Shared Wisdom for City Leaders

City buildings and trees
City buildings and trees

The Shared Wisdom for City Leaders project gathers the leadership stories, lessons and advice of seasoned current and former local elected officials from National League of Cities member cities.  While this series was intended to help new or aspiring mayor and councilmembers prepare for the challenges they will face, it offers a valuable peer learning opportunity for all city leaders and a glimpse at the practical ideas, insights and support the city leaders can receive from their colleagues through their involvement in NLC.


Avondale, AZ | Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers

“Young people can look at me and say 'I can do that if she can do that.”

Mayor Marie Lopez Rogers tells her inspiring immigrant story, exploring the importance of staying fully engaged with a rapidly growing community and building relationships with fellow elected officials.

19 North Central Avenue, Avondale AZ 85323

+ Video.

Baton Rouge, LA | Mayor Melvin “Kip” Holden

“It was a matter of holding down chaos.”

Mayor Kip Holden recounts the wide array of challenges he faced as Mayor of Baton Rouge in the aftermath of back-to-back hurricanes, Katrina and Rita, in 2005.

1111 North Foster Drive, Baton Rouge LA 70806

+ Video.

Clarksburg, WV | Former Mayor Jim Hunt

“We can’t pass off problems.”

Former councilmember and mayor Jim Hunt discusses the importance of members of the community bringing their talents to public service, but also notes the impact that running for elected office can have on one’s family.

530 West Main Street, Clarksburg WV 26301

+ Video.

Columbus, OH | Councilmember Priscilla Tyson

“People want to be heard.”

Councilmember Priscilla Tyson highlights the critical importance of communication with the community, especially in times of fiscal crisis.

8 South 3rd Street, Columbus OH 43215

+ Video.

Cupertino, CA | Mayor Gilbert Wong

“I wanted to be that bridge.”

Mayor Gilbert Wong discusses his efforts to build bridges in a community with a large immigrant population.

10002 North De Anza Boulevard, Cupertino CA 95014

+ Video.

Indianapolis, IN | Former Mayor William H. Hudnut, III

“Leadership is all about creating a positive vision.”

Former mayor Bill Hudnut discusses the importance of being a visionary and remembering that serving in office is a people-oriented job.

7800 Col. H. Weir Cook Memorial Drive, Indianapolis International Airport (IND) IN 46241

+ Video.

Northglenn, CO | Former Mayor Kathie Novak

“We were elected to get things done.”

Former mayor and councilmember Kathie Novak focuses on working with elected officials throughout your city and region, and engaging citizens, in order to build a strong city.

11003-11013 Grant Drive, Northglenn CO 80233

+ Video.

Philadelphia, PA | Mayor Michael Nutter

“With better questions you often get a better answer.”

Mayor Michael Nutter uses his experience during the Great Recession to showcase effective leadership in times of crisis.

City Hall Station, Philadelphia PA 19107

+ Video.

Salt Lake City, UT | Mayor Ralph Becker

We need the "right sense of both purpose and engagement."

Mayor Ralph Becker focuses on the importance of long-term vision, perseverance and active community engagement to advance the community.

395 South Main Street, Salt Lake City UT 84111

+ Video.

Savannah, GA | Mayor Edna Branch Jackson

“You don’t get anywhere by yourself.”

Mayor Edna Jackson discusses the importance of seeking out mentors and listening to voices that are too frequently ignored.

1 North Fahm Street, SCAD: Collaborative Learning Center GA 31401

+ Video.

South Bay, FL | Former Mayor Clarence Anthony

“Engaging the community pays dividends.”

National League of Cities Executive Director and former mayor Clarence Anthony shares what it took to achieve a free-standing library in his rural community.

101-117 Florida 25, South Bay FL 33493

+ Video.

St. Paul, MN | Mayor Christopher B. Coleman

“Be present, particularly during difficult moments.”

Mayor Chris Coleman talks about the challenges in balancing conflicting interests, staying true to your values, and learning from residents.

U.S. 10 & Interstate 94, Saint Paul MN 55101

+ Video.