Cities, towns, and counties represent the level of government closest to the people in a democracy. They serve as laboratories of public innovation, operating at the forefront of public policy-making that establishes minimum standards of protections and social progress for residents. They often deal with localized problems that require uniquely tailored solutions or an urgent community response. In order to serve the needs of the public in a democracy, local governments must have the authority to innovate, the power to address urgent problems and the license to act on a wide range of economic, health, safety and social issues on behalf of the citizens of their communities and should not be preempted or unreasonably interfered with by state governments.
Attacks on this local authority to address public needs on a wide range of issues have been on the rise nationwide in recent years. Those attacks are now being compounded by national efforts from Congress and the new Administration to severely roll back protections for human rights, clean water and air, labor rights, wage, benefit, and leave laws, and access to affordable health care. The danger of reduction or removal of these safeguards on a national basis makes strong local authority even more critical than ever.
We call on state legislatures to support the principle of local control free from undue state intervention, and respect the authority of local governments to craft innovative and progressive solutions to meet the economic security, public safety, environmental, and human rights needs of their communities.
We call on Congress and the new national Administration also to respect the authority of local governments to craft innovative and progressive solutions to meet the economic security, public safety, environmental, and human rights needs of their communities. We further call on them to halt their efforts toward wholesale destruction of the national regulatory safety net of important minimum safeguards for human rights, labor rights, wage, benefit and leave laws, and access to affordable health care, which collectively form a necessary foundation on which local efforts can build.