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Advisory Council devotes 1993 futures activities to cities and towns in the global economy.

During 1993, NLC's Advisory Council will focus the Futures Process on the topic of "Cities and Towns in the Global Economy." With this article, Nation's Cities Weekly inaugurates the 1993 "Futures Forum" which will carry information on this topic every other week until late Spring.

A new futures topic is selected each year by the NLC First Vice President, in this case, Mayor Sharpe James of Newark, N.J. The Advisory Council will devote 1993 to exploring the topic, culminating in the annual Futures Report which will be released at the Congress of Cities in Orlando. This then provides the basis for implementation activities during 1994, the presidential year of James.

James addressed the Advisory Council during their meeting at the Congress of Cities in New Orleans. He suggested that municipal-leaders consider 'how cities" and' towns can use the international market to create new jobs and markets." He urged the Advisory Council to 'think globally" in order to assist municipal leaders to do likewise.

The United States is witnessing a breakdown of barriers to international trade.

During his presentation, James noted that the Soviet Union is now the commonwealth of independent states, the People's Republic of China has recently opened' its borders for limited partnership s with other nations, the European economic market is coming together, East and West Germany are now one, and Japan is spending billions to improve their infrastructure to become more competitive."

He indicated that local officials should view these international events as opportunities to assist them in creating new jobs and local economic development and to further promote and advance international exchanges in culture, technology, education, medicine and improved industrialization.

The mayor also spoke about the 'competitiveness' of U.S. cities and towns in the global marketplace. He indicated that local municipal governments must play a crucial part in setting the climate that will allow U.S. businesses to compete with global markets. Cities should re-examine their economic development activities to include international trade strategies.

NLC Executive Director Donald Borut has sent an invitation to all NLC direct member cities to provide information on their international economic activities. (See related article on this page.) This information will assist the Advisory Council's study of this topic and it will be shared with other cities.

The NLC Advisory Council consists of mayors and council members who have completed a term on the NLC Board of Directors and who continue to Serve in elected local office, During the summer of 1989, the NLC Bbard of Directors adopted the NLC Strategic Plan which established the Advisory Council as a separate entity with a "futures" mission. This "futures" mission involves:

* identifying trends, emerging issues, and changes that will affect cities and NLC,

* exploring and developing those topics,

* explaining those topics to NLC leadership and city officials (and others, as appropriate), and

* encouraging attention to the implications of those topics by NLC, local communities, and the nation.

The December 1992 publication, "Families and Communities," is the culmination of futures activities devoted to family-friendly neighborhoods.

"Diversity and Governance" was the report from the 1991 futures process. For information about obtaining copies of these publications, please call the NLC Publications Department at (202) 626-3150.
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Title Annotation:includes related call to member cities to share their experiences; National League of Cities' Advisory Council; Futures Forum
Author:Cheek, Dorothy; Barnes, Bill
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Jan 25, 1993
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