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NLC conference celebrates great leadership ideas.

A creative package of programs that redefine the traditional conference format awaits local elected officials attending the 1992 Congress of Cities and Exposition "Avenues and Bridges: Great Ideas for Community Leadership," November 28 - December 2, 1992 in New Orleans.

The five-day conference will include a number of pre-conference leadership training seminars and special sessions specifically for small cities. While NLC is still planning the speakers for general sessions, government, business and international economy author Robert B. Reich has been confirmed as the keynote for the opening general session.

Reich is a professor at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. His latest book is "The Work of Nations: Preparing Ourselves for 21st Century Capitalism."

This 69th Annual Congress of Cities revolves around the thematic use of avenues and bridges--also called the ABC's of great ideas--to build better communities. At the conference, avenues and bridges take the place of traditional workshops and seminars, and go beyond providing mobility for people and products in our cities and towns by connecting differing viewpoints and building understanding in our communities.

For the second consecutive year, a committee of NLC members has played a major role in planning for the Congress of Cities. Chaired by San Marcos, Tex. Councilmember Fred Guerra chaired the member planning committee, which offered up ideas and solutions that will make the conference more user friendly for city officials whether they are attending for their first or--twenty-first - time

Conference delegates will be given notebooks, filled with information and concepts from their individually selected conference routes. With notebooks in hand, delegates will develop their own personalized resource guides to use when they return home. Plenary and general sessions and workshops are more audience interactive. The plenary sessions will be formatted like talk shows with plenty of opportunity for the audience to join in the questioning and commentary. At a variety of networking sessions, delegates are encouraged to share ideas with other delegates, moderators and panelist.

Avenues and bridges for the conference were developed around three overall categories:

Community Development & Design Avenue--workshops the emphasize enhanced leadership and skills that can be applied to building or strengthening a community's economic base, its aesthetic character, its present identity and its vision for the future through a discovery of the latest in strategic visioning, long-range community planning, neighborhood and downtown revitalization, and environmental regulation compliance;

Community Resources & Relations Avenue--workshops that focus on human services programs and the subsequent delivery mechanisms, the process needed for their success such as public-private partnerships and collaboration, as well as innovate ways to provide community diversity education, enhance race relations, encourage cities' roles in education, deal with hate crimes and minimize gang problems, respond to AIDS and improve youth, elderly and child care services; and

Community Governance & Management Avenue--worships that focus on the responsibilities of community leadership for setting policy and management service delivery through leadership skill development and enhancement, improved budget management, increased citizen involvement and resource pooling.

The conference schedule has also been re-arranged placing the annual business meeting earlier in the conference schedule, wrapping up workshops and seminar activities and the closing event on the fourth day, and reserving the last day for tours and community-based events (see accompanying promotional pages for more details). This year's closing activities will include a mardi gras sponsored by the host city. Conference planners are also considering sponsoring a New Orleans community renovation project.
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Title Annotation:Avenues and Bridges: Great Ideas for Community Leadership; National League of Cities
Author:Baker, Denise
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Jul 20, 1992
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