National League of Cities Launches New Program on Leadership in Community Resilience with Support from the Wells Fargo Foundation

WASHINGTON—As 2,000 city leaders convened in Washington for the annual Congressional City Conference, the National League of Cities (NLC) and the Wells Fargo Foundation launched a new program to address the challenges and opportunities associated with local resilience initiatives. The Leadership in Community Resilience program will bring together 10 cities to help local officials, city staff and community partners share their experiences and advance local resilience efforts, and was made possible by a $325,000 grant from the Wells Fargo Foundation.

The goal of the pilot initiative is to provide technical assistance and professional development opportunities for communities, and to generate new insights related to the challenges and opportunities associated with local resilience initiatives. Pilot cities are currently being confirmed and will be announced within the next several weeks. In the coming years, the lessons learned through this process will be used to help hundreds of NLC member cities achieve greater resiliency for their citizens.

"The Leadership in Community Resilience program will allow cities with different environmental, economic and social challenges to create an implement strong resilience frameworks," said National League of Cities CEO and Executive Director Clarence E. Anthony. "Together with the Wells Fargo Foundation, we are committed to helping cities create a holistic, proactive framework that reduces risk, improves services, adapts to changing conditions and empowers citizens. Resilience is bigger than disaster management. It's about preserving and improving quality of life in our communities every single day."

"We care deeply about doing what's right for our customers, not just as a bank, but as a member of the global community," said Mike Rizer, Wells Fargo's head of Community Relations. "That means caring for the environment today, so we can all enjoy a better tomorrow. Resiliency and climate adaptation are priorities at Wells Fargo and we include them as part of our broader environmental, economic and social sustainability initiatives. We must focus on all three as we work together to strengthen our communities."

The program builds on work by NLC's Sustainable Cities Institute to equip city leaders with tools and resources to make their cities more resilient in the face of climate change and extreme weather. Last May, NLC and the U.S. Green Building Council hosted a Resilient Cities Summit where more than 50 attendees from cities and the non-governmental and private sectors met to address resiliency challenges, and learn best practices from cities currently working on resiliency initiatives.

To ensure the success of this pilot program and help the 10 cities achieve their community's resilience goals, NLC will engage a Policy and Practice Exchange with other staff and elected leaders; provide financial support up to $10,000 for a local resilience leadership event; and invite an elected official to a second Resilient Cities Summit.

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.