The National League of Cities (NLC) has released its 2021 State of the Cities Report, based upon a survey of municipal leaders across America. NLC says the survey results underscore that, with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic depleting local budgets and postponing public works projects, there is an urgent need for Congress to shore up our nation’s infrastructure to protect and enhance the health and economic prosperity of our communities.
The report found that access to reliable infrastructure was a key factor in determining how resilient cities and towns were in the face of COVID-19 — yet 91% of municipal leaders say insufficient funding is their top concern when it comes to moving forward with critical infrastructure investments to support their communities.
NLC’s sister report Ready to Rebuild focuses specifically on the urgent infrastructure needs of America’s municipalities, providing an in-depth examination of challenges related to roads, bridges, rail, public transit, clean water infrastructure, and broadband connectivity. Regardless of the specific challenges faced by each municipality, “leaders made it clear that their infrastructure needs have grown beyond what local governments are able to tackle alone, and that they need a strong partner in the federal government to ensure today’s challenges do not become tomorrow’s emergencies.”
“While infrastructure debates in Washington right now feel like partisan politics, the data shows that delaying infrastructure investment hurts every single community in this country,” said NLC CEO Clarence Anthony.
“The best time to invest in infrastructure was years ago. The second-best time is right now. The needs of America’s communities, families and workers are simply not being met by the current level of funding and support from the federal government on this critical issue,” added Vince Williams, First Vice President, NLC.
NLC, which represents more than 200 million people in America’s cities, towns and villages, notes that, “With sufficient investment, local leaders can put their plans into action to restore and enhance the condition of their infrastructure systems, supporting local jobs and opening up new opportunities for economic growth as our nation continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“Mobility and modern infrastructure should be considered a civil right in our nation. Let’s do the right thing and work together to invest in a brighter future for all,” urged Williams.
Source: National League of Cities