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Advisory Council explores global economy and cities.

The Advisory Council held its first discussions of "Cities and Towns in the Global Economy" during their meeting at the Congressional City Conference on Saturday, March 6, 1993.

Hal Conklin, councilmember from Santa Barbara, Calif., chairs the Council and, along with Vice Chairs, Mayor Margaret Carpenter of Thornton, Colo., and Councilmember Fred Guerra of San Marcos, Tex., led the group's efforts to focus the 1993 "futures" activities for the remainder of the year.

The meeting agenda was designed to stimulate the exchange of ideas and suggestions for further examination of local municipal innovations directed at international economic initiatives. Both small- and full-group discussions were held which led to the development of major themes and initial guidelines for the 1993 Futures Report.

The intent of the report will be to explain why cities need to focus on the global economy and changes in the international marketplace. It will show how this issue is important to all cities (large, small, border, nonborder, coastal, and noncoastal), and will highlight the roles of local public officials, state and federal governments, and NLC.

The report will highlight what cities and towns can do to enhance their international economic development Strategies looking to the year 2000.

Both NLC Second Vice President Carolyn Long Banks, councilmember from Atlanta, Ga. and NLC First Vice President Sharpe James, mayor from Newark, NJ. addressed the Advisory Council.

The NLC Futures Process provides an opportunity for the NLC Second Vice President to identify a theme around which the Advisory Council will devote its three-year cycle of "futures" activities.

Councilmember Long Banks presented her thoughts on a focus for the Council's 1994 futures theme. She proposed that the Council examine the various aspects of public safety that affect our daily lives, including not only police, but other agencies such as fire, corrections, emergency management, etc. She also spoke to the need of municipal leaders to provide employees in these agencies with needed additional training and support resources.

At the March 6 meeting, Mayor James acknowledged the work of the group to date on "Cities and Towns in the Global Economy" and applauded their efforts since the Congress of Cities.

NLC President Don Fraser addressed the group and reported on the implementation activities of "Families and Communities," the 1992 futures theme. Mayor Fraser presented a status report on the NLC Youth, Education, and Family Agenda.

During the Advisory Council meeting, Blaine Liner, Director of State Policy at The Urban Institute led a discussion of international trade and the complex global marketplace. He spoke to the group about the changes do have occurred over the past 25 years with respect to foreign direct investment, the import and export of merchandise, and services.

During his presentation, Liner noted that isolationist policies that were prevalent in the past hinder our country's ability to compete globally, therefore such policies must be carefully reexamined.

He stated that "Technology has vastly changed . . . [in the global marketplace] communications is instantaneous." "There is a great premium [for U.S. cities and towns] on adaptability and competitiveness."

Liner noted that municipal officials need to provide the setting for local businesses to compete in the world market. He indicated that cities and towns should "Assess what you have to offer, what your needs are . . ." Cities can then develop innovative Strategies to market those assets abroad including allocation of resources to continue to study the world marketplace. He urged local municipal leaders to work closely with States.

Mayor Larry Bakken of Golden Valley, California, presented a local government perspective on the topic of "Cities and Towns in the Global Economy." Bakken, who chairs the NLC International Municipal Consortium, briefed the Council on the many activities of the Consortium devoted to international trade.

Bakken spoke to the group about opportunities that will be loss to cities and towns "if we do nothing." He noted that there will be a continuing loss of jobs; communities that can offer a cheaper wage will attract companies. Businesses will leave thereby causing a decline of quality of life in communities. Bakken indicated that cities will loose an opportunity to experience diversity on a global level.
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Title Annotation:National League of Cities' Advisory Council
Author:Cheek, Dorothy
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Mar 15, 1993
Previous Article:NLC president's address to the nation's cities: making cities the cornerstone of America.
Next Article:Congress surges forward on president's economic package.

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