Elected officials from across the country will converge on Seattle Wednesday for the four-day Congress of Cities, the annual convention for the National League of Cities. Mayor Mike McGinn will address the opening session. No word yet on celebrity mayors — New York Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio or outgoing Newark Mayor (soon to be New Jersey Senator) Cory Booker, or, perhaps, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, fresh off his admission that he smoked crack during a drunken stupor.
“That would be AMAZING,” said City Council staffer Dan Nolte, “but I’ve been on twice weekly conference calls for the last three months regarding this conference, and had he RSVP’d, I’d know about it.”
The city of Seattle will host a reception Wednesday night at Benaroya Hall and a closing night gala at the EMP. In between, hundreds of city officials will explore Seattle, on their own or on locally sponsored mobile tours that will take groups of 50 delegates to areas including Columbia City, to learn about neighborhood revitalization with Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, a recycling facility in SoDo that’s helping Seattle reach its zero waste goal with Councilmember Jean Godden, a tour of the Microsoft campus (making your city safer using the power of big data) with Redmond City Council members and, for energy wonks, how the city improved safety and reduced energy costs by installing LED lights, with Councilmember Mike O’Brien.