Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

DeStefano Rallies Team NLC at CCC

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

DeStefano Rallies Team NLC at CCC

Article excerpt

Like a championship-winning coach rallying his players, NLC President John DeStefano Jr., mayor of New Haven, Conn., urged "Team NLC" members to get their message of Strong Cities for a Strong America to senators and representatives on Capitol Hill.

Speaking during the opening general session of the Congressional City Conference, DeStefano, told delegates they are united by the core values and beliefs of safe communities, clean air, clean water, good schools and a strong infrastructure program for America's cities.

"You didn't get here by accident; you got here because you had a passion for something in your hometown, something that you cared deeply about," DeStefano said. "There's nothing we can't do working together ... None of us got here alone, we may have chosen to be here, but we got here together, we got here to be part of this team."

DeStefano's speech set the stage for City Lobby Day two days later, when about 1,000 city leaders visited their senators and representatives to lobby for city interests. City leaders are encouraged to continue lobbying efforts, especially when representatives and senators are spending times in their hometowns.

"We're here for a reason this week," he said. "We are here for votes, You pay dues for a reason. This is an advocacy organization. We are here to build consensus in the Congress and in the Administration for the things that are important to our communities ... We are an advocacy organization and we are strong when we speak with one voice."

DeStefano reminded conference delegates of NLC's priorities--with an emphasis on homeland security and new money for first responders and a sensible economic stimulus plan that will grow the economy and create jobs. …

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