Federal Advocacy Committees

Guided by member informed and driven National Municipal Policy and working in partnership with 49 state municipal leagues and seven Federal Advocacy Committees (Committees), NLC serves as both a resource and an advocate for the more than 19,000 cities, towns, and villages the organization represents.  NLC’s advocacy efforts focus on advancing the perspective of cities and towns in legislative and regulatory matters, as well as championing legal issues of national importance to local governments.

NLC’s National Municipal Policy

The National Municipal Policy is a compilation of federal policy statements and resolutions adopted by the full NLC membership during the annual business meeting, which takes place during the annual City Summit conference.  These positions focus on federal actions, programs, and legislation that directly impact municipalities and municipal authority and guide all of NLC’s federal advocacy efforts.

The process of developing these policy positions is dynamic and inclusive, whereby the Committees have a lead role in identifying emerging federal issues of immediate and long-term consequence to the nation’s cities and towns and developing policy positions that are recommended to the entire membership for adoption.

Once adopted, the policy statements remain in effect until they are amended by the NLC membership.  The resolutions sunset after one year unless action is taken to renew them for another year or incorporate them into policy statements. 

NLC Federal Advocacy Committees

Together with NLC’s leadership and the Federal Advocacy team, the Committees play a key role in all NLC advocacy efforts.  They are made up of elected and appointed officials from NLC member cities and towns across the country who are committed to discussing and influencing federal policy that has a direct and profound impact on local government operations.

The leadership and membership of these committees are appointed annually by NLC’s incoming president.  As a general rule, a chair and two vice-chairs and 40 – 50 committee members are appointed.  In addition to leading the Committees, the chairs serve on NLC’s Board of Directors during their leadership year.

Under the leadership of a chair and vice chairs, the Committees meet in person at least three times a year to deliberate policy positions and review action plans in support of NLC’s advocacy.  In person meetings may be supplemented by conference call meetings to ensure the Committee has ample opportunity to complete their work plan.

In 2017, the Committees will meet during the following events:

  • Congressional City Conference, Washington D.C., March 11 – 15, 2017
  • NLC Summer Leadership Forum, Cleveland, OH., TBD
  • City Summit, Charlotte, NC., November 15 – 18, 2017

Committee leaders and members are responsible for covering their own expenses to attend these meetings.

Below is more information regarding NLC’s seven Federal Advocacy Committees:

  • Community and Economic Development (CED).

The Community and Economic Development Committee is responsible for developing policy positions and leading NLC’s advocacy on issues involving housing, community and economic development, land use, recreation and parks, historic preservation, and international competitiveness.  In addition, the Committee leads efforts in support of federal grant programs that support these activities, including the Community Development Block Grant program.

  • Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources (EENR).

The Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee is responsible for developing policy positions and leading NLC’s advocacy on sustainability-related issues such as water infrastructure and water quality, air quality, energy, climate change, solid and hazardous waste management, local food systems, and public lands. Most recently, the committee has undertaken a holistic view of issues pertaining to water infrastructure, such as financing mechanisms for new and existing infrastructure, what communities and residents can afford to pay, and climate impacts on water and creating resilient infrastructure.

  • Finance, Administration, and Intergovernmental Relations (FAIR)

The Finance, Administration and Intergovernmental Relations Committee is responsible for developing policy positions and leading NLC’s advocacy on issues involving intergovernmental relations (including Federalism and unfunded mandates), Census, municipal pensions, municipal bonds and capital finance, tax reform, antitrust issues, civil rights, and labor relations.  Most recently, the committee has focused on protecting the interests of cities in federal tax reform efforts, including the tax exemption of municipal bonds, and advocating for local taxing authority on online remote sales transactions.

  • Human Development (HD)

The Human Development Committee is responsible for developing policy positions and leading NLC’s advocacy on issues involving social services, children and learning, poverty and income support, employment and workforce development, equal opportunity, education, Social Security and seniors, individuals with disabilities, public health care, mental health parity, and immigration reform.

  • Information Technology and Communications (ITC).

The Information Technology and Communications Committee is responsible for developing policy positions on and leading NLC’s advocacy on issues involving telecommunications and information systems (and public access to these systems), privacy concerns, cable TV, phone services, spectrum issues, communications tower siting, universal service, broadcasting, and defense of city rights-of-way from degradation caused by installation of communications facilities.  Most recently, the Committee’s work focused on various ways localities can increase broadband access through municipal broadband, protecting local authority on technology-related tax issues such as the Internet Tax Freedom Act, and exploring the transition from old, copper-based telephone networks to digital and IP-based networks.

  • Public Safety and Crime Prevention (PSCP).

The Public Safety and Crime Prevention Committee is responsible for developing policy positions on and leading NLC’s advocacy on issues involving crime prevention and law enforcement, corrections, substance abuse, municipal fire policy, juvenile justice, disaster preparedness and relief, homeland security, domestic terrorism, court systems and gun control.

  • Transportation and Infrastructure Services (TIS).

The Transportation and Infrastructure Services Committee is responsible for developing policy positions on and leading NLC’s advocacy on issues involving transportation, including planning, funding, safety and security of public transit, streets and highways, aviation, railroads and ports.  Most recently, the Committee’s advocacy focused on protecting the local government interests in efforts to reauthorize a new surface transportation program.

Learn how to get involved on a committee here.