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Economic Development, Public Safety Top Issues for Nation’s Mayors, According to National League of Cities Report

Economic Development Remains Most Critical Issue for Third Consecutive Year

July 22, 2016
For the third consecutive year, economic development remained the top issue for the nation’s mayors, according to a comprehensive analysis of mayoral state of the city speeches released today by the National League of Cities (NLC).
 
In the 2016 State of the Cities report, which examines state of the city speeches in 100 cities representing a diverse cross section of population sizes and geographic regions, public safety replaced infrastructure as the second most-discussed issue. The state of the city speech is a mayor’s opportunity to reflect on their city’s recent accomplishments, address current challenges and present a roadmap for the future.
 
As the biggest issue on mayors’ agendas, economic development was mentioned in 75 percent of mayoral speeches. Following closely behind is public safety and city budgets at 70 percent and 52 percent, respectively. The full list of top issues for 2014, 2015 and 2016 are available in the report.
 
This year’s State of the Cities report reveals the following trends:
  • Mayors continue to focus on improving their local economies and encouraging entrepreneurship;
  • Mayors are seeing improved revenue and are being judicious about how to spend it;
  • Mayors are cautiously optimistic about the future and are leading in the development of sustainable communities where people want to live;
  • Mayors are concerned about the uptick in the murder rate even though overall crime rates are historically low;
  • Mayors are concerned about the increasing opioid epidemic; and
  • Mayors are helping their cities see the value of using technology and date to drive decisions and make their city governments more efficient and effective.


 
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