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Ref: Conference of cities to focus on emergency preparedness and sustainability

PR Newswire

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Nation's City Leaders to Focus on Disaster Preparedness, Innovation in New Orleans




WASHINGTON, Oct. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Leadership and
innovation, emergency preparedness, and "going green" will be the focus of
the upcoming Congress of Cities, sponsored by the National League of Cities
(NLC) in New Orleans, November 13 - 17, expected to be the largest
gathering of municipal officials prior to the upcoming presidential primary
elections. With rebuilding efforts continuing in New Orleans, conference
participants will also have a chance to help many of the city's communities
through various volunteer activities.

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg will discuss the role of city
leaders in shaping their communities, while political experts Kenneth
Mehlman and Terry McAuliffe, former chairs of their respective political
parties, will offer their insight into the 2008 presidential race. On
Saturday, November 17, delegates will hear from a panel of local and
national experts on strategies for rebuilding communities after a crisis.

"As people who spend every day working to make our communities great
places to live, work and play, America's city officials were particularly
struck by the destruction and the resulting challenges in rebuilding the
infrastructure, culture and community of this unique city after Hurricane
Katrina hit in 2005," said NLC President and Indianapolis Mayor Bart
Peterson. "This Congress of Cities is a rare opportunity for us to learn
first-hand from the New Orleans' experience while showing our support for
one of America's truly special cities."

Throughout the four-day conference, local leaders will have several
occasions in which to make a difference for the city through volunteer
activities held in partnership with KaBOOM!, Habitat for Humanity and
Hands-On New Orleans. Municipal officials will help build a new playground,
designed by and for New Orleans children, as well as construct new homes
and paint classrooms in an elementary school.

More than 40 workshops will be offered 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 that will take participants
into New Orleans and surrounding parishes for up-close learning on disaster
preparedness, recovery and social programs. Officials will also participate
in leadership training seminars and elect the 2008 NLC leadership during
the annual business meeting. Municipal leaders can also take home ideas
from the innovative programs highlighted in the City Showcase.

"Cities and towns continue to prove they are the great innovators of
this century, because they have to be. The Congress of Cities is a chance
for elected officials to share these innovations with one another," said
NLC 1st Vice President Cynthia McCollum.

For a complete schedule of events and media registration information,
go to: http://www.nlc.org/pressroom/cocpress.aspx. For questions regarding
specific media opportunities, contact Sherry Conway Appel, 202-626-3003,
appel@nlc.org, or Laura Sweeney, 202-626-3051, sweeney@nlc.org.



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