NLC COVID-19: Pandemic Response Update | Issue 33



I hope everyone had a safe holiday and spent some time to recharge. This week, we are back in full force, pushing our Cities are Essential message. With coronavirus numbers resurging in some areas, financial aid to cities becomes more critical by the day. NLC is committed to helping you navigate this difficult and uncharted path forward.

New today, NLC worked with Rep. John Kakto (R-NY) on a “Dear Colleague” letter to get House Republicans to sign on in support of additional budget aid for all local governments. While Rep. Katko’s letter does not endorse a particular bill, it urges support for a set of principles developed in close coordination with NLC to provide fair and equitable funding to each and every county and municipal government.

This is the latest effort to make Congress hear NLC and hear your voices. We must work together on bicameral, bipartisan legislation that provides appropriate levels of assistance to all cities, towns, and villages. Cities are Essential, and we must continue to fight to prove it.

Sending you strength,

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


Cities are having to make tough decisions are coronavirus infections spike. Mayor Alejandra Sotelo-Solis shares pride in the community response and willingness to change their social practices to ensure the city could keep the curve flattened.



Last Chance for Cities Are Essential!
Without a final overwhelming effort by every local elected official to influence Members of Congress, our federal leaders could leave out direct budget aid to all 19,000 cities, towns and villages in the next coronavirus relief package. July represents our final chance to advocate for direct federal assistance for all cities, towns and villages in the final COVID-19 emergency assistance bill. Call your Senator TODAY! Your community depends on it, and so does the economic health of our nation.

Emergency Preparedness Amidst COVID-19
The logistical and social complexities of COVID-19 are converging with what scientists are projecting to be an above-average season for hurricanes, extreme heat, inland and coastal flooding, and wildfires. Additionally, there is growing awareness among city leaders that communities of color and vulnerable populations are disproportionately impacted by both the virus and climate change. In partnership with several trusted external organizations, NLC designed a short guide and resource list on Emergency Preparedness Amidst COVID-19 that includes tips on effectively managing sheltering and evacuations, resident communication and preparedness, and improving local response capacity in advance of extreme events.

Risk Assessment Map from Harvard Global Health Institute
How severe is the spread of COVID-19 in your community, and what actions should you take? New standardized national approach to communicate risk levels and response options is convergence of top scientists and institutions around the country. Check out this on-line risk assessment map from Harvard Gobal Health Institute to see where your state or county is on a COVID-19 risk level of green, yellow, orange or red. See guidance/tools for local and state leaders as well as individuals on intensity of efforts depending on the risk level.


Reopening in Cities Across the Country: What Does the Data Show
Cities have been leading COVID response efforts across the country, and recently they have started to grapple with the new challenge of reopening amidst an ongoing pandemic. NLC’s top priority is to catalog these efforts and we hope others will continue to dive deeper into the comparative analysis, but a few findings immediately stand out. Read more.

City, County and Corporate Support for COVID Testing and Contact Tracing
Cities and counties are at various stages of reopening after shutdowns to mitigate the coronavirus spread. Alarmingly, two-thirds of states are experiencing a surge in COVID-19. Several factors must be in place for jurisdictions to open for business safely and for people to confidently patronize the services and activities they typically enjoy. Read more.


How will American cities avoid economic catastrophe?
The Hill – July 7, 2020

Avoiding the COVID-19 Eviction Cliff
Stanford Law School – July 2, 2020

Here Comes the Hard Part: States, Cities Face Grim Budget Picture
Governing – July 1, 2020