NLC Elects Mayor Mark Stodola as 2018 President

November 18, 2017 - (3 min read)

Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson of Gary, Indiana, and Councilmember Joe Buscaino of Los Angeles join Stodola as 2018 NLC Officers.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — November 18, 2017 — Mayor Mark Stodola of Little Rock, Arkansas, was elected president of the National League of Cities (NLC) today at the organization’s 2017 City Summit in Charlotte, N.C. Stodola, who has served as Little Rock mayor since 2007, will lead the nation’s largest and most representative membership and advocacy organization for cities and their leaders. He was elected by the membership to serve a one-year term and will lead NLC’s advocacy, education, research and membership activities.

“Today, more than ever, cities are taking the lead on the most important issues that impact Americans,” said National League of Cities (NLC) President Mark Stodola, mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas. “I am grateful and energized to lead this vital organization for city leaders and to ensure that our collective perspectives and experience are heard in the national conversation.”

In his inaugural address to the NLC membership, Stodola announced that his priorities over the coming year will include helping city leaders prepare their cities’ workforces to be competitive in a 21st century global economy. With federal proposals to cut workforce development funding and Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), local leadership is key to expanding equity and opportunity, closing the economic divide and growing prosperity in America’s cities.

As mayor, Stodola has prioritized public safety, revitalizing Little Rock’s downtown and neighborhood development. Starting in 2011, he led the creation of the “Creative Corridor” along Little Rock’s Main Street, breathing new life into an area that had not seen significant investment in 30 years. The district has attracted new businesses, restaurants and a technology park, and has resulted in over $150 million in private investment. During his tenure, Little Rock has seen $1 billion in new capital investment to the city and more than 4,100 new jobs.

Stodola’s career in public service includes terms as a prosecuting attorney and city attorney. In those roles, he focused on gang violence and developed the first Domestic Violence Unit in Arkansas. He was also recognized nationally by the U.S. Department of Justice for creating an innovative juvenile diversion program.

NLC’s 2018 officers serving with President Stodola include First Vice President Karen Freeman-Wilson, mayor of Gary, Indiana; Second Vice President Joe Buscaino, councilmember in Los Angeles; and Immediate Past President Matt Zone, councilmember in Cleveland.


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.