League of AZ Cities
Have you ever heard of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns? This entity was formed in 1937, when there were only 190,000 residents in the state. The league is a voluntary membership organization that exists to provide vital services and tools to its members, focusing principally on representing the interests of Arizona's 91 cities and towns before the Legislature: and secondarily on providing technical and legal assistance, coordinating shared services, and producing high-quality conferences and trainings.
This past week Winslow, Holbrook, Snowflake, Pinetop, Flagstaff, Page, Sedona, Verde Valley and more in Northern Arizona, have participated in the annual League event in Glendale. Twenty cities and towns have played host to the League Annual Conference. From its humble beginnings, the League conference has grown to the largest municipal event of the year in Arizona – drawing more than 1,000 delegates and guests each year. Because of its size, the only facilities capable of hosting the Annual Conference are in Tucson and the Phoenix area.
One of the most popular activities is the Showcase of Cities and Towns, where communities spotlight their history, programs, or activities for conference attendees. There is also an array of sessions you can join, to learn about things which matter most to your community.
Some of the conversations this year included short term rentals, mental health, and civil discourse. These gatherings not only bring updated information about state policies, but also provide an opportunity to meet and engage with other cities across the state. Collaboration with other communities is imperative for our towns to prosper. We can learn so much from one another, leverage our mutual assets, combine regional interests, and more.
The AZ League of Cities not only facilitates these interactions, but during events like the one last week, allows for Mayors and Council from just about all the Cities around the State, to meet and discuss and exchange ideas: all a vital component to economic growth in communities both rural and urban. I know Mayor Cano was present, as were our local councilwomen and some staff. Holbrook’s newly elected Mayor Smith was also on hand to grow her list of contacts for potential educational opportunities and collaborative partnerships. These conferences offer long days, with little to no time to follow up on obligations; I encourage you to thank your participating elected officials and staff, for going above and beyond to ensure your community is set on a path for success.