Task Force on Economic Mobility and Opportunity
NLC’s Task Force on Economic Mobility and Opportunity seeks to raise the visibility of local efforts that have the potential to increase economic mobility, expand economic opportunity and reduce income inequality in cities across the nation.
This effort emerges from a long history of NLC efforts, through its Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, to help city leaders improve the economic stability and well-being of families. Launched in November 2016 by then NLC President, Matt Zone, councilmember from Cleveland, Ohio, the task force provided opportunities for dialogue among local champions. The task force is comprised of 22 local elected officials from across the country and is led by its chair, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.
Over the course of 2017, the task force shared ideas and strategies for building economic mobility in their communities, and provided a forum for discussion of how racial inequities contribute to longstanding disparities in economic opportunity.
In November 2017, the task force released a set of 33 recommendations, "Keeping the American Dream Alive: Expanding Economic Mobility and Opportunity in America's Cities," to help local leaders improve economic mobility and opportunity in cities of all sizes.
"Now more than ever, the economic well-being of our families is at risk, and we, as local officials, can be the key instruments of change and economic mobility," said NLC President Zone as he opened the first meeting of the task force. He concluded his remarks by sharing his hope that the task force will "raise the visibility of this issue and bring the local perspective into the national dialogue."
Funding and support for the task force and peer network are provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Chair - Mayor Kasim Reed of Atlanta, Ga.
- Mayor Megan Barry of Nashville, Tenn.
- Mayor William V. Bell of Durham, N.C.
- Councilmember Rick Callahan of Dallas
- Treasurer José Cisneros of San Francisco
- Councilmember Phyllis Cleveland of Cleveland
- Mayor Pro Tem Tameika Isaac Devine of Columbia, S.C.
- Mayor Johnny L. Dupree of Hattiesburg, Miss.
- Mayor Jorge Elorza of Providence, R.I.
- Councilmember Deana Holiday Ingraham of East Point, Ga.
- Councilmember Karl Nurse of St. Petersburg, Fla.
- Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell of Los Angeles
- Mayor William Peduto of Pittsburgh
- Mayor Jennifer Roberts of Charlotte, N.C.
- Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland, Calif.
- Councilmember Matt Schellenberg of Jacksonville, Fla.
- Mayor Paul Soglin of Madison, Wis.
- Councilmember Kristin Szakos of Charlottesville, Va.
- Mayor T. Oscar Trevino of North Richland Hill, Texas
- Mayor Martin J. Walsh of Boston
- Mayor Lovely Warren of Rochester, N.Y.
- Councilmember P.C. Wu of Pensacola, Fla.
NLC provides additional opportunities for cities to exchange ideas about local strategies to expand economic opportunity through a related peer network comprised of local elected officials and their staff. A key goal of the peer network is to accelerate the shift at the city level from talk about a vexing problem to practical action steps. The Peer Network convenes bimonthly through conference calls and webinars focused on topics related to income inequality, economic opportunity, poverty reduction, and racial equity and features national experts and city examples. For more information, please contact Courtney Coffin, Senior Associate, Economic Opportunity and Financial Empowerment, at email@example.com or (202) 626-3073.