NLC Conference Workshops

3:30 pm - 4:45 pm

Emerging Technologies in Cities

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In the information age, city leaders need to consider what role technology plays in their communities, and how to employ and use them effectively. In this session, panelists will spark table discussion on specific services and sectors experiencing rapid innovation, and how cities can utilize new or advancing technologies, including cyber security and data, mobility... Read more »

3:30 pm - 4:45 pm

Key Building Blocks for Communities for All Generations

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Mayors and local officials work hard to build thriving cities: cities where people want to live, work, learn, play and pray; and cities where they want to and can raise their families and live a lifetime. In thriving cities, all generations—from the youngest child and their families to the older, life-experienced adult—feel supported. This world-café... Read more »

3:30 pm - 4:15 pm

Lessons Learned: Cannabis Time Machine

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It’s hard to imagine that prior to 1996 no state had legal medical cannabis, and it’s been just 7 years since Colorado and Washington legalized adult use (“recreational”) cannabis. Since then cannabis legalization in some form has spread to nearly every corner of the country, and local leaders are finding themselves having to regulate a... Read more »

3:30 pm - 4:45 pm

Opportunities for Cities to Support Mental Health for All

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Directing residents to mental health services has taken on new importance for city leaders who seek to improve strategies for emergency response and crisis stabilization and reduce jail populations. In addition, leaders play a role in dealing with the overlap with co-occurring issues such as substance abuse and homelessness. Join a discussion of effective approaches... Read more »

3:30 pm - 4:45 pm

Preparing Your Community for the Next Economic Downturn

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Analysts now predict that the next recession will occur in 2021. How is your community preparing? In this session, you will get the scoop on how ratings agencies and analysts view the current economy. Hear from practitioners and peers about what’s on the horizon for local financial and economic trends, and learn strategies to ready... Read more »

1:00 pm - 2:15 pm

Cybersecurity 101

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Nearly every local government service depends in some way on the ability to create, maintain, and secure large quantities of data. The importance of data brings new risks for cities and towns as cyberattacks are on the rise, grabbing headlines nationwide. Cybersecurity deserves both immediate attention and long-term planning. Come join a range of experts... Read more »

1:00 pm - 2:15 pm

Developing the Workforce: A Pipeline to Success

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Attracting and retaining a new generation of city employees—and supporting skill development in the private sector—stand out among current ways municipal leaders can advance local workforce development. Join this highly interactive session to discuss ways municipal officials and key partners meet these challenges and opportunities head on, including advancing new types of apprenticeships and career... Read more »

1:00 pm - 2:15 pm

Financing Affordable Housing: Locally Driven Solutions

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Affordable housing policy and finance mechanisms must be modernized and expanded at every level of government. While there is no substitute for robust and inclusive HUD programs, federal resources alone are insufficient to stem the growth of the affordable housing crisis—and cities cannot wait for the federal government to catch up. This session will explore... Read more »

1:00 pm - 2:15 pm

Game Changers, Round I: Inspiring Stories and Ah-Ha Moments

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Game Changer sessions feature three engaging thought leaders from diverse perspectives, sharing personal stories, ah-ha moments and revolutionary ideas that inspire us to action.

1:00 pm - 2:15 pm

Unpacking How to Embed Racial Equity Across City Government

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Governing for racial equity requires sustained effort, strategies and tools to achieve change to policies and practices throughout municipal government. This world-café session features city leaders and racial equity practitioners, including from our host city of San Antonio, experienced in embedding racial equity in municipal government, who will share the lessons they have learned leading... Read more »

2:30 pm - 3:45 pm

Breakthroughs in Sustainable, Livable Cities: 2020 and Beyond

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2020 is a crucial moment for many government sustainability strategies to address climate change and engage residents in ways that strengthen community. It is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and the first year that governments around the world will report progress toward the Paris Climate Accord, making it a benchmark year for local leaders... Read more »

2:30 pm - 3:45 pm

Downtown Development

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Downtowns across the nation are getting new life. Cities and towns are revitalizing vacant properties into arts and cultural centers, strengthening retention and expansion efforts to secure local and legacy businesses, and implementing mixed-use developments to promote livability. During this session, you will learn innovative and proven approaches to downtown development ranging from supporting entrepreneurs... Read more »

2:30 pm - 3:45 pm

Game Changers, Round II: Inspiring Stories and Ah-Ha Moments

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Game Changer Sessions feature three engaging thought leaders from diverse perspectives, sharing personal stories, ah-ha moments and revolutionary ideas that inspire us to action.

2:30 pm - 3:45 pm

Small But Mighty: Closing the Digital Divide in Small Cities

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Broadband access is a necessity for residents to take full advantage of employment, educational, healthcare and civic engagement opportunities in your town. However, your small community may have been left behind by major internet service providers, or may not have coverage in all neighborhoods. In this workshop, learn how you can partner with community anchor... Read more »

9:00 am - 10:15 am

Big Ideas for Small Cities

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Small cities—populations under 50,000— represent most U.S. cities and towns. During this signature event, attendees will get ground-breaking ideas from fellow small city leaders proven to uplift the community. Come see how small city leaders demonstrate the innovations and leadership capacity evident in America’s smaller communities.

9:00 am - 10:15 am

Climate Change Impacts and Your Community: NLC Forum

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NLC wants to provide cities of all sizes with the tools and resources they need to ensure their residents and critical infrastructure are prepared for climate impacts. As our organization designs new programs, research, and advocacy campaigns related to climate resilience and preparedness, we want to hear from you to ensure your voices are heard. Extreme events and natural disasters such as wildfires, hurricanes,... Read more »

9:00 am - 10:15 am

REAL City Solutions at the Intersection of Housing and Racial Equity

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The importance of the intersection between quality, affordable housing and racial equity cannot be overstated. This session will examine the historically racialized development patterns and policies, in and between cities, which have contributed to lingering present-day inequities and the expanding affordability crisis in cities. Learn from local leaders and practitioners about practical solutions that are... Read more »

9:00 am - 10:15 am

What Opportunity Zones Mean for the Future of Local Economic Development

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In the last year, Opportunity Zones have created a buzz country-wide among investors and governments. While this new economic development incentive has been met with both excitement and healthy skepticism, what do opportunity zones really mean for cities, towns and villages? With a 10-year lifespan, you will need to be the champions of your residents... Read more »

10:45 am - 12:00 pm

Fare Policy: Trips and Troubles in Transportation

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The cost of transportation has dueling forces at play. Local and federal transportation funding is often static and depleted, yet new investor-fueled start-ups on city streets are challenging cost assumptions with new variable rates and shared fleets of cars, scooters and, now, mopeds. Whether traditional transportation or new entrants, fares remain the essential personal “buy-in”... Read more »

10:45 am - 12:00 pm

Home Rule in the 21st Century

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With a goal of advancing local decision making, this workshop highlights the renewed Home Rule principles for the 21st Century. Updated for the first time since the 1950s, the principles are based on research of the implications of preemption, messaging strategies for adoption of the principles and the best methods of adoption within the states.... Read more »

10:45 am - 12:00 pm

Housing Preservation and Neighborhood Stability

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The existing affordable housing in your city is your best asset. By supporting home and apartment owners to help them invest in their properties and maintain them as affordable and hazard-free, city leaders contribute to neighborhood stability and forestalls property vacancy, abandonment and blight. This includes holistic policies that focus on keeping people in their... Read more »

10:45 am - 12:00 pm

Thriving People: The Key to Economically Viable Cities

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Economically thriving cities depend upon their residents—and the coordination and efforts of a multitude of services and supports. With  ecosystems geared toward human capital development and the creation of businesses that benefit workers and community, cities are primed to weather downturns and be more economically stable. This session will showcase the different levers that cities... Read more »