We Stand with Charlotte.
We are aware that, due to North Carolina’s law HB2, some cities, states, and businesses have implemented a travel ban for the state of North Carolina, and we are disappointed that this will prevent some delegates from attending the 2017 City Summit. The NLC Board of Directors approved Charlotte as our 2017 host city in 2012. When this law was passed in 2016, NLC thoroughly reviewed the conference location, and determined it was important to maintain our commitment to the City of Charlotte.
Recently, NLC did a report on state law preemption. Many of our member cities are just like Charlotte, having been preempted by state laws that seem to be out of touch with the citizens our city leaders serve. But boycotting the conference would send the wrong message. It would hurt Charlotte more than it would hurt North Carolina. So rather than punishing Charlotte by changing our conference, our board of directors passed a resolution to Stand with Charlotte and send a message that we don’t agree with the North Carolina General Assembly, but as cities we stand together and support Charlotte’s decision to stand with people.
On March 30, 2017, HB2 was replaced with HB142. While HB142 does make some improvements to the original law, including eliminating the controversial restrictions on bathroom access by transgender individuals, it fails to fix HB2’s preemption of local authority. HB142 is just one more entry in a long line of attempts by state legislatures to preempt the authority of city leaders. Despite egregious actions against local control in statehouses across the country, NLC is committed to standing with cities facing preemption battles. NLC will continue to support and fight for cities that build inclusive communities and exercise local control. The 2017 City Summit programming will feature conversations exploring this broader issue of preemption of local authority.