ICMA partners with several organizations in advocating on behalf of local government. In particular, ICMA is a part of the "Big 7" -a collaboration of seven associations in Washington D.C., that represent their state and local government members from a broad and far-reaching perspective.  Executive directors of these seven organizations meet regularly to discuss issues and legislation impacting state and local governments.  Frequently the Big 7 prepare joint letters to members of Congress on pending legislation expressing a unified position on behalf of their memberships.

The Big 7 are:

  • International City/County Management Association (ICMA): Representing professional appointed local government administrators, including city and county managers, department heads, and assistant managers.
  • Council of State Governments (CSG): CSG is the multibranch organization forecasting policy trends for the community of states, commonwealths and territories on a national and regional basis.
  • National Association of Counties (NACo): Founded in 1935, NACo is the national organization that represents county governments in the United States and provides services to the nation’s 3,066 counties.
  • National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL): NCSL was founded in 1975 and is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the nation's 50 states, its commonwealths and territories.
  • National Governor's Association (NGA): NGA is the collective voice of the nation's governors, representing governors and their senior staff members on Capitol Hill and before the Administration on key federal issues.
  • National League of Cities (NLC): NLC represents municipal governments throughout the United States with the mission to strengthen and promote cities as centers of opportunity, leadership, and governance.
  • U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM): The U.S. Conference of Mayors is a nonpartisan organization representing the 1,139 cities with populations of 30,000 or more. Cities are represented by their chief elected official, the mayor.


Other ICMA Partners:

ICMA also works closely with the State and Local Legal Center, Government Finance Officers Association, the National Association of State Auditors, Comptrollers and Treasurers, the National Association of State Retirement Administrators, the National Association of State Budget Officers, most recently on issues relating to pension funding and GASB regulations.


ICMA also collaborates with the Center for State and Local Government Excellence, which provides in-depth research into policy issues that impact local government.