-discrimination ordinance to include members of the LGBT community and others. On Friday, NLC's Executive Committee of the Board affirmed the organization's commitment to Charlotte as the host city for the 2017 City Summit, NLC's annual fall conference. NLC stands united with the city in its commitment to inclusion.  

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.