I am in Washington, DC this week to attend an annual event of the National League of Cities. The NLC is the oldest advocacy organization in DC representing city leaders and the communities that they call home. Over 1,500 mayors, council members, and city staff will take part in this event, which includes making critical visits to Capitol Hill and participating in educational workshops on city trends and best practices.
An earlier EoP blog entry of mine details what I believe Washington can do for cities to help them succeed. It was written last Fall and, as you might have guessed, not much has been accomplished on the three areas that were outlined – infrastructure, transportation and immigration – so the post remains current. Much of the collective advocacy this week will be focused on these topics, with Congressional reauthorization of the transportation bill being front and center as the March 31 deadline approaches. Simply put, Congress must act on this measure soon. If they don’t then important road, bridge and transit projects in cities across the country (and the jobs that accompany them) will be put in real jeopardy.
I will also be presenting at a workshop tomorrow on placemaking. I, along with Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and John Robert Smith of Reconnecting America, will share some experiences with placemaking efforts around transportation, housing, and sustainability. I am a big fan of the progress taking place in SLC around transit oriented development and of Reconnecting America’s critical work, so I am looking forward to the opportunity to share ideas.