What Mayors Talk About When Everyone Is Listening

An annual report analyzing the "State of the City" speeches of 100 mayors finds remarkable consistency in messaging.
July 19, 2016, 6am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz

Kelsey E. Thomas reports on the "2016 State of the Cities" report, released recently by the National League of Cities. Like in its previous iterations, the report performs a semantic analysis of the "State of the City" speeches for 100 cities from around the country, "including large cities like Los Angeles and Austin as well as midsize and smaller cities such as Eugene, Oregon, and Duluth, Minnesota," writes Thomas.

According to the report, "economic development was the top topic for mayors for the third year running, with 75 percent of mayors devoting 'significant coverage' to the theme in their speeches." Public Safety and Budgets followed in the second and third position of prominence. Infrastructure, previously at the second position on the list, fell to fourth.

According to Thomas, "[m]ore mayors talked about housing issues than ever before, largely driven by discussions of affordable housing."

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Published on Friday, July 15, 2016 in Next City
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