Cities Are Essential: New Campaign Calls for Immediate, Direct Funding to Support Local COVID-19 Response and Recovery

May 5, 2020 - (2 min read)

WASHINGTON— May 5, 2020 – Today, the National League of Cities, the voice of the over 19,000 cities, towns and villages in the United States, launched a campaign to secure economic relief for the communities on the frontline of America’s response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The Cities Are Essential campaign calls for $500 billion in direct federal aid and economic relief from the COVID-19 pandemic over the next two years to support the communities who support America’s people.

“Cities are essential – to the fabric of this nation, to the pandemic response effort, and to the 200 million residents we provide essential services for,” said Clarence Anthony, CEO and Executive Director, National League of Cities. “The federal government must act now. It’s been almost two months since the first bill providing Coronavirus relief was passed by Congress, and most communities haven’t received a cent in aid.”

The Cities Are Essential campaign launch comes one week after a new National League of Cities report showed up to one million public sector employees were facing layoffs due to plummeting revenues and crippled local budgets.

“Cities aren’t asking for a federal bailout. This is a partnership during a time of crisis to help America bounce back,” said Joe Buscaino, Los Angeles Council President Pro Tempore and President, National League of Cities. “We not only want America to survive, but thrive. Cities are the engine of the American economy. We want to get our engines running – and we can, if we stand together.”

For response and recovery resources for local leaders, visit


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.