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Conference Workshops

Please note:  Dates and times are subject to change as the sessions are being finalized.  New sessions may also be added.  Please check back soon for the most up to date session information.

Thursday, November 20th

8:30 AM - 9:15 AM

Solution Session: Using Data to Transform Cities

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Every organization - from businesses to professional sports teams - uses data to improve, innovate, and excel. This session will show specific examples of how municipal governments are harnessing data to dramatically improve citizen services, extend tight budgets, and revolutionize the relationship between citizens, infrastructure, and government.

Speaker: Joe Saunders, Smarter City Solutions, IBM Corporation

8:30 AM - 9:15 AM

Solution Session: Leveraging Natural Infrastructure Solutions to Improve Climate Resiliency

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Natural systems offer a suite of services to people that can complement or even replace conventional infrastructure. For example, wetlands help process pollutants and protect against flooding, and urban tree canopies and green spaces can filter storm water, reduce flooding, and improve air quality.

CH2M HILL and The Nature Conservancy have created a unique alliance between the private sector and the non-governmental organization (NGO) sector, connecting sound engineering principals with natural infrastructure solutions, and promoting ideas that improve community risk profiles and reduce vulnerability to climate change and extreme weather. The initiative will strive to help cities improve their environment, expand opportunities to connect city populations to nature, and provide critical infrastructure and services to communities.

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties Training Workshop

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Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC) is a part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s comprehensive Let’s Move! initiative, which is dedicated to reversing the childhood obesity epidemic within a generation. This free LMCTC training workshop is open to local elected officials and city/county staff from communities participating in LMCTC. The workshop will provide an orientation to LMCTC and will feature breakout opportunities for you to share successes and challenges with your peers. Subject matter experts will be available to provide support on strategies for completing the five goals and to help identify next steps for action when returning home.

9:30 AM - 10:15 AM

Solution Session: Doing the Right Thing: How Governments Are Saving Money and Saving Employee Lives with On-Site Wellness

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If you take a quick look, the statistics are out there. The CDC or the Mayo Clinic will tell you all about heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. At this moment, there are people in your organization that have a significant chance they’ll experience a stroke or heart attack in the future. You may already know someone that has. These conditions are preventable and disease progression can be stopped and even reversed. Presenters and other government employers offer an onsite, outcomes-based workforce health solution to help employees prevent and reverse chronic illness – heart disease, diabetes and obesity – in order to save lives and save money on healthcare spending.

Speakers:
Dustin Anderson, Special Projects Manager, First Selectmen’s Office, Town of Greenwich, CT
Marilyn Hannan, Chief Personnel Officer | Human Resources
Anne M. Gannon, Constitutional Tax Collector, Serving Palm Beach County
Carrie Balicki, COO, Karelia Health

9:30 AM - 10:15 AM

Solution Session: The Innovation Culture

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Cities are wrestling with many issues with respect to dealing with mobile citizens, transparency, the expectations of X Generation, and the allure of being host to the next big thing in the startup world. We are seeing the rise of open data, hackathons, startup events, and the evolution of the Chief Innovation Officer. So what’s really working? This session will explore how the various efforts are evolving, how to find new solutions, and how organizations need to adapt to take advantage of the innovation culture.

Speaker: Christopher Thomas, Director of Government Markets, Esri

10:30 AM - 11:15 AM

Solution Session: No Need to Wait: Accelerating Adoption of LED Street Lighting

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Major cities have already taken the lead and installed LED street lighting. However, the vast majority of cities have yet to make the switch - and The Climate Group's 2014 global consultation events are aiming to help address the remaining key barriers to adoption. This session will provide initial results and findings from The Climate Group's consultations with cities all over the world, including technical, policy, financial issues and insights as well as the broader socio-economic benefits that LED street lighting can provide. Review the remaining adoption challenges in the USA, directly with city mangers and leaders.

Attendees will have the opportunity to attend one-to-one meetings (and follow ups) before and after this session to explore their specific issues in more detail.

Speakers:

Dr Ben Ferrari, Director Partnerships, The Climate Group
Dr Peter Curley, Technologist, The Climate Group

10:30 AM - 11:15 AM

Solution Session: Open Government and the Promise of Cloud-Based Business Intelligence

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Government is the most important industry, yet remains the most underserved by technology. However, the advent of cloud computing has brought a new wave of government technology that enables public servants to save time, improve decision-making and build trust with constituents. The budget and financial information are the most important datasets for governments, and cities across the country, like Palo Alto, CA and New Haven, CT, are leveraging new cloud-based software to be more digital, data-driven and efficient with their finances. This session explores the government technology deficit and highlights how governments in more than 25 states are benefiting from OpenGov’s business intelligence and digital management software.

Speaker: Zachary Bookman, CEO, OpenGov

11:30 AM - 12:15 PM

Solution Session: From Open to Innovation and Engagement – Tips from the Trenches

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Civic engagement depends upon access to information – whether your focus is on solving transit, health, education, environment, safety or other issues – facilitating citizen engagement can get a jump start with open data. In this session, we’ll introduce the concepts for beginners and provide tips to accelerate innovation for the highly experienced. Hear examples by cities and states who have created government platform that foster innovation, and get step by step resources and what they learned along the way.

Speakers:
Saf Rabah, VP of Product, Socrata
Eva Skidmore, Director, Socrata Partners

 

11:30 AM - 12:15 PM

Solution Session: NLC Service Line Warranty Program

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Offered at no cost to the municipality, the NLC Service Line Warranty Program, administered by Utility Service Partners, Inc. (USP), is an important tool for educating homeowners about their responsibility for the lateral service lines on their property. With more than 200 municipal and utility relationships, the NLC Service Line Warranty Program also offers a solution, with a proven track record of providing affordable, dependable service line repair protection, giving homeowners and municipal leaders peace of mind. Offered through USP’s consumer brand, Service Line Warranties of America, the program offers affordable coverage for buried, external water and sewer lines from the utility connection point to the home (including the portion buried
under concrete slabs). Backed by a history of reputable service, Service Line Warranties of America was the 2013 Winner of the Western Pennsylvania Better Business Bureau (BBB) Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics.

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Climate Resilience and the Future of Municipal Risk Management

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This year, the National Climate Assessment found that “climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present." Although climate change is a global concern, its effects will be felt at the local level. The good news is that cities are taking the lead to find innovative solutions to these challenges. A movement in support of climate resilience is gaining momentum at the local level and filtering up to regional and federal government. This panel discussion will explore how infrastructure investment, community development, and municipal insurance are responding to climate risk and how it will affect your bottom line. It will also highlight the ways in which city officials can demonstrate leadership and build a more resilient nation.

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Engaging Veterans to Build Communities

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In the last few years, state and local governments have seen more than 2.5 million veterans return from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The return of these veterans comes at a time of increased federal focus on ending veteran homelessness. In addition, communities are dealing with the aging of the baby boomer generation and an on-going economic recovery. The confluence of these factors presents local leaders with unique opportunities and challenges. This panel will discuss how an initial focus on veterans can help cities pave the way for how they can better serve all people.

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

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Innovation in government is changing how cities across America are operating, bringing increased efficiency and transparency to nearly every municipal function. The backbone of this innovation is the abundance of government data being made publicly available by cities. This session will bring together leaders from the tech sector and cities to provide attendees with an overview of innovations in the civic space, as well as educate attendees about the potential for savings, management and procurement efficiencies achievable through open data.

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

90th Anniversary Conversation on Today’s Challenges

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As National League of Cities celebrates its 90th anniversary, immigration issues, race issues, failing infrastructure, declining budgets are just a few of today’s challenges putting local officials on the firing line. At this highly interactive session, hear from four NLC Past Presidents on the complex issues that today’s municipal officials face. Following the panel discussion with NLC Past Presidents Dennis Archer, Henry Cisneros, Marie Lopez-Rogers and Jim Hunt, expert facilitators will lead tabletop conversations to delve deeper into these hot topics.

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Celebrating Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties: What’s Working in Cities to Address Childhood Obesity

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Come celebrate the achievements made by local elected officials in their efforts to build healthier communities and address childhood obesity as part of Let’s Move! Cities, Towns and Counties (LMCTC). This special celebration event will recognize the achievements of all communities participating in LMCTC. National League of Cities will give special recognition to cities and counties that have achieved five gold medals and also recognize the winners of three special awards. This session will also highlight successful strategies LMCTC sites are using to make their communities healthier, which may help generate new ideas for cities, towns and counties to replicate back home.

Friday, November 21st

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Creating Inclusive Communities

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Disparities within your city may be contributing to a community where some residents lack access to the social, political and economic benefits your city offers. As a city leader, how can you make your city more inclusive? How do you ensure that everyone, regardless of race, gender or income, feels valued and a part of your city?  Strategies to address disparities and the resulting lack of inclusion include developing employment support strategies for the hardest to employ individuals; helping residents increase their financial stability and avoid predatory financial relationships; and creating a system of political inclusion where everyone feels heard and their opinions valued.  Learn from a panel of experts on some of the ways you can bring your communities together and create a city where everyone can take advantage of what your city has to offer.

Speaker: Victor Rubin, Vice President for Research, PolicyLink (Oakland, CA)

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Finding Common Ground: Promoting Civil Discourse on Divisive Issues

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In an ever more divisive national political landscape, cities are the place where people must still come together as a community. City leaders must engage with residents and each other in such a way that viewpoints can be shared and respected with the aim of finding common ground. This interactive session will open with a brief presentation on the fundamentals of mediation skills, finding common ground, and promoting civil discourse. It will be followed by moderated roundtables on specific current topics to allow city leaders of different viewpoints to share with and listen respectfully to each other with a goal of better understanding different dimensions of the issue.

Speaker: Stephanie Bell, Professor, Pepperdine University (Malibu, CA)

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Leadership Survival Skills

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Stepping up to the plate to serve in local government is no easy task, but there are strategies to simplify your life as a local leader while maintaining and even improving your effectiveness in the role. This session aims to help participants find an appropriate work-life balance through effective time-management and priority-setting techniques, develop supportive peer and mentor relationships, and handle stressful situations by staying focused on what’s best for the community.

10:30 AM - 12:05 PM

The Sharing Economy: Challenges and Opportunities in the Regulatory Environment

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The sharing economy is flourishing in cities nationwide and globally. As sharing economy companies (e.g. AirBnB, Uber, Lyft, etc.) continue their advancement into the urban arena, the regulatory environment is in flux with different communities approaching these new platforms in vastly different ways. This workshop will be a discussion on the challenges and opportunities of the sharing economy informed by those in the midst of shaping it and those researching it in real time. Learn about the economic benefits, current approaches that cities are taking, and regulatory challenges these industries may introduce.

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Strategies for Long-Term Fiscal Health

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City leaders are often faced with difficult choices between short-term needs and long-term fiscal health. Declining revenues and increased service demands and obligations make these decisions even harder to navigate. This session will explore trends in local fiscal conditions, provide insights from several cities about the challenges they faced, and highlight strategies to secure a sustainable future.

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Afterschool Successes: Small Cities Lead Local Innovation

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Young people spend 75-80% of their waking hours outside of school, creating an opportunity to engage youth in high-quality, hands-on learning activities. Play a critical role in your city’s afterschool efforts by promoting, supporting and understanding the importance and impact of high-quality afterschool programs. Your peers from small and rural communities will illustrate what they are doing to make a difference for their young citizens.

 

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Collaborative Service Delivery: Making a Private-Public Sector Partnership Work

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This workshop will introduce attendees to the concept of collaborative service delivery, a solution to the challenge of delivering more and better services to citizens with limited and declining resources. Using a combination of self-performance and contracting out allows leaders to shift their focus from government to governance – that is, from managing day-to-day issues to more broadly facilitating the community’s development. Following brief presentations from leading practitioners in this area including NLC’s corporate partner CH2M HILL, attendees will engage in a facilitated dialogue about creating the right environment for successful public-private collaboration for the delivery of city services.

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Driving Entrepreneurship in the Modern City Landscape

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One of a city’s most important objectives is to enable an environment that creates jobs, triggers economic growth and generates local revenue.  A key to success is creating value to start-ups and local entrepreneurs to feed the economic engine with new innovations and growth opportunities. This panel discussion includes subject matter experts and thought leaders from technology, civic investment and government entities, who will share their learning and best practices for building entrepreneurship into the core of a city’s platform.  Spend a few minutes in this session learning how to support local talent and innovation, create new citizen services, and grow tomorrow’s business leaders, employers and community members.

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Improving Community Planning with Technology

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Technology has transformative powers when it comes to how local officials build, govern, and lead their communities. Ranging from community planning to infrastructure management to economic development, technological innovation can introduce efficiencies and cost-savings for the city, its residents, and other vital stakeholders such as the business community. This workshop will feature a panel of speakers to discuss how they have employed various technology solutions and how the role of data is creating efficiencies and costs savings in community planning. They will discuss some of the challenges and lessons they have learned and what tangible benefits their residents have seen.

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Supporting Youth and Family Development Through Collaborative Leadership

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Collaboration across city agencies, with state or county governments, and with local non-profits or businesses is key to improving outcomes for children, youth and families. However, it’s not always simple to lead through collaboration. Using case studies of city-led endeavors, such as efforts to align early childhood education, build financial stability, or connect families to benefits, this workshop will highlight the effectiveness of collaborative leadership models, and will give participants ideas and concrete best practices for collaborative leadership.

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Lessons Learned from Municipal Bankruptcy

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Sometimes despite the best efforts of its local leaders, a city is faced with fiscal distress or even bankruptcy. Learn how to recognize when a crisis is coming, and know the key tools that are essential to addressing fiscal distress. This session will showcase elected leaders of very small to large cities that have successfully overcome severe fiscal distress and challenges. The presenters will share what worked, what did not, and what lessons they learned in the process.

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Making Cities Safer by Leveraging Public Safety Technology

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Cities across the country are embracing technology to improve public safety, increase law enforcement efficiency, and reduce costs. Some of the many available tools include GPS, data analytics, crowd sourcing, smart phone apps, gunshot monitoring, video surveillance, biometrics, and advanced communications systems. Learn about these various methods, see how they could be applied in your city, and find out what you need to know before incorporating and deploying new technologies to improve public safety.

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Deep Dive Session: Service Delivery and Data-Smart City Solutions, Part I

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Using data to track and manage the performance and cost of basic city services is a critical way that cities are striving to be more cost-efficient, transparent, and provide better customer service to residents.  In Part I of this deep dive session, participants will learn about local data-driven initiatives to managing service delivery costs and performance; explore key components of performance management systems; and share local practices that provide direction for the future.  Part II of the session will explore how cities can advance performance management programs to the next level through predictive analytics and new technologies designed to help local leaders make more data-driven decisions.

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Innovative, Affordable, and Mixed-Income Housing

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What is the role of the local government when it comes to affordable housing? At this workshop, local officials will get a solid summary of their responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act, and how HUD’s proposed rule to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing may grow those responsibilities. The workshop will also cover creative and successful affordable housing projects that reflect the specific character of various communities. Understand your responsibilities, identify stakeholders to help plan and construct affordable housing, and learn about affordable housing projects that worked well in other cities.

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Strategies for Fostering Healthy, Livable Cities: World Café

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In a rapidly changing world with increasing demands, it’s more important than ever to ensure your community offers great quality of life. Participants will explore topics related to creating healthy and livable cities in the areas of healthy food access, active living and the built environment to help them develop long-term, sustainable and holistic strategies that promote vibrant communities. This session will allow participants to engage in facilitated small group discussions with both topic experts and peers in local government through a series of 25 minute rotations.

 

Topics include:

  • Farm to School
  • Out of School Time Meal Programs
  • Edible Plants on Public Land
  • Urban Agriculture and Farmers Markets
  • Healthy City Hall (Let’s Move)
  • Connecting Your Community via Trails
  • Getting Kids Outside
  • Walking and Walkable Cities
  • Downtown Revitalization
  • Green Infrastructure
  • Energy Efficiency of Buildings
  • Affordable Housing
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Deep Dive Session: Service Delivery and Data-Smart City Solutions, Part II

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(Continued from Part I of the Deep Dive)  Using data to track and manage the performance and cost of basic city services is a critical way that cities are striving to be more cost-efficient, transparent, and provide better customer service to residents.  In Part I of this deep dive session, participants will learn about local data-driven initiatives to managing service delivery costs and performance; explore key components of performance management systems; and share local practices that provide direction for the future.  Part II of the session will explore how cities can advance performance management programs to the next level through predictive analytics and new technologies designed to help local leaders make more data-driven decisions.

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Promoting Financial Security with Technology

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Technology has revolutionized every aspect of business, including the ability for businesses to pay their employees electronically. Despite these advances, more than 67,000 working San Francisco households still get paid with paper checks, saddling workers and employers with extra costs, lost productivity, and higher risks. By updating to electronic pay solutions like direct deposit and pay cards, businesses can save money, empower lower-income workers, and reduce environmental impact. Hear what CurrenC SF, a program supported by NLC’s corporate partner Visa, is doing to help break the cycle of financial insecurity, and get resources to address income inequality in your city.

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Municipal Budget 101

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Municipal budgets look different today than they did before the recession.  To make ends meet, local officials may be asked to approve budgets that rest on financial transactions and assumptions that are beyond common understanding.  This workshop is for local officials who want to improve their financial literacy regarding municipal budgets, who are concerned about increased scrutiny of local budgets from Washington and Wall Street, and who want help evaluating budgeting practices.

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Police and Community Relations

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The events that occurred and continue to occur in Ferguson are not new.  This has happened in other cities and can happen in any community regardless of size or geographical location. What do you need to do to prevent it from happening in your community, what is your role as an elected official if it does occur in your community.  What can you do as a leader to avoid this type of crisis in your community?

Saturday, November 22nd

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Deep Dive Session: Big Ideas for Supporting Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs, Part I

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With the majority of net new job creation coming from small and young businesses, many cities and local leaders are taking a fresh look at how they support entrepreneurship and small businesses. Part I of this deep dive session will explore strategies to make your city more business friendly. Part II will feature discussion around three innovative tools for supporting start-ups: microlending financing, incubators, and innovation districts. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of their role in supporting the small business ecosystem, and will take home concrete examples from other cities that can be adapted to their communities.

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Climate Impacts on Water, Part I: Too Much Water

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A changing climate may have a tremendous impact on water quality and water availability in cities. This first part of a two part series will look at impacts and solutions for communities facing “too much water” due to sea level rise, higher storm surges, and heavy rainfall events that lead to increased flooding. This session will give an overview of the potential impacts to infrastructure and other systems, and will explain how solutions such as green infrastructure techniques can address stormwater and flooding. Attendees will hear from a panel including communities that are on the front lines and have adopted innovative solutions and programs.

Moderator: Eugene Anderson, Director of Market Development, United Water

Speakers:
Roy Buol, Mayor, City of Dubuque, Iowa
Cindy Lerner, Mayor, Village of Pinecrest, Florida

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Bond Financing for Small and Mid-Size Cities

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Despite their importance to cities and towns, federal and state intergovernmental grants to local governments are shrinking and becoming more competitive. This session is for small and mid-sized cities looking for alternatives to the federal and state grant process to fund local priority projects. New local officials, or local officials new to the bond market, will benefit most from this session.

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Community Branding and Marketing

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Businesses, tourists, and residents have many options for where they choose to live, work, and play. Rise above the competition to attract more economic growth to your community. Get inside the site selection process, hear tips and best practices on how to develop strategic marketing and community branding, and learn your role as an elected leader in this process.

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Innovative Funding Models to Prevent Crime and Build Youth Opportunities

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As crime rates drop and evidence-based sentencing reform occurs across the country, state and local expenditures on expensive detention and incarceration facilities for young people is declining. In order to maintain the momentum toward safer communities, cities should claim these savings and use them to support positive youth development opportunities that have been proven to increase public safety and improve outcomes for youth. This workshop will introduce cities to the successes and failures of recently-developed funding models and support their development of a funding scheme that will work to improve outcomes for youth and reduce crime.

9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Blueprint for a Great (Small) City

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"We're just a small city" should never be an excuse that keeps you from doing great things. In this workshop, you'll get the tools and inspiration to "think big" in terms of what you can do for the children, youth, and families in your community. What's your role in creating great neighborhoods, making your city safe for all, and ensuring quality education? Go through a comprehensive blueprint to set your small city up for success, and everything else will fall into place.

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Sharing the Road: Options for Transportation Alternatives

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Cities that offer a variety of transportation options to their residents reap many benefits, including the creation of healthy and prosperous communities, equity, and community resiliency.  Learn new ideas for inexpensive options to expand walking, cycling, and public transit opportunities.  Attendees will also hear lessons from other cities and how to identify resources.

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Harnessing the Strength of Millennials and Boomers in Your Community

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The Millennial (born approximately 1983-2001) and Baby Boomer (born 1946-1964) generations are behind much of the present urbanization trend in America. These populations are looking for many of the same amenities in their neighborhoods and bring a wealth of energy and expertise, along with a drive to have a voice in decision-making. This workshop will introduce city leaders to the shared characteristics of these populations and explore the means to welcome, connect with, engage and perhaps recruit the talents of these members of your communities.

Speaker: John Marron, AICP, Policy Analyst at Indiana University Public Policy Institute (Indianapolis, IN)

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Deep Dive Session: Big Ideas for Supporting Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs, Part II

Date: , Track:

(Continued from Part I of the Deep Dive) With the majority of net new job creation coming from small and young businesses, many cities and local leaders are taking a fresh look at how they support entrepreneurship and small businesses. Part I of this deep dive session will explore strategies to make your city more business friendly. Part II will feature discussion around three innovative tools for supporting start-ups: microlending financing, incubators, and innovation districts. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of their role in supporting the small business ecosystem, and will take home concrete examples from other cities that can be adapted to their communities.

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Climate Impacts on Water, Part II: Too Little Water

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A changing climate may have a tremendous impact on water quality and water availability in cities. This second part of a two part series will look at impacts and solutions for communities facing “too little water” from extreme drought due to melting/decreased snow packs and rising temperatures. The session will give an overview of the potential impacts, and will explain how solutions such as water conservation and water reuse will help protect availability. Attendees will hear from a panel including communities that are on the front lines and have adopted innovative solutions and programs.

Moderator: David Brown, Regional Climate Services Director, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Fort Worth, Texas

Speakers:
Darron Leiker, City Manager, City of Wichita Falls, Texas
Adrienne Moore, City Manager, City of Willits, California
Karen Weitkunat, Mayor, City of Fort Collins, Colorado

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Financing Main Street Revitalization

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Your downtown has the potential to be the cultural and economic heart of your community. Learn how to finance the revitalization of main streets and downtown districts into areas ripe for office, residential, entertainment, retail, and arts activity. City leaders and development experts will discuss financing tools, such as tax increment financing and public private partnerships.

 

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Finding Your Finish Line: Overcoming Obstacles

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What’s holding you back from reaching your goals? Whether you’re held back by insecurity or lack of support, your finish line is still within reach. Hear from amputee, former police officer, attorney, and athlete Richard Chris Madison, whose inspiring and fascinating life stories will motivate you to get going toward your own finish line! Madison will give you applicable techniques and tools that you can use to reach any professional or personal goal. Madison’s entertaining take on his challenges will give you a fresh perspective on your own capabilities, and you’ll leave the workshop ready to put your dreams in action.