America’s local officials are providing exceptional leadership amidst the unprecedented triple crises: a global pandemic, economic devastation to businesses and families, and chronic systemic and structural racism. Long-standing inequities in healthcare, finances, education, housing, nutrition and other human needs affect the health of people and the vibrancy of communities.
Local leaders can build new, brighter, and more equitable futures; to take the elevated awareness of systemic inequities due to policy and systems failures and turn it into action. Municipal leaders can work to guarantee basic human needs to all residents and build stronger, healthier, and more resilient and inclusive communities. Local officials can re-examine power structures, policies and systems that have blocked opportunities for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and marginalized communities over generations and make needed change. Local leaders can do this by building Cities of Opportunity.
Cities of Opportunity are strong communities with policies, practices and programs that give everyone a fair chance to pursue their dreams regardless of race, gender, age, ability, and economic status. Leaders in these cities address factors that affect life expectancy and harness political will with other elected officials, stakeholders and partners to deliver on America’s promise.
Current Cities of Opportunity Initiatives:
- Mayors’ Institute: Job Creation and Economic Opportunity to Improve Health and Equity
- Participating Cities: Lexington, Ky.; Rochester, Minn.; San Antonio, Texas; San Francisco, Calif.; Springfield, Mass.; and Tacoma, Wash.
- Action Cohort: Turning Crisis into Pathways to Equity & Resiliency
- Participating Cities: Fremont, Calif.; Houston, Texas; Kansas City, Mo.; Milwaukee, Wis.; Missoula, Mont.; Plainfield, N.J.; and South Fulton, Ga.
- Community of Practice: Strengthening City and Health System Partnerships
- Participating Cities: Baton Rouge, La.; Bloomington, Ill.; Charlotte, N.C.; Dallas, Texas; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Huntington, W. Va.; Lawrence, Mass.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Roanoke, Va.; and Spokane, Wash.
To learn more about Cities of Opportunity send an email to the NLC’s Health & Wellness team.