Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing is among those attending the US Conference of Mayors in Washington D.C. She says a common idea being heard is that municipalities are crucial in providing innovation and fiscal stability. In Illinois she says that's particularly true given the nearly 2-year impasse preventing a state budget.
"Local government really is going to be carrying a lot of extra weight because the state and federal government can't seem to function as well as we would want them to," she says. Prussing says the new presidential administration has alarmed immigrants and some others. Urbana is what's called a "sanctuary city," where local police won’t ask immigration status. The mayor has also been participating in conference discussions about mental health treatment and the criminal justice system, something she says is important to address in Urbana and at large. She joined us on the phone from D.C. for a quick interview: