Friday, December 29, 2006

Bluffton Mayor to head International Council of National League of Cities

According to the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, Ted Ellis, mayor of the northeast Indiana town of Bluffton, will serve as chairman of the National League of Cities’ International Council.

The National League of Cities represents 19,000 U.S. cities, towns and villages.
Made up of about 30 to 35 members, the International Council helps develop policy recommendations addressing international issues significant to American cities and towns, according to the Journal Gazette article.

The mission of the International Council is to educate cities about the benefits of international engagement and work to ensure that international trade and investment agreements enhance and do not adversely impact local governance, according to the NLC website.

NLC’s International Council is a permanent standing committee whose chair, vice chairs, and members, are appointed by the NLC President. Leaders and members of the Council are selected because of their expertise in areas of international commerce and trade, sister cities, cultural and educational exchanges, or international development and technical assistance.

NLC's international programs focus on helping city leaders respond to global change and on building linkages between U.S. municipal officials and their counterparts abroad.

The international program's three primary objectives are to:

1. Educate municipal officials about their critical leadership role in strengthening the local economic region in order to be competitive in a global market;
2. Facilitate and support opportunities for U.S. local officials to establish and sustain relationships with local officials outside the United States, and
3. Develop and advocate policy statements on international issues.

For an example of its work, see: "Global Connections Lead to Local Advantages".

Now that Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson is president of the National League of Cities, and he has appointed another Indiana Mayor, Ted Ellis, as chairman of the International Council, perhaps this state can benefit from the collective wisdom of NLC and make better use of Indiana's already existing international links -- such as the Nationalities Council.

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