NLC COVID-19: Pandemic Response Update | Issue 36



As we close in on August, the time to secure funding for the future of America’s cities, towns and villages is running out. The economic future of our hometowns relies on what happens in Congress in the next few weeks. Coronavirus cases in the U.S. have surpassed 4 million and our communities need a fighting chance to recover from the economic fallout of this pandemic. “Everyone for themselves” is not how we get through this.

The proposal that the Senate released on Monday, the HEALS Act, does not include additional funding for state and local governments. This is extremely disappointing, and we must act. The media is tuned into our message – we are reaching Congress from all angles. Congress needs to know that federal aid will help our communities maintain essential services, keep jobs and protect our economies.

There is still time to negotiate but we need YOU to call your Senators and tell them that the direct aid to all local governments MUST be part of any emergency assistance package. The future of America’s 19,000 hometowns depends on it.

Sending you strength,

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

ON THE FRONTLINES: Mayor Tim Keller, Albuquerque, NM

Mayor Tim Keller knows the meaning of resilience. His southwestern city has shown its resilience in responding to COVID-19 in his community. Learn how his city launched programs that would help seniors, provided needed services for essential workers and combatted the digital divide.



WEBINAR | Reopening in the Fall: City & University Collaboration amid the COVID-19 Pandemic | Wednesday, August 5, 12:00 PM ET
The International Town & Gown Association and the NLC University Communities Council are partnering to produce a webinar on the implementation of college reopening plans, discussing the impact on the community and the role of institutions and municipalities in working together to keep students and local residents safe. The webinar will focus on distribution of supplies, education about risks and guidelines, and fair enforcement of pandemic-related restrictions. Our panelists will share how universities and cities are collaborating to meet that goal. To register, click here.

WEBINAR | Agile Leadership and Resilient Communities: Build Systems to Connect and Support with Johnson Controls | Monday, August 10, 1:00 PM ET
Clean air, touchless environments, and controlling disease transmission are all critical considerations as we work to develop healthy, safe communities and schools. Join NLC partner Johnson Controls in this facilitated discussion, learn from the Mayor of El Paso, and Superintendent of El Paso Independent School District, how they collaborated and implemented infrastructure improvements to ensure their community would be safe. Register here.


NEW COMMUNITY OF PRACTICE | Cities of Opportunity Learning Lab
All residents deserve a safe, secure, and healthy place to call home. The Cities of Opportunity Learning Lab is a peer-to-peer virtual forum for local leaders to work together and address the root causes of poor community health. Learn and share best practices around COVID response and recovery, data usage, civic engagement and more from local leaders across the country. Sign up here.

CONSTITUENCY GROUPS VIRTUAL SUMMIT | Equitable Solutions for the Future of the City
Register for the National League of Cities Virtual Summit, specifically to discuss issues facing communities of Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC). From the impact of COVID-19 on these communities to the Census and how to promote equity in the wake of the current social uprisings, the Virtual Summit will allow local leaders to meet their peers and share strategies and best practices for addressing these challenges today. Register now to attend.


America’s Mayors Respond to the Lack of Local Aid in Senate Relief Package
Less than 24 hours after the Senate released the HEALS Act, the National League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors hosted a joint virtual press conference with mayors from across the country to share their ongoing reality in the wake of the draft coronavirus relief package, which included no direct aid for state and local governments. Read more.

How Albuquerque Showed Resilience to COVID-19
Mayor Tim Keller was ready to admit the privilege his own family had when the novel coronavirus hit his hometown, Albuquerque. In his own words, “We have luxuries that not everyone has; like Liz can work from home and we have lots of support for our kids. This has driven us to build a stronger safety net for vulnerable people in our community.” Read more.


Mayors decry lack of new funding for cities in U.S. Senate Republican bill
Reuters – July 28, 2020

Senate Republicans Omit State Aid From Stimulus Proposal Amid Historic Budget Shortfalls
Newsweek – July 27, 2020

States See No Aid From Senate GOP for Swelling Budget Gaps
Bloomberg – July 27, 2020

Local governments gather to discuss challenges of funding amid COVID-19
Fox Atlanta – July 27, 2020

Metro mayors say if they don’t get federal COVID-19 aid, their cities won’t survive
ABC Atlanta – July 27, 2020