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Drakeford, Parks appointed to NLC committees, councils

Posted: May 26, 2015 4:34 p.m.
Updated: May 27, 2015 1:00 a.m.

Camden City Councilwoman Laurie Parks

Camden City Councilwomen Alfred Mae Drakeford and Laurie Parks were recently appointed to National League of Cities (NLC) committees and councils.

The NLC recently appointed Drakeford to its 2015 Human Development Steering Committee (HDSC) and Small Cities Council (SCC). She will play a key role in shaping the NLC’s policy positions and advocate on behalf of all cities and towns before congress and locally.

The NLC selected Parks to serve as a member of its 2015 Community and Economic Development Steering Committee (CEDSC) and Council on Youth, Education and Families (YEF). As an active participant, Parks will further the NLC’s positions to benefit all cities and towns, including Camden and serve as an advocate at all levels of governments.

The HDSC, on which Drakeford will serve, has the lead responsibility for development NLC federal policy positions on issues involving social services, children and learning, poverty and income support, employment and workforce development, mental health parity and immigration reform.

By serving on the SCC, Drakeford will also work with the NLC to insure small cities are a part of any legislative/advocacy agenda items. The SCC is made up of elected or appointed officials from communities less than 50,000 in population. The SCC works to create visibility for small cities and to ensure the interests of these communities are reflected in NLC’s policies and programs; and also provides a forum for sharing ideas and best practices among smaller communities and serves as NLC’s voice for small cities. Issues covered by the council include economic development, transportation and funding, sustainability, education, immigration, housing and neighborhood concerns. 

“Both committees are vital to NLC and also very important to small cities since small cities make up 78 percent of the membership,” Drakeford said. “Serving as the only committee member from South Carolina, it is important to have a seat at the table to represent not only the city but the state.”

Drakeford will use her position to make sure the voice of all cities and towns, including Camden, will be heard at all levels of government.

The CEDSC, on which Parks will serve, has the lead responsibility for developing NLC federal policy positions on issues involving housing, community and economic development, land use, recreation and parks, history preservation, and international competitiveness.

“I want to be able to take advantage of Camden’s unique assets to promote growth while retaining the historic charm that visitors and locals relish,” Parks said. “Using my appointment through NLC, we will be able to tap into resources and networking opportunities with other elected officials from across the country who have successfully coordinated public policy and a locally based vision for economic development.”

Through her appointment to the Council on YEF, Parks will help oversee the work of NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education and Families. Covered issues include early childhood development and education, health and wellness, afterschool programming, youth violence prevention and family economic success. The YEF institute provides practical help and advice to mayors and other city leaders as they seek to address the needs of children, youth and families in their communities.

“(YEF) is unlike other NLC committees because it is composed of not only elected officials, but also youth members and representatives from major national organizations concerned about children, youth and families,” Parks said. “I believe that this appointment, as well as my continued involvement with Junior Leadership of Kershaw County, will help us implement new programs for youth and families in our community. I am hoping that we can replicate some of the success stories that other cities boast of.”


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