On Capitol Hill, Local Leaders Call on Congress to Prioritize Infrastructure

February 6, 2019 - (3 min read)

WASHINGTON — February 7, 2019 — Today on Capitol Hill, the National League of Cities (NLC), federal leaders and representatives from state municipal leagues held a briefing on the federal-local partnership needed to solve the most pressing challenges of our time, including infrastructure, public safety, workforce development and housing. At the briefing, members of Congress and their staffs heard from U.S. Representative Dan Kildee (D-MI), NLC Immediate Past President Matt Zone, councilmember from Cleveland, Ohio, Nevada League of Cities and Municipalities Vice President Daniel Corona, mayor of West Wendover, Nevada, and Maryland Municipal League President Bridget Donnell Newton, mayor of Rockville, Maryland.

“As local leaders, we see firsthand what policies work and the solutions our residents need from all levels of government,” said National League of Cities (NLC) Immediate Past President Matt Zone, Councilmember from Cleveland, Ohio.“We’re going to need to work together to address our nation’s toughest challenges, including rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure. Building a strong federal-local partnership can result in solutions for our residents that will strengthen local economies for generations to come.”

At the briefing, Rep. Kildee discussed the need for the 116th Congress to prioritize policy that invests in America’s cities, towns and villages.

“Cities are the United States of America, not a special interest group. The state of the union is the state of our cities,” said Rep. Dan Kildee from Michigan’s fifth district. “There is not a circumstance where our nation is prosperous and our cities are struggling. We have an opportunity right now for a major federal infrastructure investment. I’m going to push for a very specific, very clear Marshall plan to rebuild our cities.”

Local officials also shared stories of how strong federal-local partnerships have improved the lives of their residents.

  • In Cleveland, the city is hoping to see Opportunity Zones spur private investment in low income areas. City leaders stand ready to work with federal agency partners to ensure the program is implemented carefully and effectively for the residents in their communities.
  • In West Wendover, a community development block grant (CDBG) is being used alongside city funds to develop downtown infrastructure for new small businesses and residences. The area is expanding to provide affordable housing and create economic opportunities, primarily for low income residents.
  • In Rockville, there is a renewed emphasis on community broadband access to bridge the digital divide. The city is looking for federal legislation to combat the preemption of local authority in the deployment of broadband networks.

In 2019, NLC’s top legislative priority is rebuilding and reimagining America’s infrastructure. NLC’s Rebuild With Us campaign has prioritized 50 ways Congress and the administration can work with local leaders in six key areas:

  1. Transforming transportation infrastructure
  2. Preparing a skilled workforce
  3. Improving broadband access
  4. Ensuring clean and safe water
  5. Supporting community resilience
  6. Investing in infrastructure


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.