By Ally Freeman
On Wednesday, thousands of conference attendees will descend on Boston for this year's Congress of Cities and Exposition. NLC's annual conference brings city leaders together to share resources, network and discuss the challenges and issues facing cities today. Three thousand participants registered for this year's conference, including more than 1500 city officials.
"I look forward to meeting with colleagues from around the country in Boston, sharing ideas and working towards solutions for the challenges facing our country's cities and towns, " said NLC President Ted Ellis, mayor of Bluffton, IN. "It is a critical time for our nation's municipal leaders to convene. This year's conference has taken particular importance given the ongoing budget debates in Washington."
The conference will offer workshops featuring civic leaders and municipal experts from around the United States. Featured speakers at this year's general sessions include Mark Halperin, TIME's editor-at-large and senior political analyst, William C. Taylor, founder and founding editor of Fast Company magazine, Jen Pahlka, founder and executive director of Code for America and Wes Moore, youth advocate, Army combat veteran and host of "Beyond Belief."
This year's program focuses on three overarching strategies for cities: promote strong local economies, build sustainable communities and strengthen neighborhoods and families. During the conference's annual business meeting NLC will elect its new leadership and approve the organization's National Municipal Policy— a compilation of federal policy positions adopted by NLC membership. Issues up for discussion include a balanced approach to deficit reduction, comprehensive immigration reform and a long-term, coordinated approach to transportation programs.
Additional event highlights include Boston mobile tours showcasing successful and innovative initiatives from the City of Boston, an extensive Exhibit Hall with 275 booths displaying the latest products and services for municipal governments and the annual City Showcase recognizing the achievements of 27 model civic programs nationwide.