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Conference Workshops

Please note:  Dates and times are subject to change as the sessions are being finalized.  New sessions may also be added.  Please check back soon for the most up to date session information.

Thursday, November 20th

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Climate Resilience and the Future of Municipal Risk Management

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This year, the National Climate Assessment found that “climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present." Although climate change is a global concern, its effects will be felt at the local level. The good news is that cities are taking the lead to find innovative solutions to these challenges. A movement in support of climate resilience is gaining momentum at the local level and filtering up to regional and federal government. This panel discussion will explore how infrastructure investment, community development, and municipal insurance are responding to climate risk and how it will affect your bottom line. It will also highlight the ways in which city officials can demonstrate leadership and build a more resilient nation.

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Engaging Veterans to Build Communities

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In the last few years, state and local governments have seen more than 2.5 million veterans return from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The return of these veterans comes at a time of increased federal focus on ending veteran homelessness. In addition, communities are dealing with the aging of the baby boomer generation and an on-going economic recovery. The confluence of these factors presents local leaders with unique opportunities and challenges. This panel will discuss how an initial focus on veterans can help cities pave the way for how they can better serve all people.

Friday, November 21st

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Creating Inclusive Communities

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Disparities within your city may be contributing to a community where some residents lack access to the social, political and economic benefits your city offers. As a city leader, how can you make your city more inclusive? How do you ensure that everyone, regardless of race, gender or income, feels valued and a part of your city?  Strategies to address disparities and the resulting lack of inclusion include developing employment support strategies for the hardest to employ individuals; helping residents increase their financial stability and avoid predatory financial relationships; and creating a system of political inclusion where everyone feels heard and their opinions valued.  Learn from a panel of experts on some of the ways you can bring your communities together and create a city where everyone can take advantage of what your city has to offer.

 

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Finding Common Ground: Promoting Civil Discourse on Divisive Issues

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In an ever more divisive national political landscape, cities are the place where people must still come together as a community. City leaders must engage with residents and each other in such a way that viewpoints can be shared and respected with the aim of finding common ground. This interactive session will open with a brief presentation on the fundamentals of mediation skills, finding common ground, and promoting civil discourse. It will be followed by moderated roundtables on specific current topics to allow city leaders of different viewpoints to share with and listen respectfully to each other with a goal of better understanding different dimensions of the issue.

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Leadership Survival Skills

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Stepping up to the plate to serve in local government is no easy task, but there are strategies to simplify your life as a local leader while maintaining and even improving your effectiveness in the role. This session aims to help participants find an appropriate work-life balance through effective time-management and priority-setting techniques, develop supportive peer and mentor relationships, and handle stressful situations by staying focused on what’s best for the community.

10:30 AM - 12:05 PM

The Sharing Economy: Challenges and Opportunities in the Regulatory Environment

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The sharing economy is flourishing in cities nationwide and globally. As sharing economy companies (e.g. AirBnB, Uber, Lyft, etc.) continue their advancement into the urban arena, the regulatory environment is in flux with different communities approaching these new platforms in vastly different ways. This workshop will be a discussion on the challenges and opportunities of the sharing economy informed by those in the midst of shaping it and those researching it in real time. Learn about the economic benefits, current approaches that cities are taking, and regulatory challenges these industries may introduce.

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Strategies for Long-Term Fiscal Health

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City leaders are often faced with difficult choices between short-term needs and long-term fiscal health. Declining revenues and increased service demands and obligations make these decisions even harder to navigate. This session will explore trends in local fiscal conditions, provide insights from several cities about the challenges they faced, and highlight strategies to secure a sustainable future.

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Afterschool Successes: Small Cities Lead Local Innovation

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Young people spend 75-80% of their waking hours outside of school, creating an opportunity to engage youth in high-quality, hands-on learning activities. Play a critical role in your city’s afterschool efforts by promoting, supporting and understanding the importance and impact of high-quality afterschool programs. Your peers from small and rural communities will illustrate what they are doing to make a difference for their young citizens.

 

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Collaborative Service Delivery: Making a Private-Public Sector Partnership Work

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This workshop will introduce attendees to the concept of collaborative service delivery, a solution to the challenge of delivering more and better services to citizens with limited and declining resources. Using a combination of self-performance and contracting out allows leaders to shift their focus from government to governance – that is, from managing day-to-day issues to more broadly facilitating the community’s development. Following brief presentations from leading practitioners in this area including NLC’s corporate partner CH2M HILL, attendees will engage in a facilitated dialogue about creating the right environment for successful public-private collaboration for the delivery of city services.

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Improving Community Planning with Technology

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Technology has transformative powers when it comes to how local officials build, govern, and lead their communities. Ranging from community planning to infrastructure management to economic development, technological innovation can introduce efficiencies and cost-savings for the city, its residents, and other vital stakeholders such as the business community. This workshop will feature a panel of speakers to discuss how they have employed various technology solutions and how the role of data is creating efficiencies and costs savings in community planning. They will discuss some of the challenges and lessons they have learned and what tangible benefits their residents have seen.

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Supporting Youth and Family Development Through Collaborative Leadership

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Collaboration across city agencies, with state or county governments, and with local non-profits or businesses is key to improving outcomes for children, youth and families. However, it’s not always simple to lead through collaboration. Using case studies of city-led endeavors, such as efforts to align early childhood education, build financial stability, or connect families to benefits, this workshop will highlight the effectiveness of collaborative leadership models, and will give participants ideas and concrete best practices for collaborative leadership.

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Lessons Learned from Municipal Bankruptcy

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Sometimes despite the best efforts of its local leaders, a city is faced with fiscal distress or even bankruptcy. Learn how to recognize when a crisis is coming, and know the key tools that are essential to addressing fiscal distress. This session will showcase elected leaders of very small to large cities that have successfully overcome severe fiscal distress and challenges. The presenters will share what worked, what did not, and what lessons they learned in the process.

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Making Cities Safer by Leveraging Public Safety Technology

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Cities across the country are embracing technology to improve public safety, increase law enforcement efficiency, and reduce costs. Some of the many available tools include GPS, data analytics, crowd sourcing, smart phone apps, gunshot monitoring, video surveillance, biometrics, and advanced communications systems. Learn about these various methods, see how they could be applied in your city, and find out what you need to know before incorporating and deploying new technologies to improve public safety.

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Deep Dive Session: Service Delivery and Data-Smart City Solutions, Part I

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Using data to track and manage the performance and cost of basic city services is a critical way that cities are striving to be more cost-efficient, transparent, and provide better customer service to residents.  In Part I of this deep dive session, participants will learn about local data-driven initiatives to managing service delivery costs and performance; explore key components of performance management systems; and share local practices that provide direction for the future.  Part II of the session will explore how cities can advance performance management programs to the next level through predictive analytics and new technologies designed to help local leaders make more data-driven decisions.

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

The Role of Public-Private Cooperation in Economic Development

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Public-private collaborations are often essential to big changes in a city’s infrastructure. Hear how NLC’s corporate partner Southwest Airlines made huge infrastructure investments into two major airports within Texas, then turned them over to their respective cities to run. Southwest initiated the Love Field Modernization Program in Dallas and the Hobby International Terminal Construction Project in Houston, both large-scale renovation projects. Learn how these cities cooperated with Southwest to upgrade their airports.

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Strategies for Fostering Healthy, Livable Cities: World Café

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In a rapidly changing world with increasing demands, it’s more important than ever to ensure your community offers great quality of life. Participants will explore topics related to creating healthy and livable cities to help them develop long-term, sustainable and holistic strategies that promote vibrant communities. This session will allow participants to engage in facilitated small group discussions with both topic experts and peers in local government through a series of 25 minute rotations.

 

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Deep Dive Session: Service Delivery and Data-Smart City Solutions, Part II

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(Continued from Part I of the Deep Dive)  Using data to track and manage the performance and cost of basic city services is a critical way that cities are striving to be more cost-efficient, transparent, and provide better customer service to residents.  In Part I of this deep dive session, participants will learn about local data-driven initiatives to managing service delivery costs and performance; explore key components of performance management systems; and share local practices that provide direction for the future.  Part II of the session will explore how cities can advance performance management programs to the next level through predictive analytics and new technologies designed to help local leaders make more data-driven decisions.

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Promoting Financial Security with Technology

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Technology has revolutionized every aspect of business, including the ability for businesses to pay their employees electronically. Despite these advances, more than 67,000 working San Francisco households still get paid with paper checks, saddling workers and employers with extra costs, lost productivity, and higher risks. By updating to electronic pay solutions like direct deposit and pay cards, businesses can save money, empower lower-income workers, and reduce environmental impact. Hear what CurrenC SF, a program supported by NLC’s corporate partner Visa, is doing to help break the cycle of financial insecurity, and get resources to address income inequality in your city.

Saturday, November 22nd

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Deep Dive Session: Big Ideas for Supporting Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs, Part I

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With the majority of net new job creation coming from small and young businesses, many cities and local leaders are taking a fresh look at how they support entrepreneurship and small businesses. Part I of this deep dive session will explore strategies to make your city more business friendly. Part II will feature discussion around three innovative tools for supporting start-ups: microlending financing, incubators, and innovation districts. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of their role in supporting the small business ecosystem, and will take home concrete examples from other cities that can be adapted to their communities.

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Climate Impacts on Water, Part I: Too Much Water

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A changing climate may have a tremendous impact on water quality and water availability in cities. This first part of a two part series will look at impacts and solutions for communities facing “too much water” due to sea level rise, higher storm surges, and heavy rainfall events that lead to increased flooding. This session will give an overview of the potential impacts to infrastructure and other systems, and will explain how solutions such as green infrastructure techniques can address stormwater and flooding. Attendees will hear from a panel including communities that are on the front lines and have adopted innovative solutions and programs.

 

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Cyber Risk and Your City: Identifying and Managing Exposure

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Is your municipality prepared to deal with risks from the electronic data it obtains and stores? Since cities collect and store personal data on their residents, a data breach could make a city susceptible to litigation, particularly if a breach results from insufficient safeguards or negligence on the part of the city. One of the biggest challenges cities face with regard to cyber risk is how to limit risk and identify potential liability concerns. This session will provide an overview on the topic including specific examples from local governments. Leave the session equipped with the right questions to ask city staff, as well as guidelines to help develop policies and procedures to mitigate cyber risks.

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Bond Financing for Small and Mid-Size Cities

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Despite their importance to cities and towns, federal and state intergovernmental grants to local governments are shrinking and becoming more competitive. This session is for small and mid-sized cities looking for alternatives to the federal and state grant process to fund local priority projects. New local officials, or local officials new to the bond market, will benefit most from this session.

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Community Branding and Marketing

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Businesses, tourists, and residents have many options for where they choose to live, work, and play. Rise above the competition to attract more economic growth to your community. Get inside the site selection process, hear tips and best practices on how to develop strategic marketing and community branding, and learn your role as an elected leader in this process.

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Innovative Funding Models to Prevent Crime and Build Youth Opportunities

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As crime rates drop and evidence-based sentencing reform occurs across the country, state and local expenditures on expensive detention and incarceration facilities for young people is declining. In order to maintain the momentum toward safer communities, cities should claim these savings and use them to support positive youth development opportunities that have been proven to increase public safety and improve outcomes for youth. This workshop will introduce cities to the successes and failures of recently-developed funding models and support their development of a funding scheme that will work to improve outcomes for youth and reduce crime.

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Sharing the Road: Options for Transportation Alternatives

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Cities that offer a variety of transportation options to their residents reap many benefits, including the creation of healthy and prosperous communities, equity, and community resiliency.  Learn new ideas for inexpensive options to expand walking, cycling, and public transit opportunities.  Attendees will also hear lessons from other cities and how to identify resources.

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Harnessing the Strength of Millennials and Boomers in Your Community

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The Millennial (born approximately 1983-2001) and Baby Boomer (born 1946-1964) generations are behind much of the present urbanization trend in America. These populations are looking for many of the same amenities in their neighborhoods and bring a wealth of energy and expertise, along with a drive to have a voice in decision-making. This workshop will introduce city leaders to the shared characteristics of these populations and explore the means to welcome, connect with, engage and perhaps recruit the talents of these members of your communities.

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Deep Dive Session: Big Ideas for Supporting Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs, Part II

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(Continued from Part I of the Deep Dive) With the majority of net new job creation coming from small and young businesses, many cities and local leaders are taking a fresh look at how they support entrepreneurship and small businesses. Part I of this deep dive session will explore strategies to make your city more business friendly. Part II will feature discussion around three innovative tools for supporting start-ups: microlending financing, incubators, and innovation districts. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of their role in supporting the small business ecosystem, and will take home concrete examples from other cities that can be adapted to their communities.

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Climate Impacts on Water, Part II: Too Little Water

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A changing climate may have a tremendous impact on water quality and water availability in cities. This second part of a two part series will look at impacts and solutions for communities facing “too little water” from extreme drought due to melting/decreased snow packs and rising temperatures. The session will give an overview of the potential impacts, and will explain how solutions such as water conservation and water reuse will help protect availability. Attendees will hear from a panel including communities that are on the front lines and have adopted innovative solutions and programs.

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Financing Main Street Revitalization

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Your downtown has the potential to be the cultural and economic heart of your community. Learn how to finance the revitalization of main streets and downtown districts into areas ripe for office, residential, entertainment, retail, and arts activity. City leaders and development experts will discuss financing tools, such as tax increment financing and public private partnerships.