Atlanta Gears Up to Host CoC

Article excerpt

Committee Discusses Conference Program

Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell has promised a "wonderful, southern experience" in a "great city" for NLC delegates who come to the 2001 Congress of Cities December 4-8. Speaking to the 47-member Congress of Cities Program Committee at the Carter Presidential Library, Campbell emphasized the city's economic growth, downtown revitalization, history, diversity and the friendliness.

Evelyn Turner Pugh, councilor, Columbus, Ga., and chair of the Congress of Cities Program Committee wants the Atlanta Congress of Cities to be the best conference ever with the largest attendance. She is challenging all states to bring the largest local elected delegations to Atlanta. "Wouldn't it be great if the highest attendance came from Georgia's cities and towns?"

The committee members met at the Atlanta Hilton for a two-day planning session -- the 11th year that NLC has convened a member committee to develop the major conference components. Kathleen Novak, councilmember, Northglenn, Colo., and Carol Clark, councilmember, East Orange, N.J., served as vice chairs of the committee.

Doug Alexander, councilmember-at-large, Atlanta, Ga., and chair of the Host City Committee, promises good weather, lots of opportunities to see some of the successful Atlanta programs, and a great closing event. "We want everyone to come to Atlanta before the conference begins to enjoy the sights, see a sporting event and experience our southern hospitality. There is so much to do in Atlanta; plan on staying a couple of extra days."

Key themes that emerged from the group discussions included racial justice/ensuring inclusive communities, building quality communities, public policy issues including thinking ahead, finance and public safety/crime prevention, and a continued focus on investing in communities and infrastructure. The committee also agreed youth representation is important at the conference and should be included as part of the overall program.

The committee decided to explore additional ways to make newcomers and newly elected officials feel welcomed as they arrive at the conference. …