The National Association of Towns and Townships (NATaT) was formed 30 years ago to provide America's smaller communities - towns, townships and other suburban and rural localities - a strong voice in Washington, D.C. NATaT's purpose today, as it was then, is to champion fair-share federal funding decisions and to promote legislative and regulatory policies designed to strengthen grassroots local government. Since 1976, NATaT's staff and members have strived to educate lawmakers and other federal offcials about the unique nature of small town government operations and the need for policies that meet the special needs of suburban and non-metro communities.
NATaT seeks flexible and alternative approaches to federal policies to ensure that small communities can meet federal requirements. As part of these efforts, NATaT advocates for fair share funding, technical assistance and other affirmative steps to address te inherent disadvantages that small governments face in our present intergovernmental system. Typical of these efforts was NATaT's key role in the passage of regulatory reforms by Congress aimed at reducing the Burden of regulations on small local governments. NATaT has also successfully sought Congressional appropriations for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency specifically for small community outreach.
As the voice for 11,500 towns and townships across America, NATaT has developed a proactive federal agenda to ensure that the needs and interests of small communities are reflected in all major federal statutory, regulatory, funding, and policy decisions made in Washington. In 2006, the NATaT Board of Directors indentified three peimary advocacy goals on which members will focus: (1) preserving local authority and control in the curent telecommunications legislation; (2) increasing federal funding for local economic development programs, water and wastewater infrastructure, brownfields redevelopment, and transportation improvements, including rural roads and bridges; and (3) increasing funding for local first responders. NATaT is eager to work in collaboration with the other local government associations, the Administration and Congress to archieve these goals.