The president of the National League of Cities says infrastructure and housing will be among the key issues discussed this week during the organization’s summer leadership meeting in Indianapolis. Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, who in November was elected the 2019 president of the NLC, says there is an impasse developing in Washington D.C. on infrastructure and the issue of affordable housing is resonating nationwide.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business Reporter Mary-Rachel Redman, Freeman-Wilson said a lack of bipartisanship on the federal level has exacerbated some important issues.
"We have seen a lot of conflict at the federal level, particularly among members of Congress and we understand that that conflict is often born in party partisanship," said Freeman-Wilson. "However, we know that at the local level, there is really no Democratic or Republican way to solve some of our basic problems: potholes, making sure that we provide adequate public safety, dealing with the housing issues. No one asks questions when they’re providing services as to whether you are an independent or a Democrat or a Republican."
Freeman-Wilson says Indiana over the years has been an example of how bipartisanship can help tackle the important issues for residents. She says the summer meeting will give city leaders a chance to share best practices and learn about the pitfalls others have encountered while addressing challenges to their communities.
The summer meeting will also feature discussions on topics such as youth education, public safety and crime prevention, transportation, and substance abuse. "They’re all issues that elected officials all over the state of Indiana face and I think it’s representative of the fact that it’s not just Indiana, but it’s municipalities all over the country that are having these challenges."