The National League of Cities (NLC) is an American advocacy organization representing 19,000 cities, towns, and villages, and encompassing 49 state municipal leagues. The NLC provides training to municipal officials, holds conferences, lobbies and provides assistance to cities in educational issues. It is made up of six Centers: Research and Innovation; Federal Relations; Public Affairs and Member Relations; Enterprise Programs; Conferences, Education and Training; and the Institute for Youth, Education and Families.
The NLC is considered part of the 'Big Seven', a group of organisations that represent local and state government in the United States.
The NLC was founded in 1926 when 10 state municipal leagues banded as the American Municipal Association. At this time, 37 state leagues existed, although only 21 were considered active. Over time, the organization's membership expanded to include individual cities of all sizes.
It was at a 1970 convention of the National League of Cities that William Ruckelshaus, Administrator of the newly created Environmental Protection Agency, announced an order against Cleveland, Detroit, and Atlanta to clean up their inadequately treated sewage discharges into rivers, thereby helping send a message that the young agency meant business.
The current president of the NLC is Matt Zone, councilman from Cleveland, Ohio.
National Association of Counties and National League of Cities doorway in Washington, DC.
Past presidents of the NLC have included:
- Clarence E. Anthony, former Mayor of South Bay, Florida (president 1998-1999; named NLC executive director, 2013)
- Dennis Archer, former Mayor of Detroit, Michigan
- Charles H. Lyons, former Selectman of Arlington, MA
- Bob Bolen, former Mayor of Fort Worth, Texas. Became President of the National League of Cities in 1990.
- Henry Cisneros, former Mayor of San Antonio, Texas
- Ted L. Ellis, mayor of Bluffton, Indiana
- Roman Gribbs, former Mayor of Detroit, Michigan
- William B. Hartsfield, former Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia
- James C. Hunt, former Mayor of Clarksburg, West Virginia
- Richard Lugar, former Mayor of Indianapolis, Indiana
- Bart Peterson, former Mayor of Indianapolis, Indiana
- Anthony A. Williams, former Mayor of Washington, DC
- Terry Goddard, former Mayor of Phoenix, AZ
- Tom Bradley, former Mayor of Los Angeles
- Greg Lashutka, former Mayor of Columbus, Ohio
- George Voinovich, former Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio
- Ferd Harrison, former Mayor of Scotland Neck, North Carolina
- James Mitchell, member of City Council, Charlotte, North Carolina
NLC lobbies Congress on multiple issues, including city infrastructure, particularly transportation; supporting local energy efficiency and conservation efforts; strengthening and stabilizing the housing market; helping build stable families; supporting community safety; and reforming the country’s immigration system. NLC’s core lobbying principles include avoiding unfunded mandates, preserving local authority and protecting the intergovernmental partnership.
Institute for Youth, Education and Families
The Institute for Youth, Education, and Families is an entity within NLC which assists municipal officials in providing services on behalf of the children, youth and families in their communities. The YEF Institute offers resources in five core program areas, including early childhood success, education and afterschool, benefits for working families, youth participation in local government and child and youth safety.
NLC hosts the annual Congress of Cities & Exposition, at which municipal officials participate in workshops, general sessions, networking opportunities and leadership training seminars. NLC's other yearly conference is the Congressional City Conference, held each March in Washington, D.C. Thousands of municipal officials discuss NLC legislative priorities with Members of Congress and the Administration, share promising practices, discuss policy and participate in leadership training opportunities.
Leadership Training Institute
The Leadership Training Institute (LTI) is NLC’s primary learning and resource center for leadership development and training for our nation’s local municipal leaders, initiated in 1992. Programs provided by the Leadership Training Institute focus on strengthening leadership skills, along with exploring, sharing and recognizing innovative thinking and initiatives in community leadership. LTI is led by the Leadership Training Council, made up of local elected officials and appointed annually by the NLC President.
Nation's Cities Weekly
Nation’s Cities Weekly is the official publication of the National League of Cities, highlighting Congressional activities, NLC research and NLC-sponsored conferences and workshops.
NLC TV is NLC’s Internet-based TV web channel about and for cities. NLC TV features monthly newscasts showcasing the latest news about cities and the views of municipal officials. The channel also features web casts of events and seminars relevant to municipal officials.
State Municipal Leagues,
- Alabama League of Municipalities, Montgomery, Alabama
- Alaska Municipal League, Juneau, Alaska
- League of Arizona Cities and Towns, Phoenix, Arizona
- Arkansas Municipal League, North Little Rock, Arkansas
- League of California Cities, Sacramento, California
- Colorado Municipal League, Denver, Colorado 
- Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, New Haven, Connecticut
- Delaware League of Local Governments, Dover, Delaware
- Florida League of Cities, Tallahassee, Florida
- Georgia Municipal Association, Atlanta, Georgia 
- Association of Idaho Cities, Boise, Idaho
- Illinois Municipal League, Springfield, Illinois
- Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, Indianapolis, Indiana
- Iowa League of Cities, Des Moines, Iowa
- League of Kansas Municipalities, Topeka, Kansas
- Kentucky League of Cities, Lexington, Kentucky
- Louisiana Municipal Association, Baton Rouge, Louisiana 
- Maine Municipal Association, Augusta, Maine
- Maryland Municipal League, Annapolis, Maryland 
- Massachusetts Municipal Association, Boston, Massachusetts 
- Michigan Municipal League, Ann Arbor, Michigan
- League of Minnesota Cities, St. Paul, Minnesota
- Mississippi Municipal League, Jackson, Mississippi
- Missouri Municipal League, Jefferson City, Missouri
- Montana League of Cities and Towns
- League of Nebraska Municipalities, Lincoln, Nebraska
- Nevada League of Cities and Municipalities, Carson City, Nevada
- New Hampshire Municipal Association, Concord, New Hampshire
- New Jersey State League of Municipalities, Trenton, New Jersey
- New Mexico Municipal League, Santa Fe, New Mexico
- New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials, Albany, New York
- North Carolina League of Municipalities, Raleigh, North Carolina
- North Dakota League of Cities, Bismarck, North Dakota
- Ohio Municipal League, Columbus, Ohio 
- Oklahoma Municipal League, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- League of Oregon Cities, Salem, Oregon
- Pennsylvania Municipal League, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
- Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns, Providence, Rhode Island 
- Municipal Association of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina
- South Dakota Municipal League, Ft. Pierre, South Dakota
- Tennessee Municipal League, Nashville, Tennessee
- Texas Municipal League, Austin, Texas
- Utah League of Cities and Towns, Salt Lake City, Utah
- Vermont League of Cities and Towns, Montpelier, Vermont
- Virginia Municipal League, Richmond, Virginia
- Association of Washington Cities, Olympia, Washington 
- West Virginia Municipal League, Charleston, West Virginia
- League of Wisconsin Municipalities, Madison, Wisconsin
- Wyoming Association of Municipalities, Cheyenne, Wyoming
EPA Alumni Association, Protecting the Environment, A Half Century of Progress – an overview of EPA’s environmental protection efforts over 50 years
- ^ National League of Cities: State Municipal Leagues
- ^ Josh Fecht, The National League of Cities speaks for more than 18,000 US communities, City Mayors website, accessed August 17, 2009
- ^ EPA Alumni Association: EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus and his former assistants recall the dramatic announcement when the fledgling agency in 1970 ordered several cities to clean up their sewage discharges. Video,Transcript (see p5).
- ^ Kimberly Miller, "Former South Bay mayor named executive director of National League of Cities", Palm Beach Post, December 7, 2012.
- ^ Graham, A. Lee (2014-01-06). "Former Fort Worth Mayor Bob Bolen dies". Fort Worth Business Press. Archived from the original on 2014-01-26. Retrieved 2014-01-25.
- ^ "Member Directory". Washington DC: National League of Cities. Retrieved February 14, 2014.