Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker has been chosen to lead the National League of Cities. Becker will assume the role of NLC President, this Saturday during the 2014 Congress of Cities in Austin, Texas.
The 19,000-member National League of Cities advocates on behalf of local governments and links federal dollars to local projects. At this year’s conference, Becker will present his goals for the next year—which include new programs to connect kids with the outdoors.
“As I go around and visit with kids in classrooms throughout Salt Lake City I almost always ask, how many of you have been up in the mountains,” Becker says. “And particularly in our schools that represent the poor income portions of our community, very few hands go up and I just think, what a lost opportunity.”
Becker says his past work as first and second vice president of NLC has already benefited Salt Lake City.
“We are viewed now as a leading city in the country and I think some of that comes from the exposure I’ve had participating in national panels, participating in forums with other mayors and leaders across the country,” Becker says.
Becker says the NLC is also mobilizing to convince congress to pass the Marketplace Fairness Act which is a bipartisan bill that would allow states to collect sales and use tax from all online purchases.