“We certainly aren’t waiting for national governments to lead the way, because we would be waiting for a very long time. In cities, people are working across party lines to solve problems; in Washington, the partisanship has gotten so bad that the two parties can’t even agree on how to keep the lights on. We are pioneering new ideas; they are paralyzed by dysfunctional politics. The fact is, Washington is increasingly unresponsive to the needs of our country, and cities are filling the void in a very big way.” - NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg
We're now ten days into the federal government shutdown. At the Center for Priority Based Budgeting, we're as perplexed and offended by this unnecessary shutdown as the rest of our neighbors and local government peers. While the shutdown is an unnecessary stressor and presents significant challenges to cities and counties, local governments continue to push forward and implement creative and innovative policies in this Decade of Local Government.
Bruce Katz, with the Brookings Institute, recently stated (What Government Shutdown? Metros Open for Business), For months I’ve said, "the federal government, like Elvis, has left the building,” and people laughed. Now we are in a government shutdown, and it’s not funny. Indeed, we must acknowledge the real and immediate impacts the shutdown is having on local government and citizens.
Our peers at the National League of Cities have been vocal and active in responding to the federal government shutdown. As Marie Lopez Rogers, mayor, Avondale, Arizona and President of the National League of Cities, recently wrote (Federal Shutdown Has Dire Impact on Local Government), "Every year, city governments are required to pass a balanced budget. This means taking a close look at our projected revenue and spending, and determining the top priorities to be funded. Even if they don't always see eye to eye, local leaders make decisions with their community and their residents foremost in mind.
I am calling on Congress to act like mayors and their councilmembers, to put aside partisan differences and manufactured crisis, and put an end to the federal government shutdown. The economic impacts of the shutdown are real, and the residents in our communities are bearing the brunt of it."
Clarence Anthony, Executive Director of the National League of Cities, also weighs in via the CitiesSpeak blog (Congress: Take a Page from Cities and Lead), "Regardless of the inexcusable behavior of Washington politicians, cities will continue to lead, balancing budgets, listening to the concerns of their residents, and coming up with solutions to make the places that we live and work better for all citizens, regardless of political stripe."
Indeed, local governments now have an unprecedented opportunity to define their future! With the power inversion fundamentally realigning the base of authority back to local government's, the opportunity for communities to confidently define their own destiny has never been greater. And as we've seen through multiple examples captured in the Metropolitan Revolution and the CPBB's Decade of Local Government 2.0, examples abound of thriving communities operating in a results-driven environment of creativity, innovation, performance measurement and efficiency. And more importantly, more and more cities, counties, fire districts, school districts, airport authorities, and other various publicly run organizations are stepping to the plate and embracing the undeniable opportunities that the Power Inversion provides by implementing the principles of Fiscal Health and Priority Based Budgeting to independently define their own results-driven futures!
In summary, we'll close this column by again quoting Bruce Katz, “The federal government has literally left the building, not just figuratively. Cities and metropolitan areas are stepping up and doing the hard work to grow jobs and make their economies more prosperous in resilient ways.” The CPBB couldn't agree more!
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If you're thinking of jumping into the world of Fiscal Health and Wellness through Priority Based Budgeting we would certainly like to be part of your efforts! Contact us to schedule a free webinar and identify the best CPBB service option(s) to meet your organization's particular needs.