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McCollum wants city voice heard in 2008 election.

With a historic Presidential campaign already underway, NLC President Cynthia McCollum, council member, Madison, Ala., wants to make sure the country's new President knows cities matter, and takes municipal issues into account.

"During the coming months, we need to sharpen our message on behalf of cities and towns so that we are well-positioned to reach out to the President-elect," McCollum said in her acceptance speech during the Annual Business Meeting at the Congress of Cities in New Orleans. "Because we are a bipartisan organization, our focus must be on the issues NOT the candidates. My goal this year is to define our expectations of the new President and the new Congress very clearly and be prepared to engage with whoever wins this historic election."

During the coming months, NLC will reach out to its members to learn about their political connections and involvement in the various campaigns so that NLC can build a network of resources to prepare for a major outreach on behalf of America's cities and towns right after the election.

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"We will use the power of our bipartisan membership to position NLC as an organization to be listened to and reckoned with on issues that will make our country stronger in 2009," McCollum said. "As you have heard me say many times, to change America, we must do it one community at a time. The next President of the United States needs to know that the National League of Cities is the most effective organization to help him or her change America."

During the Board of Directors meeting at the Congress of Cities, the Board discussed strategies for including the municipal voice in the Presidential election, including cultivating organizational partnerships with groups that share NLC's policy on certain issues and using the March Congressional City Conference to refine NLC's issues and engage city officials in the plan to influence the transition strategy of the President-elect.

Kathleen Novak, mayor of Northglenn, Colo., was elected First Vice President and Ronald O. Loveridge, mayor of Riverside, Calif., was elected Second Vice President. Delegates to the Annual Business Meeting also chose 19 elected officials and four state municipal directors to serve on the NLC Board of Directors for the coming year.

Both Novak and Loveridge expressed a desire for NLC to have continued and increased influence on the national agenda.

McCollum also said she wants to enhance the value of NLC membership and "leave the National League of Cities stronger in every way" during her year as NLC President.

"The NLC mission is to strengthen and promote cities as centers of opportunity, leadership and governance. We need to keep our eye on that mission in everything we do," she said. "And the most important way to do that is to ensure that all cities--from the very smallest to the very largest--think of the National League of Cities as their organization."

McCollum added, "During 2008, I want to continue our focus on demonstrating and enhancing the value of NLC membership to strengthen our credibility as THE voice of all of America's cities and towns."

Members of the 2008 NLC Board of Directors are as follows:

John S. Brenner, mayor, York, Pa.; Carl Brewer, mayor, Wichita, Kan.; Susan Burgess, mayor pro tern, Charlotte, N.C.; Susan Cave, executive director, Ohio Municipal League; Malcom Chapman, council president, Rapid City, S.D.; Miguel M. Chavez, councilor/mayor pro tern, Santa Fe, N.M.: Marshand Crisler, councilmember, Jackson, Miss.; Joseph A. Curtatone, mayor, Somerville, Mass.; Deborah Denard Delgado, council vice president, Hattiesburg, Miss.; Doug Echols, mayor, Rock Hill, S.C.; Pat Eklund, mayor pro tem, Novato, Calif.; James J. Finley Jr., executive director, Connecticut Conference of Municipalities; John "Duke" Franklin, councilmember, Chattanooga, Tenn.; J. David Fraser, executive director, Nevada League of Cities and Municipalities; Donald A. Groesser. mayor, Ralston, Neb.; Jeanne Harris, councilmember, Vancouver, Wash.; Daun S. Hester, councilwoman, Norfolk, Va.: Deborah A. Hill, council member, Warrensville Heights, Ohio: Jennifer L. Kim, councilmember, Austin, Texas; Michael E. Johnson, councilmember, Phoenix; Bobby Gene Kilgore, mayor, Monroe, N.C.; Daisy W. Lynum, commissioner, Orlando, Fla.; Sylvia L. Lovely, executive director, Kentucky League of Cities Inc.; Robin Lowe, council member, Hemet, Calif.; Margaret Mahery, executive director, Tennessee Municipal League; Sam Mamet, executive director, Colorado Municipal League; Henry Marraffa Jr., councilmember, Gaithersburg, Md.; Tom Ed McHugh, executive director, Louisiana Municipal Association; Daniel Pocek, mayor, Bedford, Ohio; L. Lynn Rex, executive director, League of Nebraska Municipalities: Frank C. Ortis, mayor, Pembroke Pines, Fla.; Tzeitel Paras-Caracci, council member, Duarte, Calif.; Elizabeth C. Paterson, mayor, Mansfield, Conn.; Debbie W. Quinn, councilmember, Fairhope, Ala.; Sonja Reece, mayor pro tern, Normal. Ill.; Sergio Rodriguez, alderman, New Haven, Conn.; Steve Salazar, councilmember, Dallas; Audwin M. Samuel, councilmember, Beaumont, Texas: James Taylor, council member, Littleton, Colo.; and Dennis Zine, councilman, Los Angeles.

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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Cynthia McCollum
Author:Hogan, Cyndy Liedtke
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 26, 2007
Words:799
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