NLC’s Task Force on Economic Mobility and Opportunity and Economic Opportunity and Income Inequality Peer Network spotlight local efforts that have the potential to increase economic mobility, expand economic opportunity and reduce income inequality in cities across the nation.

This effort emerges from a long history of NLC efforts, through its Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, to help city leaders improve the economic stability and well-being of families. Launched in November 2016 by then NLC President, Matt Zone, councilmember from Cleveland, Ohio, the task force provided opportunities for dialogue among local champions. The task force is comprised of 22 local elected officials from across the country and is led by its chair, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

“Now more than ever, the economic well-being of our families is at risk, and we, as local officials, can be the key instruments of change and economic mobility”

– Cleveland Council member Matt Zone

Over the course of 2017, the task force shared ideas and strategies for building economic mobility in their communities and provided a forum for discussion of how racial inequities contribute to longstanding disparities in economic opportunity.

In November 2017, the task force released a set of 33 recommendations, “Keeping the American Dream Alive: Expanding Economic Mobility and Opportunity in America’s Cities,” to help local leaders improve economic mobility and opportunity in cities of all sizes.

NLC provides additional opportunities for cities to exchange ideas about local strategies to expand economic opportunity through a related peer network comprised of local elected officials and their staff. The Peer Network convenes bimonthly through conference calls and webinars focused on topics related to income inequality, economic opportunity, poverty reduction, and racial equity and feature national experts and city examples.

The force and peer network are generously supported by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.