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Willie Lightfoot Expands Work with National League of Cities

Patti Singer
pattisinger@minorityreporter.net

Rochester City Council Vice President Willie J. Lightfoot is adding to his prominence on the national stage with his third appointment this year to a committee of the National League of Cities.

In March, Lightfoot was appointed to the NLC 2021 Race, Equity and Leadership (REAL) Council. During the one-year team, he is expected to contribute to strategic direction and guidance for the NLC’s federal advocacy agenda and policy priorities.

In January, Lightfoot was named to the NLC’s Reimagining Public Safety Task Force and the Public Safety and Crime Prevention Committee.

Lightfoot previously served on other NLC committees.

“I’m grateful for the favor,” Lightfoot said.

Rochester has made national news for issues around policing and public safety. Lightfoot said his participation with NLC is an opportunity to work with representatives of other cities on best practices to address shared problems.

“These issues are not just germane to Rochester, New York,” he said. “Normally, all we get are the complaints. We never really hone in on the solutions. To be able to work with these other cities, departments and experts to come up solutions during this time is perfect as far as I’m concerned. We need it bad.”

The National League of Cities advocates for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, all of which represent more than 218 million Americans.

Lightfoot said racial equity and policing are new fields for the NLC. “They realized the struggle cities are having and they’re saying let’s come together and figure out some solutions. That’s positive.”

As a committee member, Lightfoot will be involved in shaping NLC’s policy positions and advocating before Congress as well as locally.

“I’m hopeful we can come up with some collective solutions federally because the federal government should not be let off the hook with things we need locally,” he said.