Tuesday, March 13, 2007

National League of Cities

Hot on the heels of our very successful lobbying trip to Sacramento, I am with Councilmembers Reyes, Zine, Parks, Smith, and Hahn in Washington, D.C. as a part of the National League of Cities (NLC), which comprises city legislators in a coalition to strengthen and promote cities as centers of opportunity, leadership, and governance. My colleagues and I will meet with Congressional representatives to highlight some of the major issues facing Los Angeles, including gang violence and the need for affordable housing, and to promote some of our most innovative initiatives, such as the LA River Revitalization plan. We'll also sit down with some of our colleagues from around the country to examine strategies and programs common to urban centers around the nation, including traffic, economic development, and immigration.

I also serve as the vice-chair of the International Committee, a subgroup of the NLC that works on creating bridges with our municipal counterparts throughout North America. We will be tackling policy issues in the trade and immigration arenas and looking at sustainable economic and environmental policies in the context of ever-increasing globalization. Whether down the street or half-way across the world, local government affects people's daily lives more than any other branch of public administration, and the issues we often relegate to a global scale - economic inequality, climate change, violence - affect us on an individual basis as well. Stronger local entities can help to build better nations, and, in turn, a better world.