City Leaders Commit to Taking On America’s Low Voter Turnout Problem

March 2, 2020 - (2 min read)

Washington, DC – Today, the National League of Cities announced the official opening of its nonpartisan Cities Vote network, a new national initiative championing the importance of voter engagement in America’s cities, towns and villages. NLC is inviting all communities to participate in this unique network of local elected officials and municipal institutions that aims to ensure every resident counts in every election.

“Widespread, inclusive civic participation has long been a challenge in America’s cities, towns and villages,” said Clarence E. Anthony, CEO and Executive Director, National League of Cities. “Cities Vote offers a unique opportunity for local leaders to be their residents’ strongest advocates in increasing voter engagement. Together, local leaders, partner organizations and community residents can strengthen our nation’s culture of democracy.”

For the last several months, NLC has reached out to municipal leaders from all over the country to design the program. Cities Vote is a technical-assistance program that supports communities building their capacity to drastically increase voter registration and voter turnout rates. Staff and leadership in the following cities have stepped up to share their knowledge and model commitments to increasing voter turnout:

  • Framingham, MA
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Palm Springs , FL
  • Hertford , NC
  • Carlisle, PA
  • Stockton, CA
  • Torrance, CA
  • Dodge City, KS
  • Crestwood, MO
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Jackson, TN
  • Athens, TN
  • Franklin, TN
  • Chattanooga, TN

Cities Vote members appreciate the relationship between an engaged citizenry and a thriving local economy and culture. They are leaders who understand that their residents are not only constituents, but neighbors. They serve as role models to other municipal leaders and strengthen the platform of municipal leadership.

As part of the Cities Vote program, the National League of Cities has curated best practices to launch and inspire city-level commitments to reducing barriers to voter participation. The Cities Vote 101: Interventions guide aims to help local leaders embrace the challenges of achieving 100% democratic participation in their cities and supports their development of a high-impact Voter Action Plan.

To learn more about voter engagement and how you can lead the movement to increase voter turnout in your city, attend the “Cities Vote: Building Voter Engagement to Permanently Strengthen Democracy” workshop at NLC’s upcoming Congressional City Conference. Registration is still open.

If you are a municipal leader interested in joining the Cities Vote initiative, fill out this form. If you have any questions about Cities Vote, please email



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.