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National League of Cities Meeting Draws City Leaders to Cleveland

photo of National League of Cities logo
NATIONAL LEAGUE OF CITIES

Some 250 city officials from around the country are gathered in Cleveland this week for a meeting of the National League of Cities. They are concerned about President Trump's proposed budget cuts.

The president's proposed budget hikes military spending 10 percent or $54 billion. The money would come from programs that used to go to cities and states.  Meals on Wheels, homeless vets, code enforcement, COPS, drug treatment, agriculture programs: they’re all taking hits,  if not being eliminated.

Cleveland Councilman Matt Zone is the new president of the league. He says the cuts will be a disaster and people in Washington don’t get it.

“Nobody knows better than my colleagues in cities. They are the chief CEO’s of cities. They are the front line, first responders of helping our most vulnerable citizens," he said.

The Democratic mayor of Little Rock, Arkansas, Mark Stodola, says Republican and Democrat city officials alike are upset. He argues the cuts to Medicaid expansion would have far-reaching effects.

“It is going to devastate rural hospitals. It is going to directly impact the health and well-being of citizens – not just in our cities but in the entire state,” Stodola said.

Leaders of the National League of Cities want to get the word out so citizens will lobby their members of Congress before the budget is adopted.