Federal Advocacy Update: Week Ending January 30, 2015

In this issue:

  • NLC Calls on President to "Go Local" in FY2016 Budget 
  • NLC and Mayors United in Support of Immigration Reform
  • Coleman, Foxx: We need federal money for local roads
  • 2015 Policy & Advocacy Committee Leadership Announced 
  • NLC Supports Energy Efficiency Amendment in Keystone Pipeline Debate 
  • Webinar March 5: Supreme Court Mid-Term Review 
  • Early Bird Rate Ends Today - Register Now for Congressional City Conference

NLC Calls on President to "Go Local" in FY2016 Budget

Angelina Panettieri, 202.626.3196

In advance of the President's release of his FY2016 budget proposal on Monday, Feb. 2, NLC called on the Administration to focus on cities and their residents in the opening of the federal budget process. In particular, NLC asked the Administration to prioritize investing in transportation infrastructure and protecting the federal tax exemption for municipal bonds.

Get a city-focused analysis of the budget proposal, as well as an overview of NLC's 2015 legislative agenda, in a special NLC webinar on Tuesday, February 17 at 2:00PM (EST). We will introduce you to NLC's 2015 advocacy agenda, and examine the impact of the president's budget proposal on cities and the upcoming FY2016 budget debates in Congress.

Register now to be a part of this webinar. You must register in advance to participate.

NLC and Mayors Unite in Support of Immigration Reform

Carolyn Coleman, 202.626.3023

Becker Immigration
NLC President Ralph Becker, mayor, Salt Lake City, Utah and Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City speak about immigration reform

Last week, National League of Cities President Ralph Becker, mayor, Salt Lake City, Utah, joined more than 30 mayors from cities across the country on January 23 to announce plans to file an amicus brief in the Texas vs. United States lawsuit to support President Obama's executive action on immigration reform. "The President's executive action on immigration is a step forward for America," said Mayor Ralph Becker. "We need to support his efforts to address our broken immigration system."

The brief opposes a lawsuit pending in Brownsville, Texas brought by states seeking to block President Obama's immigration reform efforts. The brief also argues that blocking executive action with preliminary injunction will stall desperately needed changes to the federal government's immigration policies.

As the nation's frontline leaders, cities recognize that the current broken immigration system hurts families, allows cultural misunderstandings to threaten communities and holds back economic growth by keeping a substantial population from being able to fully participate. NLC believes the president's executive action is a step in the right direction.

Coleman, Foxx: We need federal money for local roads

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and NLC Immediate Past President Chris Coleman, mayor, Saint Paul, Minn.

Originally published in the Pioneer Press on 1/30/2015.

In his State of the Union address last week, President Obama made the case for rebuilding America's aging infrastructure, reminding us that "21st century businesses need 21st century... ports, and stronger bridges, faster trains and the fastest Internet."

Over the next few months, President Obama will take this message straight to the American people and call on Congress to pass a long-term bill to fund new American infrastructure. 

To spur real action, however, the President's voice can't be the only one Capitol Hill is hearing. America's mayors and the thousands of other officials who lead our city halls, city councils, and metropolitan planning organizations need to raise their voices, too. After all, they are the people who oversee our roads, rails, and bus systems at the local level, and they need an active partner in the U.S. Congress to keep their constituents moving.

Read more on the Pioneer Press website.

2015 Policy & Advocacy Committee Leadership Announced

Angelina Panettieri, 202.626.3196

NLC President Ralph Becker, mayor, Salt Lake City, Utah, announced his 2015 leadership team for policy and advocacy committees this week. All chairs and vice chairs were appointed by Mayor Becker to serve a one-year term and will play a key role in shaping NLC's policy positions and advocating on behalf of America's cities and towns before Congress, with the Administration and at home.

"Cities are where the action is. As cities have become more influential and important, it is critical that we continue to advocate for federal policies that support the action, innovation, collaboration and results that are unique to municipal government. The 2015 leadership team will be instrumental in guiding us to this goal," said NLC President Becker.

2015 NLC Committee Leaders:

Community and Economic Development Policy and Advocacy Committee

  • Chair - Mike Wojcik, councilmember, Rochester, Minn.
  • Vice Chair - Craig Thurmond, mayor, Broken Arrow, Okla.
  • Vice Chair - Johnny DuPree, mayor, Hattiesberg, Miss.

Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Advocacy Committee

  • Chair - Cindy Lerner, mayor, Pinecrest, Fla.
  • Vice Chair - Sal Panto, Jr., mayor, Easton, Pa.
  • Vice Chair - Ron Nirenberg, councilmember, San Antonio, Texas

Finance, Administration and Intergovernmental Relations Policy and Advocacy Committee

  • Chair - Andy Hafen, mayor, Henderson, Nev.
  • Vice Chair - Cynthia Mangini, councilmember, Enfield, Conn.
  • Vice Chair - Darius Brown, councilmember, Wilmington, Del.

Human Development Policy and Advocacy Committee

  • Chair - Vicki Welch, councilmember, Louisville, Ky.
  • Vice Chair - Mia Gregerson, mayor, SeaTac, Wash.
  • Vice Chair - William Bell, Sr., mayor, Birmingham, Ala.

Information Technology and Communications Policy and Advocacy Committee

  • Chair - Jeff Moore, councilmember, Longmont, Colo.
  • Vice Chair - Sheri Capehart, councilmember, Arlington, Texas

Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Advocacy Committee

  • Chair - Karen Freeman-Wilson, mayor, Gary, Ind.
  • Vice Chair - Tony Anderson, deputy mayor, SeaTac, Wash.
  • Vice Chair - Martha Sue Hall, councilmember, Albemarle, N.C.

Transportation and Infrastructure Services Policy and Advocacy Committee

  • Chair - Robert Bauman, alderman, Milwaukee, Wisc.
  • Vice Chair - Patrick Wojahn, councilmember, College Park, Md.
  • Vice Chair - Karen Johnson, councilmember, Nashville, Tenn.

Read more for a full list of other committee and council leadership.

NLC Supports Energy Efficiency Amendment in Keystone Pipeline Debate

Carolyn Berndt, 202.626.3101

This week, with NLC's support, the Senate passed an amendment 94 -5 to the Keystone XL Pipeline Act (S. 1) that would incentivize energy efficiency in commercial buildings. The amendment, the Energy Efficiency Improvement Act, sponsored by Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), establishes a voluntary approach to aligning the interests of commercial building owners and their tenants to promote energy efficiency in separately leased spaces. NLC also supported another amendment to the bill calling for the review of costs associated with major EPA regulations; however, that amendment was not brought up for a vote.

In the coming weeks, Sens. Portman and Shaheen plan to introduce a comprehensive energy efficiency bill to incentivize energy efficiency across other types of buildings, including residential and schools, which NLC supported in the last Congress.

Now that both chambers have passed a version of the Keystone XL bill, the Senate 62-36 and the House 266-153, leadership will have to decide whether to meet in conference to resolve the differences in the two bills or to send a version to the other chamber for consideration. It remains unclear whether the votes exists in either chamber to override a veto, which the President has threatened.

Webinar March 5: Supreme Court Mid-Term Review

Carolyn Coleman, 202.626.3023

The Supreme Court has accepted a number of cases affecting state and local government, on topics ranging from Fourth Amendment searches, to regulating power plant emissions, to limiting messages on license plates. Learn how these cases could impact state and local government on a free webinar on Thursday, March 5 at 1:00PM EST. Discuss these cases and the Affordable Care Act case and the same-sex marriage cases with Jeff WallSullivan & CromwellLori Alvino McGillQuinn Emanuel, and Richard Wolf of USA Today.

Register now to reserve your place:

Supreme Court Mid-Term Review
Thursday, March 5, 2015
1:00PM-2:30PM EST

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Early Bird Rate Ends Today - Register Now for Congressional City Conference

Angelina Panettieri, 202.626.3196

January 30 is the last chance to register at the discounted early bird rate for NLC's 2015 Congressional City Conference in Washington, DC March 7-11. January 30 is also the last date to request scheduling services for your advocacy meetings on Capitol Hill. Meeting with your legislators and their staff in Washington is a key part of the Congressional City Conference, and the best way to stand up for your city's interests. Register for the conference now to secure your admission at a lower rate and take advantage of this valuable service.

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