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Campaign for 1994 NLC offices underway.

The appointment of NLC's 11-member Nominating Committee last week marks the start of the NLC campaign season. Soon, mayors and councilmembers from NLC's 1,500 member cities and towns will be announcing their candidacies, developing campaign literature, and seeking support in their run for these key positions.

The elections process will conclude on December 5, 1993, when delegates to the Congress of Cities will elect Officers and members of the Board of Directors at NLC's annual business meeting in Orlando.

Running for office is familiar to readers of this newspaper, and running for an NLC elective office is as challenging and rewarding as running for local office.

This article describes the NLC elections process. If you are interested in running for an NLC Officer position or for a seat on the Board of Directors, following the steps and suggestions outlined on this page should help you do it most effectively.

Leadership Positions Open

The NLC Officers are President, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Immediate Past President, and all Past Presidents who still serve in elective city office. Among the Officers, only the position of Second Vice President is normally contested. The other Officers usually simply rotate upward.

In addition to these Officers, the NLC bylaws provide for a 40- member Board of Directors who serve staggered, two-year terms. Approximately half of the Board seats are elected every year.

This year, in addition to the traditional contest for the Second Vice President position, there will be 17 two-year slots and one one-year slot for elected officials from member cities opening up on the NLC Board. Four additional Board openings will be filled by state municipal league executive directors.

Elected official Board members who will be leaving the NLC Board in December after completing their term of service are from the following states: California (2), Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts (2), Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina Tennessee, Texas (2), Virginia and West Virginia. Two elected officials (from California and Wisconsin) left the Board in 1993 prior to completing their two-year terms. In addition, election turnover created a vacancy, previously held by a Wisconsin official, on the Board for a one-year term.

One elected official Board member from each of the following states will remain on the NLC Board for another year: Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, South Carolina Texas, and Washington.

The Nominating Committee

From now through December 3, the Nominating Committee will receive nominations for Board and Officer positions. During October and November, most candidates express their interest in a position by writing a letter to all members of the Nominating Committee and sending a Candidate Data Form (see information below) to NLC.

The Nominating Committee has the responsibility to ensure that individuals recommended for Board and Officer positions are not only active in NLC and their state leagues, but also reflect the diversity of NLC's membership in terms of race, sex, geography, and city size.

The Nominating Committee will hold a public hearing on Friday, December 3, at 4:00 p.m. in Room 20B of the Orange County Convention Center. The purpose of the hearing is to give delegates art opportunity to recommend names for consideration for Board or Officer positions.

During the hearing, names are placed in nomination, followed by brief seconding speeches and remarks by the candidates. Nominating speeches for Officer positions are limited to five minutes total, including remarks by the candidate. Nominations for Board positions are limited to three minutes.

At the hearing, nominations for Officers are the first order of business. Then, nominations for Board positions are proposed in alphabetical order by state.

The Nominating Committee will deliberate in a closed-door session on Saturday, December 4, and agree to a recommended slate of candidates. The Nominating Committee will report their recommendations in writing to all Congress of Cities delegates no later than 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, December 5. The Nominating Committee report also will be distributed at the annual business meeting, scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 5.

Elections at the

Annual Business Meeting

The first order of business at the annual business meeting is the report of the Nominating Committee and the election of NLC Officers and Board members for 1994. At the business meeting, voting delegates can adopt the recommendations of the Nominating Committee or consider additional nominations that have been received by petition.

If there are no petition candidates, delegates adopt the Nominating Committee slate by voice vote. If there are candidates by petition, a written ballot is used.

Petitions must be signed by 10 certified voting delegates and must be submitted to the NLC policy office by 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, December 5. The 10:00 a.m. deadline is necessary to allow sufficient lead time for the preparation. of written voting materials.

Petition candidates run against the entire Nominating Committee slate in the category in which they are no This year, for example, if a petition candidate is running for a two-year term on the Board, he or she would run against all 17 two-year candidates recommended by the Nominating Committee. The 17 top vote-getters are elected to seats on the Board. Voting in a petition situation is by paper ballot, and is weighted according to city population size.

Candidate Data Forms

To ensure that members of the Nominating Committee have basic information on all candidates, a Candidate Data Form is used. On this form candidates summarize their public service experience, highlight their involvement in NLC and state municipal league activities, and provide background information about the city or town in which they serve.

All candidates for Board or Officer positions should fill out a Candidate Data Form and return it to the NLC Executive Office. Candidate Data Forms can be obtained from state municipal leagues or from the NLC Executive Office. Forms also will be available during the Congress of Cities at the NLC headquarters office in the convention center.

A Few Campaign Tips

Step 1. Contact your state league director and announce your interest in a position. Advice and support from your league director can often make the difference between a winning and losing campaign.

Step 2. Announce your candidacy by sending a letter to all members of the NLC Nominating Committee and to NLC. Send a Candidate Data Form to NLC.

Step 3. Make sure officials in your state know you are running. Begin your national campaign with telephone calls and letters to other local officials you have met through NLC activities, such as policy committee and constituency group meetings, national and regional conferences, and through your own networking. Develop and begin to disseminate campaign fliers, brochures, and other materials.

Step 4. At the Congress of Cities, allow plenty of time in your schedule for talking personally with delegates about your candidacy, distributing literature, and seeking endorsements.

Step 5. Make sure you are present and that your name is formally placed in nomination at the Nominating Committee hearing at 4:00 p.m. on December 3. Line up supporters who will give nominating and seconding speeches on your behalf.
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Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:includes related campaign tips and information on the Nominating Committee; National League of Cities
Author:Becker, Christine; Fletcher, Jeff
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Sep 27, 1993
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