Congress of Cities Offers Support, Learning Opportunities for Local Elected Officials: Nearly 3,000 Local Officials Representing 1,200 Cities and Towns-From All 50 States, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico-With What May Seem to Be Unique Needs and Problems but More Often Than Not Are Universal Challenges, Can Find Support, Solace and the Shared Excitement in This
Borut, Donald J., Nation's Cities Weekly
If you just like to complain about what doesn't work, you are definitely not a local elected official. Those in public office see the same problems and issues as those who sit on the sidelines and complain, but they are driven to act by engaging with their constituents, struggling to find consensus on issues that divide and are willing to make tough choices and decisions in the sunshine of public scrutiny.
None of us would be so naive as to claim that the outcomes from these efforts are always perfect Rather, they reflect a willingness to engage and struggle with often intractable issues involving competing passions to make a positive difference for the citizens in their dries and towns This is the essence of local democratic governance and those who devote so much of their time to making government work need and deserve affirmation.
The annual Congress of Cities that gets underway this week in Charlotte, N.C., is an important opportunity for the family of local elected officials to get that affirmation--and to learn from each other, share information, connect with colleagues from across the nation and be reminded why what they do matters so much every day in many large and small ways.
Nearly 3,000 local officials representing 1,200 cities and towns from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico--with what may seem to be unique needs and problems but more often than not are universal challenges--can find support, solace and the shared excitement in this community of elected leaders.
This has been a year of high visibility challenges brought on by Mother Nature, a tough economy, decisions in Washington, D.C., and state capitols and continuing demands and expectations from citizens The Gulf Coast region confronted the most devastating disasters in recent history. Tornados ripped through the Midwest. The war in Iraq took police, firefighters and other public employees who serve in the reserves and the National Guard, diminishing the trained work force on which cities depend. …