By Ally Freeman
NLC's Congressional City Conference, March 9-13, 2013 in Washington will offer an assortment of dynamic workshops that focus on the most pressing issues cities face today and offer attendees the opportunity to engage and learn with some of the field's leading figures in policy and municipal government.
Workshops will include panel discussions with Mayors from around the country, as well as federal agency representatives and policy experts in Washington.
A workshop on Immigration Reform moderated by NLC President Marie Lopez Rogers, mayor, Avondale, AZ, will look at the current prospects for reform and provide different perspectives on the need for comprehensive reform.
The session, Educating America -- How City Elected Officials Can Influence School Reform, will be moderated by NLC Fist Vice President Chris Coleman, mayor, St. Paul, MN and will feature Randi Weingarten, president, American Federation of Teachers, as the keynote speaker. The program will examine the state of federal education legislation and explore the role that city and town elected officials can play in improving their local school systems.
Additionally, attendees will have the chance to discuss local action being taken to reduce gun violence with a panel of experts at the workshop, Reducing Gun Violence in America's Communities.
Conference workshops will also offer the opportunity to:
• Learn how to be an effective advocate for your community at the Winning Advocacy Strategies session
• Find out how your community can take advantage of resources to develop and promote innovation investment vehicles and access to capital in Innovation Clusters and Business Accelerators: Leveraging Federal Resources
• Hear from a panel of Mayors as they share their experiences in preparing for and responding to damaging weather events in Extreme Weather Events: Preparing Cities, Engaging Leaders
• Understand how you can help ensure passage of the Marketplace Fairness Act and preserve the tax exemption for municipal bonds at Protecting Cities in the Federal Budget Debates
In addition to these and other workshops, the conference will feature a Federal Agency Round Robin where attendees can meet administration officials from various agencies about federal programs and opportunities that might be available to cities and towns. Officials will be available to answer questions about federal resources, tools, grants, and programs of interest to local governments.