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Local News

Local NV leader attends Congressional City Conference in D.C.


Alex Gonzalez, Public News Service

Kristopher Dahir, Ward 5 city councilor in Sparks, is one of more than 2,800 city leaders in Washington, D.C., this week to discuss city topics and issues.

The National League of Cities Congressional City Conference brought local leaders from Nevada and the country to meet with federal officials and learn of infrastructure, transportation, public safety, clean energy and digital equity federal funding opportunities.

Dahir said while cities in the Silver State are different sizes and have separate needs, the issues are the same.

“We get to do it in one voice for Nevada,” Dahir explained. “It really is important we work together and it doesn’t mean we don’t meet with them separately; we do for City of Sparks needs and things that we are going through. But when it comes to landfills or it comes to some of the rail safety things that are right now being talked about, those are real crucial to all cities.”

Dahir pointed out digital equity is another issue affecting rural and urban Nevada communities. About 28 million of the almost 123 million households in the U.S. do not have high-speed broadband, according to Education Superhighway, which is why many conference attendees want Congress to pass the bipartisan Affordable Connectivity Program Extension Act, ensuring low-income households stay connected.

Dahir added the Congressional City Conference provides local leaders with the chance to network, exchange ideas, and learn about what other places are doing.

“We get to share ideas and we get to say ‘how did that work for you?’ from zoning policies to everything from HUB check stuff, workforce development,” Dahir outlined. “We really get to see the ideas and then also the pathways to grant money, or the pathways to avoid.”

Dahir wants Americans to have a sense of hope as local leaders work to bring awareness to issues affecting their communities and they are in search of solutions. He stressed many of the issues city leaders discussed are not what he considers partisan but things most federal officials support.

This article originally appeared on Public News Service and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.