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League Officers Meet with Congressional Members on California City Priorities

California City Officials Join Thousands of City Leaders from throughout the Nation in Washington, D.C., for NLC’s Legislative Conference

March 19, 2018
Cities left a resounding message of strength last week in the nation’s capital when the National League of Cities (NLC) brought together thousands of city officials for the annual Congressional City Conference.
League President Rich Garbarino, along with Second Vice President Jan Arbuckle, Immediate Past President JoAnne Mounce and Executive Director Carolyn Coleman, led the California city delegation. Throughout the week the organization’s leaders took to Capitol Hill to meet with members of the California congressional delegation to advocate for the League’s 2018 federal priorities.  

Meetings included Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán, Rep. Jimmy Gomez and staff from the offices of Sen. Kamala Harris, Rep. Pete Aguilar and Rep. Jeff Denham. The congressional leaders welcomed hearing directly from the city leaders on the importance of addressing the homelessness crisis, housing affordability and the need for greater infrastructure investment in California communities.   
Homelessness and housing affordability served as the focus of much of the meetings with congressional members and their staff. The League and the California State Association of Counties’ recently released Homelessness Task Force Report generated considerable interest in many of the Hill offices. 
“California city officials delivered a strong message to Congress last week. Our members are on the front lines addressing California’s greatest challenges and advocated for federal policies that strengthen California cities,” said League President Rich Garbarino. “In addition to lobbying for our federal priorities, this conference is always a great opportunity for California city officials to make new connections with their colleagues throughout the country who are making a real and substantial contribution to their communities on a daily basis.”
The group’s travel to Washington came as members of Congress debate the President’s budget proposal that calls for the elimination of critical grant programs for cities including but not limited to CDBG, TIGER, HOME and COPS. Funding for a comprehensive transportation infrastructure package is also at risk as Congress continues to debate over how to fund investments in our nation’s crumbling streets, roads and bridges. “With the implementation of Senate Bill 1, California cities and the state are rising to the challenge of addressing our state’s infrastructure needs and are already making much needed improvements,” said League Executive Director Coleman.  “But there’s more work to be done that requires a true partnership with the federal government to address our infrastructure needs.”
Pictures from the advocacy trip are available on the League’s Facebook page.

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