At Critical Time for Nation’s Cities, Congressional City Conference Opens with 2,400 Local Leaders Convening in Washington

March 13, 2017 - (2 min read)

WASHINGTON — March 13, 2017 — At a time when cities are under threat from federal funding cuts, more than 2,400 of the nation’s city officials are uniting in Washington this week for the annual National League of Cities (NLC) Congressional City Conference. The conference, held March 11-15, provides a platform for local leaders to meet with Congress and Trump Administration officials, share best practices in city governance and develop a National Municipal Policy advocacy platform.

City leaders are fighting proposed cuts to critical federal programs, including Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), community-oriented policing programs and Medicaid funding for opioid addiction treatment. These programs are crucial to continuing the nation’s economic recovery and building prosperity in cities.

 “More than 2,000 city leaders came to Washington to send a strong message to Congress and the Trump Administration: It takes cities to move America forward. At a time when significant cuts are proposed to the programs cities rely on, advocating for city priorities has never been more critical,” said National League of Cities (NLC) President Matt Zone, councilmember, Cleveland. “At the National League of Cities, we speak with one voice for cities. Local leadership and strong federal partnerships will strengthen our economy, our communities and our nation.”

On Wednesday, over 500 local officials will meet with more than 250 members of Congress and their staffs on Capitol Hill. More than 600 city leaders also signed a letter urging Congress to reject cuts to CDBD and other areas and design a new budget that puts cities first.

Delegates also heard from federal officials and other speakers, including:

  • Scott Pruitt, administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Scott Blackburn, interim deputy secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs
  • J.D. Vance, best-selling author of “Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis”
  • Nicolle Wallace, political analyst, best-selling author and former White House Director of Communications
  • Jay Williams, former mayor, Youngstown, Ohio, and former deputy director, White House Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Nihad Awad, executive director and co-founder of the Council on American-Islamic Relations

A full schedule of the events can be found here.  



The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people across the country. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.