The president of the National League of Cities will do better than his predecessors in giving city officials a voice on federal actions affecting local governments.
"The President has taken steps that will give cities a seat at the table where major federal decisions are made," and Phyllis Lamphere, NLC president.
"He is going to involve advocates and representatives of local government more closely in the executive branch . . . in a genuine effort to improve the delivery of federal programs at the local level," Lamphere said.
Her comments came at the end of the NLC's three-day, 11th annual Congressional City Conference. Nearly 2,500 municipal officials attended the meeting.
The NLC president acknowledged that she may be "going out on a limb" with her expressions of confidence in Carter. "After all, he's only been in office 47 days," she said.
Partly on meetings with Carter Cabinet members and White House staffers before and during the conference.
"they (administration officials) have sought us out on many occasions to assist us in shaping programs. We see a sincere desire on the part of the White House staff to be more responsive to urban issues," she said.
Lamphere and some NLC delegates said they were pleased with Carter's revisions of former President Ford's $440 billion budget for fiscal year 1978. In making the changes, Carter added $6.3 billion for employment and training programs in an effort to relieve urban employment.
Lamphere said her confidence in the ability of Congress to help the cities is not as strong as her faith in the executive branch.
"It is not clear to me that their (members of Congress) dedication to bringing about a more effective delivery of federal programs is nearly as strong as their fondness for the old, tired, discredited categorical programs that have become the bailiwicks and power bases of the committee chairmen," she said.