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Leaders of local organizations meet with Clinton staff.

NLC Second Vice President Carolyn Long Banks, NLC Executive Director Don Borut and the leaders of five other organizations representing local elected officials and local government managers brought their case in support of collaboration on youth issues to recent meetings with officials of the Clinton Administration.

The group expressed their joint strategy by explaining that it is at the local level that the "rubber hits the road." Further, "This nation's youth live, grow up, and work in our cities, town, counties, townships, and school districts," they asserted.

They urged the federal government to work more closely with local governance groups which are coming together to increase the effectiveness of, and break down the barriers between, programs that are designed to benefit children and youth.

In addition to NLC, leadership of the American Association of School Administrators, the International City/County Management Association, the National Association of Counties, the National Association of School Boards, and the National Association of Towns and Townships participated in the meetings.

The goal of the meetings was to enhance the White House's appreciation for local governance roles in regard to issues affecting youth. In their joint statement, the local governance leaders stressed their commitment to working together, and emphasized the importance of collaboration as "joint planning, management, and implementation of integrated services that builds on the strengths of participating organizations, and works toward a common goal."

Meetings were held with William Galston, deputy assistant to the President for Domestic Policy; Mary Jo Bane, assistant secretary; designate for Children and Families in the Department of Health and Human Services; and Fritz Edelstein and Henry Smith of the Department of Education. Barbara Sheen Todd, president of the National Association of Counties, presented the participants' request for the appointment of a new task force to focus on:

* pointing out statutory and policy obstacles to integrated services,

* suggesting ways to break down such obstacles, and

* encouraging more integration of services through creation of incentives for governments, agencies, and staff.

Although no commitment was given for a specific task force to work on these issues, the groups were encouraged by the amount of time devoted to the discussions and the pledges for follow up meetings and involvement.
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Author:Kyle, John E.
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Sep 6, 1993
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