This summer, 50 women local elected officials gathered in Cleveland, Ohio. Their goal: raise awareness around issues impacting women—for both private citizens and local elected officials.
Hosted by the Women in Municipal Government (WIMG) Constituency Group, the 2017 WIMG Conference brought together leaders from across the country to learn from each other and advance their municipal leadership. Here’s what they covered:
Touring the Slavic Village
The Slavic Village is one of Cleveland’s oldest neighborhoods and the focus of the Slavic Village Recovery Project, a strategic partnership that responds directly to the neighborhood’s housing market needs. Aimed at steadying market volatility, the project matches homebuyers with fully renovated homes at affordable process. With so many houses still empty after the national foreclosure crisis, city leaders are using every tool available to help residents get back into houses.
Using Adaptive Leadership for Results
Addressing conflict in the work place is never easy. For leaders, understanding the difference between technical and adaptive leadership can create a results-oriented environment—rather than an environment that could hinder a woman’s growth in the workplace. Adaptive leadership focuses on changing values, habits and behavior so leaders can name and regulate conflict and hold steady in the face of pressure.
How to Fight the Cuts
Every budget season, municipal leaders have to fight to secure key federal investments in cities. After a long discussion on what the proposed budget means for cities, WIMG members are armed with the tools and resources they need to oppose cuts that shift costs to cities and their residents.
Offering Affordable Housing
Housing prices are rising, but wages aren’t reflecting the rising cost of living. Local officials battle disparities of opportunity along race and economic lines against the backdrop of a growing gap. Engaging stakeholders, making the case for affordable housing through an economic and business oriented lens and developing a database of public and privately-owned land can be helpful tools in resolving the crisis.
But the biggest takeaways are the connections they fostered.
The annual conference provides a platform for local women elected officials across the country to build their leaderships skills, create close connections with their colleagues and expand their knowledge about how best to tackle challenges in their community. As the rate of women in government grows, connections with other women municipal leaders becomes even more valuable.
Interested in empowering other women in government? Apply to become a WIMG member here and to stay up to date with upcoming programming and next year’s conference!