BOSTON, MA — The National League of Cities (NLC) membership named Marie Lopez Rogers, mayor, Avondale, Arizona, to lead the organization as president for 2013. The organization also elevated Chris Coleman, Mayor, St. Paul, Minnesota to First Vice President and chose Ralph Becker, Mayor, Salt Lake City, Utah as Second Vice President.
All officers will serve a one-year term in shaping NLC’s priorities and directing the organization’s advocacy, research and membership activities for the coming year. The vote came at the conclusion of NLC’s annual Congress of Cities and Exposition, in Boston, Massachusetts.
“I am deeply honored to be chosen to help lead NLC for the coming year,” said Mayor Lopez Rogers. “There has never been a more important time for our nation’s cities and towns. Our communities are constantly evolving and we as leaders must be increasingly more innovative, flexible and resourceful. Additionally, I look forward to working together with NLC’s new Executive Director, Clarence E. Anthony, during this significant time for our organization. In the coming year we will work together to ensure our nation’s cities have a strong resource and advocate in NLC. “
Mayor Lopez Rogers’ acceptance speech can be found here:
Mayor Lopez Rogers served on the NLC Board of Directors from 2001-2003 and was elected as the organization’s Second Vice President in 2010. She is past president of Women in Municipal Government and Hispanic Elected Local Officials, both NLC constituency groups.
Marie Lopez Rogers spent much of her childhood growing up in labor camps and picking cotton alongside her migrant farmworker parents in the Arizona desert. As a social worker, she discovered her passion for public service. Mayor Lopez Rogers was elected Mayor of Avondale in 2006. Before being elected mayor, she served as a council member and vice mayor for 14 years. Mayor Lopez Rogers also serves on Arizona's Council of Governments, and is the regional council chair of the Maricopa Association of Governments’ Executive Committee.
Mayor Coleman became Mayor of St. Paul in 2006. He has served as an NLC board member and worked on the Council on Youth, Education, and Families for NLC. He also served as a city council member in St. Paul from 1997-2003. In his six years as mayor, he has been an advocate for education and public safety, and was instrumental in championing the Central Corridor Light Rail line – the largest transit project ever undertaken in the state of Minnesota.
Mayor Becker was elected Mayor of Salt Lake City in 2007 and was re-elected to a second term in 2011. Before being elected mayor, Becker served in the Utah State Legislature as a member of the House of Representatives for 11 years, including five years as House Minority Leader. As Salt Lake City’s mayor, Becker has greatly expanded transportation options for the City’s residents and visitors, with a special focus on public transit, trails and bikeways.
NLC also elected 19 board members during the Congress of Cities. The new board members will serve two-year terms.
The new board members are:
• Karen Avilla, City Treasurer, Carson, California
• Leland Cheung, City Councillor, Cambridge, Massachusetts
• Joe Davis, Sr., Alderman, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
• Elvi Gray-Jackson, Assemblymember, Anchorage, Alaska
• Mary Hamann-Roland, Mayor, Apple Valley, Minnesota
• Klaus Hanson, Council Member, Laramie, Wyoming
• Jacquelyn E. Johnson, Councilwoman, East Orange, New Jersey
• R. Michael Kasperzak, Jr., Councilmember, Mountain View, California
• Melodee Colbert Kean, Mayor, Joplin, Missouri
• Jesse Matthews, Councilmember, Bessemer, Alabama*
• A. Keith McDonald, Mayor, Bartlett, Tennessee
• Felicia A. Moore, Council Member, Atlanta, Georgia
• Gregory Pettis, Councilman, Cathedral City, California
• Michael A. Sesma, Council Member, Gaithersburg, Maryland
• Murry K. Witcher, Alderman, North Little Rock, Arkansas
• Matthew C. Greller, Executive Director, Indiana Association of Cities and Towns
• Don Moler, Executive Director, League of Kansas Municipalities
• Ken Smith, Executive Director, Alabama League of Municipalities
• Don Zimmerman, Executive Director, Arkansas Municipal League
*will serve a one-year term
The National League of Cities is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.