The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) passed in February has strengthened the working relationship between local, state and federal government agencies, and demonstrates the responsibilities that President Barack Obama has given to cities, said Northglenn, Colo., Mayor Kathleen Novak Monday. Speaking at the Washington-based National League of Cities (NLC) Congressional City Conference, NLC President Novak said cities must move quickly and effectively in their economic recovery efforts.

Novak also said Congress is still working on several issues that will be critical to furthering the recovery. "As important as the current work toward recovery is, the nation needs to look beyond recovery to other pressing initiatives to make our nation stronger," she said.

Health care reform, fixing the housing market, renovating the nation's transportation system and promoting sustainability are among the issues on which Congress must act to maintain the United States' position as an economic leader, Novak said. "Congress is currently considering a number of issues that would be center-piece legislation in any other year," she said. "These issues, when combined with the recovery effort, provide an unprecedented opportunity to transform our cities and our nation."

Novak's comments and more news from the Congressional City Conference are available on NLC's Web site.

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