Rebuilding cities' infrastructure, fostering regional and local economies, and coordinating federal and local energy efficiencies are some of the priorities Washington-based National League of Cities (NLC) President Kathleen Novak wants to stress in her participation in President Obama's upcoming job summit. The summit is scheduled for December, and Michael Strautmanis, chief of staff to Valerie Jarrett, special advisor to the President for Intergovernmental Relations, attended NLC's annual Congress of Cities & Exposition last week in San Antonio to invite the league to participate in the summit.

In response to the invitation, Novak called for continued collaboration between the administration, Congress and local communities in finding resources to get residents back to work. "We have a role to play as city leaders working with state and federal government leaders to ensure economic stabilization, job creation and to provide the basic building blocks for safe and healthy communities," Novak told conference attendees. "We need to make sure that all the purposes of the [American Recovery and Reinvestment Act] are achieved; these investments must leave a legacy of healthier, better educated communities with good paying jobs and stabilized state and local budgets."

Novak also said members of NLC should break down barriers to making communities stronger and more vibrant places. "It is our responsibility to build a capacity for leadership in our own communities," she said. "Our constituents should know that we don't have all the answers and that they are encouraged to find not just solutions, but also to create new avenues that will drive our cities forward."

Read more news from the Congress of Cities & Exposition.