NLC’s member networking councils bring together leaders from communities that are similar in size, type, or another important characteristic. The councils provide a space for local leaders to network and exchange ideas around issues of importance to the varying types of communities. Councils meet at the annual Congressional City Conference in March and the Congress of Cities in November, and occasionally at another time in between depending on the council. For more information on each council, visit the NLC Committees & Councils page.

To apply to serve as a chair or vice chair of a member council, or to serve on a council steering committee or the YEF Council, submit an online application here. This application is due October 14, 2015. (The Small Cities Council, University Communities Council, and First Tier Suburbs are the councils that include a steering committee.)

The application for general council membership is available here. This application is accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year.


First Tier Suburbs Council

The First Tier Suburbs Council represents cities and towns outside of central cities and inside the ring of developing suburbs and rural areas. These communities share unique challenge and strengths that should be included in national, state and regional policy discussions. Participating communities are diverse with respect to size, demographic characteristics, age and history, resources and governmental structure.

Large Cities Council

The Large Cities Council is comprised of NLC member cities with populations of 200,000 or more, or the largest city in a state or region. Members convene to network and share ideas and solutions to changes specifically affecting large cities.

Military Communities Council

Members of the Military Communities Council come from municipalities that host or are in close proximity to a military installation and face unique challenges due to this circumstance. Points of interest to the group include transportation and infrastructure concerns that come with having a base in town or nearby, strategies for collaborating with the local military leadership, and ideas and programs designed to successfully integrate veterans and troops into the fabric of the community.

Small Cities Council

The Small Cities Council is comprised of elected and appointed officials who represent cities and towns with populations of 50,000 or less. Participants convene to network and share ideas and bring solutions to challenges affecting small communities.

University Communities Council

Members of the University Communities council share problems and opportunities which are unique to university communities, especially where a university is a dominant factor in the community. Issues of importance to university communities are economic development, transportation and infrastructure, sustainability, noise and other nuisances, housing and neighborhood concerns and partnerships between the university and the city of town.

International Council

The International Council provides advice and direction to NLC’s International Programs. The Council and the wider international programs, both encourage and support educating municipal leaders about the impacts and opportunities of globalization. They also connect the knowledge and experiences of cities outside the U.S. with the hometown priorities of American cities and towns.

Council on Youth, Education, and Families

NLC’s Council on Youth, Education, and Families (YEF Council) guides and oversees the YEF Institute’s work. The membership of this Council, unlike any other NLC committee or council, is composed of not only local elected officials but also youth members and representatives from major national organizations concerned about children and families.