Troy council members join local leaders in Washington, D.C.

Published 11:00 pm Monday, March 18, 2013

Two Troy City Council members joined more than 1,600 fellow local leaders in Washington, D.C. during the National League of Cities 2013 Congressional City Conference.

Council members Greg Meeks and Dejerilyn King Henderson attended the annual legislative meeting that allows city leaders to discuss with top Congressional and administration leaders how federal policy issues impact local communities.

“This is our first time on the council, so meeting the legislators and other leaders was very helpful to us,” Meeks said.

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As part of the conference, delegates heard from Vice President Joe Biden; Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey; Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack; Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius; Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan; Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano; Senator John McCain (R-AZ); and Pollster Frank Luntz.

Local leaders discussed the need for comprehensive immigration reform, keeping the tax exemption for municipal bonds and ending the online sales tax ‘break’

Attendees participated in workshops and general sessions that highlighted other top city issues including economic development, gun violence, transportation and infrastructure and education reform.

“I think the networking with other cities throughout the United States is very beneficial because you get to find out what is going on elsewhere and discuss issues that are pertinent to both our cities and other cities,” Henderson explained.

While in DC, Henderson also attended he Celebrate Diversity Breakfast where Rev. Al Sharpton was the guest speaker.

The Congressional City Conference offers local officials opportunities to find ways federal resources can help grow our economy, create jobs, and strengthen the foundation of our cities and towns.

“With the current policy debates underway in Washington, this is a critical time for local leaders to come together to be heard on the issues that matter to cities,” said NLC President Marie Lopez Rogers, mayor, Avondale, AZ. “Now more than ever, city leaders must be engaged and be vocal advocates on municipal policy priorities.”