Constituency Group Speakers Confirmed for Congressional City Conference

March 5, 2012
by Sandi Burtseva

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and U.S. Small Business Administration Deputy Administrator Marie C. Johns will be addressing local leaders at NLC's Congressional City Conference in Washington, D.C. Mayor Nutter will speak at the Celebrate Diversity Breakfast, sponsored by National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO), as well as other NLC constituency groups. Deputy Administrator Johns will speak to Women in Municipal Government (WIMG) members at their Membership Luncheon. Both events will take place on Monday, March 12.

Nutter is expected to share his perspectives on leading a city in challenging times and the sense of urgency for developing an agenda to reduce violent deaths among black males. Johns is expected to share her perspectives on women in leadership positions and the successes and challenges they face in public office and business leadership.

Mayor Nutter

Reelected in 2011, Michael Nutter is currently serving his second term as the 98th mayor of Philadelphia, the sixth largest city in the U.S., and the largest to ever elect a black mayor. Mayor Nutter is committed to sustainably growing the regional economy, improving public safety and investing in education and workforce development.

The mayor has pledged to make Philadelphia the greenest city in the U.S., launching Greenworks Philadelphia, a forceful plan to reduce the city's carbon footprint, creating and training residents for new green collar jobs, from weatherization to solar panel installation. Mayor Nutter has also renewed emphasis on thoughtful city planning, preparing Philadelphia for future development. He reorganized the city's Commerce Department to improve assistance for small businesses and foster minority- and women‐owned business.

The mayor's other accomplishments include a dramatic reduction in violent crime, a nationally recognized mortgage foreclosure program that links at‐risk homeowners with housing counseling and related services, a new 311 Call Center to better serve city residents and the newly created position of a Philadelphia Chief Integrity Officer.

In a legislative career spanning almost 15 years, Mayor Nutter has authored successful reform legislation in the area of ethics and campaign finance, civilian review of the Police Department, tax reform and a smoking ban in public places.

After working in the gubernatorial campaign of Ed Rendell and the campaigns for City Council members John Anderson and Angel Ortiz, Michael Nutter won elections as a committee person in the 52nd ward in 1986, 52nd Democratic Ward Leader in 1990 and, in his second attempt, for City Council in 1991.

Before becoming a public servant, Nutter was an investment manager at a minority‐owned investment banking and brokerage firm. He graduated from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania in 1979.

Deputy Administrator Johns

President Obama nominated Marie Johns for the position of deputy administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration in December 2009, and the Senate unanimously confirmed her in June 2010. As deputy administrator, Johns contributes to managing the SBA and developing its policies.

Prior to becoming deputy administrator, Johns was the managing member of an organizational effectiveness and public policy consulting practice called L&L Consulting, LLC. Previously, she was responsible for nearly 2,000 employees and more than 800,000 customers, including many small businesses, as president of Verizon Washington. In that role, Johns worked to meet the needs of Verizon's small business customers, and worked closely with several SBA borrowers - the company's vendors, suppliers and subcontractors. While there, Johns created the Students Educated for Economic Development Success program, which prepared more than 200 workers without high school degrees for entry-level positions in telecommunications, many of those with small local firms. Johns retired from Verizon in 2004 after 21 years of work in the telecommunications industry.

Johns has a long record of business and civic leadership. As chair of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce - as well as chair of its Small Business Committee - she helped small businesses seeking technical assistance and mentoring from larger firms, and helped create a Visitors Center to encourage tourists to explore more of Washington's many vibrant neighborhoods, directing them to local small businesses.

Deputy Administrator Johns earned BS and MPA degrees from Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs. She had received multiple awards and honors, including "Leader of the Year" from the Greater Washington Board of Trade, one the of "25 Most Influential Black Women in Business" from the Network Journal and one of the "100 Most Powerful Women" by Washingtonian Magazine. In 2004, Johns was inducted into the Greater Washington Business Hall of Fame.

Congressional City Conference

The Congressional City Conference gets underway on Saturday, March 10, with Leadership Training Institute seminars and other NLC meetings. General sessions, constituency group meetings and workshops on issues important to cities will take place March 12 and 13.

The Congressional City Conference will include a number of opportunities to network with other local officials, engage with NLC's corporate programs and learn about and attend meetings of NLC's various committees and councils.

Wednesday, March 14, is dedicated to lobbying for city interests on Capitol Hill and with federal agencies.

Check the Congressional City Conference page at www.nlc.org for the latest conference information and to register.