National League of Cities’ Leadership Address Top Federal Priorities for Local Governments

March 11, 2024 - (3 min read)

WASHINGTON, D.C. Today, at the National League of Cities’ (NLC) Congressional City Conference, President Joe Biden addressed mayors, city councilmembers, and other local leaders from across the country, telling them, “We trusted you and that trust has been well-placed,” referring to the direct funding municipalities received from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Following President Biden’s remarks, NLC leadership held a press conference to address some of the top federal priorities for local governments.

Speaking about the need for Congress to pass the bipartisan Railway Safety Act, NLC President, Mayor David Sander of Rancho Cordova, said, “On average, there are three train derailments per day in our country, and 64% of all rail incidents take place within city boundaries. On behalf of communities large and small across the country, the National League of Cities calls on Congress to pass this bipartisan bill.”

Discussing the upcoming March 22 funding deadline for the remaining six annual spending bills, NLC First Vice President, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome of Baton Rouge, LA, said, “We’re thankful the leaders of both parties in Congress came together last week to pass the first appropriations package, but the job isn’t done yet. We’re now more than five months into this fiscal year—it’s time to get this done. Without knowing the federal government’s spending levels, local officials are faced with uncertainty about how much we can count on from the federal government as we formulate our city budgets. Our message is simple: pass the funding bills, keep the government open, and give local governments the budgetary certainty they need.”

Another federal priority addressed at the press conference was the need for Congress to pass the bipartisan Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act, to keep low-income households connected to the internet while Congress determines the long-term future of the program. 

Along with the organization’s federal priorities, NLC also announced the formation of an Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee to help local leaders demystify, de-risk, and ultimately harness the opportunity this rapidly evolving technology represents. By year’s end, the Committee will produce a summative playbook for cities nationwide that provides curated insights, strategies, and best practices for cities using artificial intelligence. The Advisory Committee will be chaired by Savannah, GA Mayor Van Johnson and Tucson, AZ Councilmember Nikki Lee. NLC is also pleased to announce that Google is a founding partner of the AI Advisory Committee and a member of the Centennial Collection, NLC’s 100th Anniversary Sponsors.

On Wednesday, 1,000 + local leaders will visit Capitol Hill to meet with members of Congress and advocate for their communities. Interested in speaking to a Capitol Hill Advocacy Day participant? Please email  


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