The city of Camden and Mayor Alfred Mae Drakeford will host mayors, council members and other municipal leaders from across the country when the National League of Cities (NLC) convenes its annual three-day Small Cities Council meeting here July 10-13.
According to a press release from the city, the prestigious Small Cities Council connects municipal officials with populatioans under 50,000 with similar characteristics. Members share best practices with peers from around the country, generating policy ideas and creative solutions to the unique challenges facing small communities.
Appointed last year to serve as chair of the NLC’s Small Cities Council, Drakeford said the entire nation benefits when local officials share their successes.
“We are especially honored to have been selected to host the 2019 Small Cities Council meeting,” she said in the press release. “This meeting provides city leaders from across the nation a place to convene and collaborate on very important growth and quality of life matters.
“While we seek to maintain our historical heritage, collaborating with other small cities can help us stay tuned-in to the newest ideas and programs for making our city the best it can be for future generations.”
During the week, small city leaders will visit and observe Camden’s best practices in a variety of areas, including infrastructure, economic development, future workforce preparation, public/private investment, and community partnerships.
Local, state and federal officials will be on hand for Camden case study presentations. They will also lead or join in various tours and collaborative workshops while engaging with representatives from small cities as diverse as Laramie, Wy.; Independence, Minn.; Lake Worth, Fla.; and State College, Pa., among others.
“In addition to a variety of work sessions, our guests will have plenty of time to explore our city and experience our classically Carolina hospitality,” Drakeford added. “As host, Camden has the opportunity to demonstrate our ingenuity, our practicality, and the pride we have for the city we love.”
This is the first time a South Carolina city has hosted a Small Cities Council meeting, typically held in July -- National Small Cities Month. The theme for Camden’s program is #LoveMyCity.