NLC COVID-19: Pandemic Response Update | Issue 29



This week, our communities continue to be hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and now many of our cities, towns and villages face challenges and critical conversations around racial equity, public safety and uprisings. The National League of Cities exists to provide resources and best practices to its members 365 days a year. I encourage you to use the powerful resources of our Race Equity and Leadership (REAL) team to help guide you and your community through this difficult time.

Now more than ever, local leaders are stepping up for their residents. Next week, the NLC Board of Directors will convene for our first-ever virtual Summer Board and Leadership meeting. While I am disappointed that we can’t meet in my hometown Los Angeles, I’m looking forward to a week of engagement, important discussions and charting a path forward for cities, towns and villages. I’m proud of all my colleagues who are committed to bettering the lives of their constituents, and I am confident that as we start to rebuild as a nation, our communities will come out stronger than ever before.

Sending you strength,

Joe Buscaino
National League of Cities
President Pro Tempore, Los Angeles City Council


When COVID-19 hit Columbia, South Carolina, Mayor Stephen Benjamin was committed to fighting the economic tsunami he saw coming.



COVID Racial Data Tracker
COVID-19 is disproportionately affecting people of color. The Atlantic is tracking the data in real-time. View the tracker to see real-time data of the impact of COVID-19. View the data tracker here.

U.S. Census Quarterly Survey of State and Local Tax Revenue
Help the U.S. Census Bureau accurately measure the American economy. The Quarterly Survey of State and Local Tax Revenue allows policymakers and government officials to better understand the impacts of the Coronavirus outbreak. Take the survey now.

NLC University Human-Centered Leadership Initiative
NLCU is focused on research-backed strategies that build the following competencies: self-awareness, self-management, ability to connect, collaborate and communicate with others, ability to motivate others and tackle today’s challenges with clarity and compassion. NLCU has launched The Human-Centered Leadership Initiative to take a whole-person approach to support leaders in their leadership and wellness. To learn more and view program offerings click here.

COVID Local Risk Index now on City Health Dashboard
While COVID-19 has hit every community, certain groups are suffering disproportionately from the disease and its economic and social impact: people of color, those with underlying health problems, older people, and front-line workers with low incomes. Check out The COVID Local Risk Index, available at both the city and neighborhood level for cities with a population of 66,000 and above.Sign up for Office Hours with City Health (Tuesday, June 16 at 1:00 pm ET) to learn more. Register here.


Cities Prepared for Rainy Days, but Not a Fiscal Tsunami
One critical way to assess fiscal preparedness is levels of General Fund ending balances. To better understand the fiscal position of cities, we analyze city ending balances as a percentage of General Fund expenditures. Our findings reveal that cities have built up reserves to levels greater than at any point over the past 34 years. Read more.

Three Things that the Fed and Congress Can Do Now to Help Small Cities Reopen and Recover
Cities large and small face financial risks from COVID-19 and the challenge of mitigating its spread. The Federal government can take the following additional three actions to help smaller communities where most Americans live to reopen and support economic recovery. Read more.


San Antonio Businesses on the Long Road Back From the Coronavirus Pandemic
60 Minutes – June 7, 2020

Cities, towns need help to drive recovery
Reflector – June 5, 2020

Mayors seek financial relief amid protests: ‘We absolutely cannot do it alone’
Smart Cities Dive – June 2, 2020