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Peterson to focus on advocacy, 'close to home' issues.

Newly elected NLC President Bart Peterson, mayor of Indianapolis, last week pledged to intensify NLC's advocacy on Capitol Hill, continue to grow the NLC membership and emphasize "close to home issues" that bear on "our daily jobs as local elected officials" during his year at the NLC helm.

He also urged city officials to work with him to examine the issue of media violence and its impact on our children.

"Many cities across America, including my own, are experiencing a frightening increase in violent crime, and it seems to be particularly bad among young people," Peterson told the more than 1,000 delegates to the 83rd Annual Business Meeting. "Kids as young as 13 or 14 are shooting each other today when 10 or 20 years ago they would have settled their arguments with name-calling or at worst a fist fight."

He said he was seeking a dialogue on this "troubling topic" as part of NLC's long-standing commitment to tackling challenging subjects.

"I don't expect us to find clear-cut, irrefutable answers to the questions ..., but we will be in a better position a year from now to talk with parents and our constituents about media violence, to understand a powerful force that may well be degrading the quality of life in our communities, and to do what we do best--provide leadership for those we serve on the great issues of the day," Peterson said.

Cynthia McCollum, councilmember from Madison, Ala., was elected First Vice President, and Kathleen Novak, mayor of Northglenn, Colo., was elected Second Vice President. Delegates to the Annual Business Meeting also chose 16 elected officials and four league directors to serve on the NLC Board of Directors.

Peterson said the NLC agenda during the coming year would be built on the values that first attracted him to the organization--peer support, bipartisan cooperation, and substance.

"Involvement in NLC brings real value--to each of us as elected officials and to the communities we served," he said. "Education and training, policy analysis, advocacy, best practices from across the country, even brainstorming with a group of smart and like-minded colleagues--NLC gives us far more than our money's worth."

He said he would continue to serve the people of Indianapolis with "100 percent of my time and effort."

"With the second 100 percent of my time and effort, I will serve you and this great organization," he added.

McCollum said NLC must continue to focus on influencing federal policy and providing resources to city officials to strengthen their communities.

"The National League of Cities provides the glue that holds the strength of the American democratic process together," she said. "I am deeply honored and full of expectations as we begin the process anew in 2007."

Novak, who has held several leadership positions in NLC during her more than 15 years in public office, said she looked forward to "making this great organization even stronger" during the year ahead.

Members of the 2007 NLC Board of Directors are:

Michael Amyx, executive director, Virginia Municipal League; Susan Burgess, mayor pro tem, Charlotte, N.C.; Thomas Carlson, mayor, Springfield, Mo.; Susan Cave, executive director, Ohio Municipal League; Deborah Denard Delgado, councilwoman, Hattiesburg, Miss.; Joseph Donaldson, mayor, Flagstaff, Ariz.; Pat Eklund, council member, Novato, Calif.; Ted Ellis, mayor, Bluffton, Ind.; Makia Epie, councilmember, Cedar Hill, Texas; Margaret Finlay, councilmember, Duarte, Calif.; Rene Flowers, councilmember, St. Petersburg, Ha.; John "Duke" Franklin, councilmember, Chattanooga, Tenn.; Gary Graham, mayor, O'Fallon, Ill.; Donald Groesser, mayor, Ralston, Neb.; Jeanne Harris, council member, Vancouver, Wash.; Daun Hester, council member, Norfolk, Va.; Charles Hughes, councilman-at-large, Gary, Ind.; Steven Jeffrey, executive director, Vermont League of Cities and Towns; Michael Johnson, council member, Phoenix, Ariz.; Martin Jones, councilmember, Conyers, Ga.; Jennifer Kim, council member, Austin, Texas; Daisy Lynum, mayor pro tem, Orlando, Fla.; Margaret Mahery, executive director, Tennessee Municipal League; Cynthia Mangini, councilwoman-at-large, Enfield, Conn.; Marcia Marcoux, councilmember, Rochester, Minn.; Henry Marraffa, Jr., councilman, Gaithersburg, Md.; Tom Ed McHugh, executive director, Louisiana Municipal Association; Darryl Moss, mayor, Creedmoor, N.C.; James Perkins, mayor, Selma, Ala.; Daniel Pocek, mayor, Bedford, Ohio; Richard Radcliffe, councilman, Greenacres, Fla.; Lynn Rex, executive director, League of Nebraska Municipalities; Julie Aberg Robison, councilmember-at-large, Cary, N.C.; Shirley Scott, councilmember, Tucson, Ariz.; Anne Sinclair, councilmember, Columbia, S.C.; Walter Skowron, councilmember, Loveland, Colo.; Connie Sprynczynatyk, executive director, North Dakota League of Cities; Ken Strobeck, executive director, League of Arizona Cities and Towns; Lynne Whalen, councilwoman, Casper, Wyo.; and Dennis Zine, council member, Los Angeles, Calif.
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Title Annotation:National League of Cities's Bart Peterson
Author:Becker, Christine
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 18, 2006
Previous Article:NLC awarded grant to help cities address poverty.
Next Article:Cities still struggle to meet local housing needs.

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