Home  |   About us  |   Partner with AWC  |   Login      

Training & Education


All events are held at the Hotel RL Olympia unless otherwise noted.

Schedule subject to change.

January 24

7 am – 6:30 pm

AWC Registration Kiosk open

7:30 – 9 am

New Officials Breakfast (by invitation only)
Join Peter King, AWC CEO and Pat Johnson, AWC President and Mayor, Buckley for a welcome breakfast exclusively for newly-elected officials. Click here for the agenda.

8 – 9 am

Advocacy Academy
As an elected official, it is your job to make sure legislators know what your city needs. Understand how to navigate the state legislative process, get tips on information and tools that are available to you from AWC, and learn how you can make a difference at the state level.

9 – 9:30 am

Attendee networking time
After you check in at registration, stop by the hotel’s lounge area for a continental breakfast and network with your colleagues before the program begins at 9:30 am.

9:30 – 10:30 am
General session

Opening session
Continental breakfast included
The key to growing strong cities and towns in Washington starts with addressing housing shortages and affordability, helping individuals with mental health and drug addiction issues, and providing tools to enhance local economic vitality. Learn about AWC’s legislative priorities for the 2018 session, hear what issues are on the horizon for this “short” session, and receive key messages to share with your legislators.

10:30 – 11:30 am
General session

A conversation with city partners
Little of consequence gets accomplished in Olympia without working with and understanding the priorities and perspectives of other key interests. Hear an interactive panel discussion with important partners who can help our cities thrive.

11:30 am – Noon

Networking lunch

Attendees must be seated by 11:20 am in order to receive lunch. Once Attorney General Ferguson enters the ballroom, lunch will not be served.

Noon – 12:30 pm

Keynote address – Attorney General Bob Ferguson
AWC welcomes Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson to talk with city leaders about legal and legislative issues that impact communities across the state. Hear the Attorney General’s strategies to combat the opioid epidemic and how cities can work most effectively with the Attorney General's Office to advance city priorities.

12:30 – 1 pm
General session

Public records champions
2017 was a big year for public records with the passage of two AWC priority bills. These bills update the Public Records Act (PRA) to address challenges that cities face in complying with the increasing complexity and volume of records requests. Be present as we congratulate Reps. Joan McBride and Terry Nealey, public records prime sponsors and City Champion Award winners. Hear about what new legislation means for cities, and what may be on the horizon.

1 – 1:30 pm
General session

Conversations with legislative leaders from the four corners
Leaders from the four corners of the Legislature address cities about what’s on the table during the 2018 legislative session. Understand the changing landscape and how the 2017 election affected the outlook.

1:30 – 1:50 pm
General session

Discussion with legislators with city experiences
Having people in-the-know inside the caucuses can help other legislators understand city needs and perspectives. Hear from two legislators – one who has been in both the House and Senate and another new to this process.

1:50 – 2:15 pm

Transition break

2:15 – 3:15 pm
General session

Talk to your AWC lobbyists
This “straight-talk” session provides an opportunity for you to ask AWC’s lobby team questions about the myriad of issues important to cities.

3:25 – 4:05 pm
Concurrent session


New broadband technology is coming. Are you prepared?
Every community wants a faster cellular network – it’s good for residents, businesses, government operations, and the economy. Cities recognize that new wireless technology and facilities are coming. It is critical that local governments are not impeded in their ability to balance community interests with the desire for more advanced communications services. Learn about telecommunications industry-sponsored legislation and why it is critical future legislation does not preempt city authority. In addition, you will learn about efforts to help bring broadband to underserved areas.

Update on the Ruckelshaus Center’s “Roadmap to the Future”
The Legislature has provided funding to the William D. Ruckelshaus Center to design a “Road Map to Washington's Future.” They directed the Center to engage city elected officials and others to articulate a vision of Washington's desired future and identify additions, revisions, or clarifications to the growth management framework (GMA, SEPA, governance and more) needed to reach that future. Learn how you can engage in and influence this process, including for those interested, an opportunity to attend an early afternoon public workshop the following day at the Hotel RL.

4:05 – 4:15 pm


4:15 – 5 pm
Concurrent session


Washington Voting Rights Act
Bills are in play that could change whether your city council elections take place citywide or are divided by voting district. Understand how these bills could impact your city.

Housing, homelessness, and human services
A 2018 legislative priority is to strengthen city tools to address housing conditions in our communities and direct funds to mental health, chemical dependency, and social safety net programs. Learn from your peers about innovative approaches some cities are taking on these issues, AWC’s “asks” of the Legislature, and how your stories from home can make a difference.

Strengthening city-military collaboration
Across the state, military installations play a critical role in the life of many cities. The opportunities presented are matched by unique challenges. In addition, many military personnel exit the military from these installations and make our communities home for them and their families. How can Washington's cities best partner with and support military installations? How can cities best prepare themselves to holistically meet the needs of Veterans, exiting military personnel, and their families? Join this meeting to explore the potential for addressing these questions and others as part of the newly proposed Military Communities Committee within AWC.

5:30 – 7 pm

Legislative Reception
Light appetizers and drinks provided; Dinner on your own.
This popular legislative reception provides an opportunity to network with legislators, cabinet members, and fellow local officials. Remember to personally invite your legislators and consider connecting with them afterwards for dinner and discussion.

January 25

6:30 – 11:30 am

AWC Registration Kiosk open

7 – 8:30 am

Networking breakfast
Conference attendees are welcome to invite legislators to this networking breakfast.

7:30 – 8:30 am
Repeat session, different speakers

Advocacy Academy
As an elected official, it is your job to make sure legislators know what your city needs. Understand how to navigate the state legislative process, get tips on information and tools that are available to you from AWC, and learn how you can make a difference at the state level.

9 – 9:45 am
General session

Tune in to state officials
State offices or agencies can help or hinder what your city is trying to accomplish. This session brings key state officials in to provide valuable insight to city leaders. Learn how to best engage in order to help move your city’s priorities forward.

9:45 – 10 am


10 – 11 am
Concurrent sessions

Changes to city business licensing
Legislation passed in 2017 requires cities to complete a model business license minimum threshold by July 2018. Learn about the work of AWC’s task force and what you need to know about deadlines and implementation.

Economic development tools that foster business development
AWC supports expansion of current programs and funding, such as the Public Works Trust Fund, and will engage key legislators and stakeholders to identify tools that can help foster vital economies in all corners of our state. Get the scoop on the outlook for economic development legislation and hear from city leaders on their successes in incentivizing economic development.

Local energy innovations – News from Washington cities
Join city, county, and non-profit leaders to learn more about how to advance renewable energy and share resources around climate-related actions at the local level.

An update on federal issues
Cities rely on federal funding to build infrastructure, support economic development, deliver human services, and ensure public safety. Federal fiscal policies should enhance the ability of local elected officials to respond to needs at the local level. Learn how AWC works in partnership with the National League of Cities (NLC) on your behalf to advocate for strong cities in the “other” Washington.

11 am – Noon
Noon – 1 pm

Capitol Campus guided tour
Two one-hour tours of the Washington State Legislative Building have been arranged for AWC attendees and guests. Tours are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Group size is limited to 20 people per tour time. Look for a sign-up sheet at the AWC Registration Kiosk.

11:30 am – 2 pm
Limited seating

Lunch provided

Road Map to Washington’s Future – What is our vision for the future and how do we get there?
This workshop will engage city elected officials in conversations about the desired future for Washington and its communities and ways to improve our framework of state laws, institutions and policies to move toward that future. Staff from the William D. Ruckelshaus Center will facilitate group discussions on such questions as: what parts of the current growth planning framework work well and why? Which do not and why? What do you see as the major issues that would need to be addressed to achieve a desired future? How might these issues be addressed? Are there processes, statutory changes, etc. that you recommend to better address those issues?

11:30 am – 4 pm
Limited seating

Separate registration is required

Lunch provided

Running great meetings using parliamentary procedure
As city elected officials, your active participation at council meetings is critical. Learn parliamentary procedure with tips and insights to create great meetings. Get a solid foundation for success in your principal job: discussing and deciding the key issues for your community.