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Local leaders represent the people they govern, and the people want to control their destinies. As cities across the nation increasingly battle state mandates thwarting local priorities, municipal leaders must be strategic to fight state preemption. Learn tactics to counter preemptive actions taken by the state. Get insights from your peers dealing with preemption cases involving labor, civil liberties and minimum wage laws.  Hear insights from legal professionals actively involved in preemption cases. This workshop will immediately follow Friday’s general session programming on state preemption of local authority. Expert panelists will continue the discussion with specific tactics for local leaders addressing preemption— one of the biggest threats to city governance today.

Cities continue to innovate in the ways they provide and alter spaces to keep kids active and build a culture of health. Join this workshop to better understand how cities can promote children’s physical, mental, social and environmental health through strategic decisions about land use and the programming of public space. Hear lessons learned and inspiring examples from the first three years of the NLC Cities Connecting Children to Nature initiative, and take home tools and resources on innovative ways your city can build a healthier environment for your youngest constituents.

The private sector and all levels of government are embracing resilience as a holistic, proactive framework to reduce risk, improve services, adapt to changing conditions, and empower citizens. In 2016, NLC launched a Leadership in Community Resilience program to help elected officials, city staff, and community partners share their experiences and advance local resilience efforts. The pilot initiative is providing technical assistance and professional development opportunities for 10 cities by supporting local resilience initiatives that have been prioritized by each city. Hear from four of those cities in this workshop and learn their process for planning, building engagement, and implementing resilience initiatives with limited resources.

Philanthropies are playing a major role in catalyzing the revitalization and rebirth of cities across America. From climate change and adaptation, to economic development and the arts, foundations and cities are working closer than ever to identify areas where private and public interests intersect, and to produce change for the communities they represent. In this session, learn the various ways in which the philanthropic community is partnering with cities, and better understand how your community can lean on these partnership opportunities to revitalize civic spaces in your own city or town.

Business leaders, researchers, and municipal officials agree: early childhood education is one of the best investments a city can make. Hear from leaders in diverse sectors about why early childhood can – and should – be something that every city official, no matter how small or large your city, champions! Research shows that positive experiences in the earliest years of a child’s life are critical to becoming a productive member of the community. Young children who participate in early educational settings develop better language skills, score higher on school-readiness tests, and have better social skills and fewer behavioral problems once they enter school. Adults who had strong early educational experiences are more likely to be literate and enrolled in post-secondary education and are less likely to be school dropouts, dependent on welfare or arrested for criminal activity. Additionally, strong early childhood education promotes economic growth, workforce development, and racial equity. NLC is launching a nationwide campaign of city leaders who are building robust early learning systems in their communities. Come to this workshop to learn how your city can join the Early Learning Nation!

Cities across the country are dealing with backlogs of much needed infrastructure work, from roads to bridges to parks, buildings and sewer lines. Solid infrastructure is the foundation of economic development and quality of life, but when projects have been deferred for years and funding is tight, it’s hard to know where to begin. In this session, hear from one city that had an enormous backlog of infrastructure work and is now in the second year of a major renewal program. Learn how they implemented the program, including funding sources, prioritization of projects, and working across district lines.