NLC COVID-19: Pandemic Response Update | Issue 31



It was a busy week here with NLC! Yesterday we released new survey data from over 1,100 municipalities like yours across the country. The results show that the national economic recovery is at even greater risk of stalling if Congress fails to provide direct federal aid to America’s cities, towns and villages. The results have already caught the eye of The Washington PostCNBC and Reuters.

The survey, which focuses on local impact spending cuts and service adjustments, found that 65% of cities are being forced to delay or completely cancel capital expenditures and infrastructure projects, which will stifle job growth and slow local economic activity and further imperil economic recovery efforts in communities across the nation. These cuts drastically impact not only the people who live and work in these communities, but also the infrastructure and essential services that are critical to the national economic recovery. You can learn more about the survey through this one-pager and infographic.

This is exactly why we created the Cities Are Essential campaign. Federal aid routed directly to cities will help our communities ease the economic impacts of coronavirus, including the obstacles we can’t yet predict. We will continue to advocate on your behalf until you receive the assistance that you deserve because America’s cities, towns and villages are essential!

Sending you strength,

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


Partnerships across sectors has grown even more critical as cities, towns and villages respond to COVID-19. Hear from Mayor Hardie Davis of Augusta, Georgia how he was able to secure 25,000 meals for his residents through a collaboration with a nonprofit.


CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund Not Enough to Support Local Government Reopening and Recovery
The CARES Act was signed into law on March 27, creating the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF), a $150 billion relief fund for states, territories, tribes, and local governments. Of the 19,000 cities, towns, and villages in the United States, only 36 municipalities, each with more than 500,000 residents, were provided direct assistance under the CRF. Read more.

Cities are Making Unavoidable Cuts in Response to COVID-19 Fiscal Pressures
New survey data from over 1,100 municipalities across the country shows that the national economic recovery is at even greater risk of stalling if Congress fails to provide direct federal aid to America’s cities, towns and villages. Read more.


Over 700 cash-strapped cities halt plans to repair roads, water systems or make other key investments
The Washington Post – June 23, 2020

U.S. Recovery at Risk Without Fed Aid for Cities, Group Says
Bloomberg – June 23, 2020

Cities warn of infrastructure spending cuts and more layoffs as coronavirus leaves holes in budgets
CNBC – June 23, 2020

Virus fallout forces U.S. cities to cut budgets, projects: survey
Reuters – June 23, 2020