The Institute for Youth, Education and Families (YEF Institute) is a special entity within the National League of Cities (NLC). NLC is the oldest and largest national organization representing municipal government throughout the United States. Its mission is to strengthen and promote cities as centers of opportunity, leadership and governance. The YEF Institute helps municipal leaders take action on behalf of the children, youth and families in their communities. NLC launched the YEF Institute in January 2000 in recognition of the unique and influential roles that mayors, city council members and other local leaders play in strengthening families and improving outcomes for children and youth.