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Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille, City Councilman Ludwig Gaines, nine Youth Council delegates and their sponsors joined nearly 3,500 municipal leaders from November 13-18 at the 2007 National League of Cities’ (NLC) Congress of Cities in New Orleans to discuss leadership and innovation, “going green,” and emergency preparedness.
Delegates heard from New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, political experts Kenneth Mehlman and Terry McAuliffe, New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin, environmental expert Terry Tamminen, advisor to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, and local and national experts on strategies for rebuilding communities after a crisis.
Mayor Euille was a featured speaker for the workshop, After the Bell Rings: Investing In Afterschool Systems. Mayor Euille discussed Alexandria’s 25-year commitment to providing quality afterschool opportunities for youth and the City’s challenges in moving forward to maximize City dollars, and leverage additional resources to sustain quality, build capacity, and promote positive community development.
“It was my privilege to share our commitment to providing afterschool programs to meet the needs of Alexandria’s families, particularly those of working families,” said Mayor Euille. “Alexandria has been the recipient of two NLC afterschool technical assistance grants, which have afforded our staff an opportunity to interface and learn from national experts and practitioners. We are pleased to share these experiences with localities across the country.”
In recognition of the rebuilding efforts still underway in New Orleans, Alexandria’s youth delegation joined an ongoing beautification process to refurbish a community facility at Behrman Stadium and Memorial Park. They devoted an entire day to painting the facility, located in Algiers, which is one of New Orleans’ oldest neighborhoods, and one of the first to reopen after Hurricane Katrina.
In addition to the conference sessions, participants attended workshops on a variety of issues facing cities, including climate change and sustainability, emergency preparedness, changing public finances, public safety, and transportation funding, along with several “mobile” workshops, which took participants into New Orleans and surrounding parishes for up-close learning on disaster preparedness, recovery and social programs. The meeting also featured leadership training seminars and a City Showcase, spotlighting innovative and award-winning programs from cities and towns throughout the United States.
The National League of Cities is the nation’s oldest and largest organization devoted to strengthening and promoting cities as centers of opportunity, leadership and governance. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.