By Alison Scher
Responding to the growing interest among NLC members about how communities can best support and work with nearby military installations and with military service members and their families, NLC has announced that after a strong two years as an NLC peer group, the Military Communities Peer Network will become a formal NLC Member Council beginning January 2013.
Through in-person gatherings and through virtual information sharing throughout the year, the peer network has covered a range of topics including establishing a military-community covenant, transportation and infrastructure issues that arise due to growth at a nearby military installation, best practices for city leaders to work successfully with local military leadership, and many veteran and military family issues around providing jobs, housing, education and healthcare. The network has also provided an excellent channel and connection for the veteran housing work NLC is currently doing thanks to funding provided by The Home Depot Foundation, an NLC Capstone Corporate Partner.
The new Military Communities Council will join four existing Member Councils: the Small Cities Council, Large Cities Council, University Communities Council, and First Tier Suburbs Council.
The Military Communities Peer Network first gathered in the fall of 2010 at the urging of state municipal league directors from Oklahoma and Arizona who had city leaders in their states asking for a place to connect with cities with military installations from across the country. The group met four times as a peer networking group - at the Congress of Cities in Denver and Phoenix, and the 2011 and 2012 Congressional City Conferences in Washington, DC. The group currently has 74 participants, including elected officials and city staff from NLC member cities and state municipal league staff.
As part of NLC's annual governance process, individuals - including current and new participants - that are interested in serving as Chair or Vice Chair or as a member of the group are asked to submit applications as part of the leadership and council application process which is now underway.
Details: For more information about the Military Communities Council or the application process, please contact Alison Scher.