Cityscape — February 2015
Change Language:
President's Viewpoint

The League’s Legislative Day is coming February 24. This year has the added benefit of a 9 a.m. to noon Economic Development Workshop featuring state agencies, law firms and League staff. This by itself would be worth the price of admission, but there is more in the afternoon. From 1 to 4 p.m. you have an opportunity to meet with key legislators, attend possible committee meetings or just enjoy the ambiance of the legislative process of the Iowa House of Representatives and the Iowa Senate. I’m sure there are hot button issues that affect your city that you would like to discuss with legislators, and now is the time. Hopefully I will see you there.

The day continues from 4:30 to 7 p.m. with a reception for attendees, legislators and key state agency employees. There still may be time to register, check the League Web site,, for all of the information. I have found Legislative Day very beneficial in the past, and this year’s event should be even better with the addition of the Economic Development Workshop.

In November, it was my privilege to attend the National League of Cities (NLC) Congress of Cities and Exposition in Austin, TX. NLC is a bipartisan organization focused on connecting officials to local government solutions. This was a four-day conference focused on everything for city’s local elected officials and staff. Seminars included topics on innovation and technology; the role of elected officials during an emergency, crisis or disaster; public speaking; civic engagement; partnerships; complete communities; library best practices; historic preservation; public safety and crime prevention to name few - and that was just the first day. In addition to the many seminars there were meetings involving special groups such as Hispanic Elected Local Officials; Republican Mayor and City Council Caucus; Democratic Elected Officials; Young Elected Officials; National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials; Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Local Officials; Women in Municipal Government; Small Cities Council; Large Cities Council; and Asian Pacific American Municipal Officials. We had an opportunity to hear from nationally recognized leaders like renowned journalist David Gregory and former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.

I came home from this conference with a renewed sense of purpose, knowing that many cities and towns across America are facing very similar struggles. It has been said that problems are just opportunities in disguise. If this is true, then we all have some wonderful opportunities facing us.

The 2015 NLC Congress of Cities will be in Nashville TN, November 4 – 7. I’m sure that Nashville will be a wonderful host city just as Austin was.

Creston Mayor Warren Woods