Thursday, December 08, 2005

Going Digital with the National League of Cities

I am in Charlotte, North Carolina, where I am attending the National League of Cities conference with many of my colleagues and thousands of city councilmembers, mayors, and city officials from around the country. It's always an extremely interesting conference, with a chance to learn what other cities are doing, share policy initiatives in Los Angeles with representatives from other parts of the country, and to mold a common federal legislative agenda to help cities.

This afternoon, I participated in a standing-room only panel on city government and education initiatives entitled "So You Don't Run the Schools: How City Leaders Can Still Make a Difference..." You can view the an archived webcast of the discussion here (my comments begin 47 minutes into the panel). Mayor Rick Baker of St. Petersburg, Florida, outlined his very successful education initiatives over the last few years and three of us added our perspectives.

I attended a number of other very good panels, then stopped by the Digital Cities Award to pick up the award for the City of Los Angeles web site, rated the third best in the country. Considering how many cities we were up against, this repeat performance (we did well last year also), is impressive. Congratulations to our web services team for their great work!

I spent time in the evening talkig to number of mayors and councilmembers, including Mayor Anthony Williams of Washington D.C., the current president of the National League of Cities and a Los Angeles native, Mayor Bart Peterson of Indianpolis (where my better half, Amy Wakeland hails from), Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, who was my city councilmember when I went to Columbia University in New York City, and Mayor John Hickenlooper of Denver, among others.

Tomorrow, I can't wait to attend a session entitled, "Can Blogs Improve Your Constituent Communications?". You know that I have a pretty strong opinion about that. More to come on that tomorrow.