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City officials take to Olympia, call on Legislature to support city priorities

OLYMPIA – Approximately 370 city officials are gathering in Olympia on Wednesday and Thursday for the Association of Washington Cities’ (AWC) annual City Action Days conference. City officials will engage with legislators about city priority issues and ask that they maintain support of critical city revenues and programs.

“We are here to help legislators and the Governor recognize that our state’s success depends on the success of cities and towns,” said AWC President Jim Restucci, Mayor of Sunnyside. “Cities are where the majority of the state’s residents live and where revenues are raised.”

Conference attendees, which include mayors, councilmembers and other appointed officials from Washington’s 281 cities and towns, are asking state policymakers to support these five city priorities:

  • Public records: Modernize the Public Records Act so that cities can continue to provide open and transparent government services to our residents.
  • Homelessness, housing & human services: Enhance efforts to increase affordable housing, decrease homelessness, and improve a strained behavioral health system.
  • Local infrastructure: Revitalize key infrastructure assistance programs that support job creation, health and safety, and quality of life.
  • Local authority: Respect city authority to respond to local needs.
  • City-state partnership: Maintain critical funding of key services and programs.

All conference general sessions will take place at the Hotel RL Olympia by Red Lion (Wednesday) and in a tent on the Capitol Campus (Thursday). Conference general sessions include:

Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at Hotel RL Olympia

Opening session
11:15 am – noon

Address by Governor Jay Inslee
12 – 12:30 pm

Budget ideas and implications
12:50 – 1:30 pm

It’s about more than McCleary – Perspectives of key partners working to help cities thrive
1:30 – 2:30 pm

Thursday, February 16, 2017 at tent on Capitol Campus

Conversations with key leadership and policy legislators
8:30 – 10 am

The complete schedule is available on the AWC website.

AWC serves its members through advocacy, education and services. Founded in 1933, AWC is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan corporation that represents Washington's cities and towns before the state legislature, the state executive branch, and with regulatory agencies. Membership is voluntary, yet AWC consistently maintains 100 percent participation from Washington’s 281 cities and towns.

AWC also provides training, data and research, and Member Pooling Programs such as the AWC Employee Benefit Trust, AWC Risk Management Service Agency, AWC Workers’ Comp Retro, and the AWC Drug and Alcohol Consortium.

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Members of the media are invited to attend conference general sessions on Wednesday and Thursday. However, due to space constraints, breakout sessions are reserved for paying conference attendees. The evening reception is for conference attendees and invited guests.

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