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Roadmap To Repair: A Guide to How Cities Can Acknowledge and Address the History of Harm to Indigenous Peoples, Rebuild Trust, and Repair Relationships

July 14, 2022

The National League of Cities envisions cities and towns that are welcoming and that equitably meet the needs of all their constituents. We want to create a world in which Indigenous Peoples' contributions, culture, and history are respected, and where policies, practices, and procedures improve outcomes for Indigenous People and Communities. Local leaders are strongly encouraged to explore the history of Indigenous Peoples in their cities, towns, and villages so they can reconcile their past and proactively promote healing and justice for Tribal Nations.The Roadmap to Repair offers guidance to municipal leaders on acknowledging past harm and intentionally moving toward repair. This resource will help guide critical work and efforts in repairing relationships, but also help frame discussions on how to create a more equitable world for everyone.

Democracies Thrive When Cities Vote: Playbook for Nonpartisan Voter Engagement

March 1, 2022

The right to vote is a critical part of American democracy. Protecting that right is more important now than ever, as hundreds of bills threaten to make voting more difficult for residents in dozens of states across the country. Democracy is not fully realized when lawmakers impose barriers that result in disenfranchisement and prevent residents from having critical influence on issues such as schools, parks, housing, police and transportation. But city leaders can – and already are – leading the way to protect the democratic rights of their residents.  This playbook for nonpartisan voter engagement provides local leaders with specific recommendations on actions they can take to move their communities toward 100% democratic participation. It covers three key areas – voter education, voter engagement and voter access – in which residents, particularly those from marginalized communities, have historically faced barriers to voting.  Democratic participation has historically been viewed as a national challenge, but cities, towns and villages have the unique opportunity to be their residents' strongest advocates in increasing civic participation. Download the guide to learn more about how your city can take action to address critical voting issues.

On the Frontlines of Today’s Cities: Trauma, Challenges and Solutions

November 10, 2021

Local officials work at the level of government closest to the people, and with that comes great responsibility and great challenge. While public officials at the state and federal level have faced harassment and threats for decades, this trend has now made its way to cities, with local leaders on the frontlines of these challenges. Driven by increasing polarization, the spread of mis- and disinformation and the growing influence and power of social media, local officials face everything from racist, homophobic attacks online to city council meetings that devolve into screaming matches. The COVID-19 pandemic, racial reckoning and other recent national crises pushed many things to the extreme and threats and harassment against local leaders are no exception. While a certain amount of disagreement is a healthy part of a functioning democracy, civil discourse in America has been increasingly in decline. Eighty-seven percent of surveyed local officials have noticed an increase in levels of harassment, threats and violence during their time in office.While more than 8 in 10 surveyed local officials have experienced some form of harassment, threats and violence, fewer than half work in an office with a strategy to handle these incidents. This report sheds light on the impact felt by local officials and their communities across the country and offers a three-pronged approach to help keep them safe from threats, while maintaining their mental and physical wellbeing.

Ready to Rebuild: Projects Ready to Move Across the U.S.

June 4, 2021

As Congress debates the President's proposed American Jobs Plan (AJP) and an infrastructure infusion, the National League of Cities (NLC) met with city leaders across the United States to ask one simple question: "What is your top infrastructure priority?"  From the smallest to largest communities, every place has a story to tell, and Ready to Rebuild shows a range of transportation, water, broadband and workforce projects across the country from communities of all sizes. While projects are different, the message from local officials is the same: infrastructure is a job worth doing, but in most places, it's now beyond what the local government can handle on their own. Far worse, the perpetual waiting game in Washington means the risk and consequences are building up to an emergency spill over point. Most local governments know exactly what needs to be done to fix their infrastructure, but they simply can't afford it. 

City Profile on Racial Equity Boston, Massachusetts

October 29, 2019

Early efforts to integrate financial capability strategies into youth employment programs have demonstrated some promising approaches for city leaders and practitioners to consider when designing or expanding programs. Learn how one of America's most historical cities has worked to promote racial equity and enhance outcomes for all of its residents.

City Profile on Racial Equity San Antonio, Texas

February 8, 2019

In 2017, San Antonio, Texas was ranked one of the most unequal cities in the country by the Economic Innovation Group. Recognizing the ranking and the history of segregationist policies that led to it, San Antonio's leaders are making an effort to reconcile their past with an equitable future for their residents through the San Antonio Office of Equity.

City Profile on Racial Equity New Orleans, Louisiana

February 8, 2019

When New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu set out to remove a series of confederate monuments lining the city spaces, it sparked national conversation–and action.But while the story captured the nation's attention, the Mayor and the city's efforts to address racial inequities and begin a process of racial reconciliation in New Orleans were both broader and more comprehensive than removing monuments celebrating the confederacy. 

City Profile on Racial Equity Takoma Park, Maryland

February 8, 2019

Takoma Park, Maryland, a Washington, DC suburb of 17,600 people, recognizes that racial inequities have become institutionalized in the policy and practices of many agencies. To ensure their city works for all its residents, Mayor Kate Stewart and the city council committed to address racial equity proactively and deliberately as part of its decision-making process. This city is working toward dismantling institutionalized racism to ensure a vibrant, inclusive, equitable and healthy community for all city residents. 

City Profile on Racial Equity Park Forest City

November 2, 2018

The Village of Park Forest was established in 1948 to house military veterans as the nation's first planned community after World War II. Park Forest was initially designed as one of the few communities without restrictive covenants by religion. Building on that ten-year tradition, Park Forest was racially desegregated in 1959 when the first African-American family was invited to live in the village through efforts by some members of the local Unitarian Church. Perhaps as a result of the planned integration of Park Forest, the town faced a smaller degree of white flight in the 1980s than did many other suburbs. Much like other cities, Park Forest faces a lack of diversity in the village's staff, which is currently predominantly white even though the current village population is approximately 65 percent black.

Equitable Early Care and Education An Alignment Framework

March 23, 2018

The Equitable Early Care and Education framework described in this guide is designed to help mayors and other local leaders develop an early childhood system with young children and families at the center, engages and supports families equitably, improves the wellbeing of young children and creates opportunities for all children to reach their potential. Elements of an Equitable Early Care and Education System include:Multi-sector partnershipsData-driven decisionsFamily engagementEquitable accessCoordinated continuumProfessional development and supportSustainable resourcesCommunity participationThe sections found within this guide can be used by local leaders and partners to reflect on the current early childhood education landscape within their communities while also exploring other areas of opportunity to promote early childhood success. It can be used together with A Companion Tool for the Equitable Early Care and Education to help local leaders build a strong, responsive early childhood system in their community.

City Profile on Racial Equity Austin, Texas

March 6, 2018

The City of Austin was named the U.S. News and World Report's Best Place to Live award and Forbes' Next Biggest Boom Town in the U.S.But despite national accolades and the city's immense growth, Austin must face the historically overlooked truth of racial inequity. The Martin Prosperity Institute ranked Austin as the most economically segregated city in the country, a designation no city wants. Taking this challenge head on, Austin has worked to reverse trends that exclude people of color from the bright future of their city. 

The City Leader's Compass to the My Brother's Keeper Landscape

November 17, 2017

City leaders are responding to the My Brother's Keeper Community Challenge by tackling the disparities that face our nation's boys and men of color (BMoC). REAL's report "The City Leader's Compass to the My Brother's Keeper Landscape, highlights a comprehensive set of tangible steps cities can take to change systems and improve outcomes for BMoC."I accepted the challenge … If more Mayors would accept the MBK challenge and work … we can reduce the disparities facing all boys and men of color."—Mayor William Johnson of Holly Hill, S.C.As your city begins or continues its journey through the MBK landscape, this guide will be an effective compass and ongoing reference tool as you consider actions to improve outcomes for boys and men of color. It is important to remember that a city leader's unique opportunity is in taking policy action to undo the systems that create the barriers to success that boys and men of color face daily. We look forward to supporting your city on its journey through the MBK landscape, which will improve the lives of boys and men of color and their communities for generations to come. Happy traveling!