Thursday, July 25, 2013

Policy Committees: Ready, Steady, Go!

Intro to the League's 1970 legislative agenda
A robust League tradition, member-driven policy committees, kicks off for the hundredth year this week. And we're not even tired yet!

We look to our statewide membership to direct the agenda for our legislative efforts by way of these policy committees. (View the latest City Policies document here) It's something that distinguishes us from some other organizations, and has been a standard practice since the League's inception.

In fact, a legislation committee is called for in the very first League constitution, drafted August 21, 1913 in the reception room of then-Mayor of Minneapolis, W.G. Nye. The legislation committee of 1913 would be composed of three members, and two ex officio seats would be held by the board president and League secretary.

The next year, the number of members was quickly expanded to 13 to accommodate the demanding task.

Now, more than 150 city officials will participate either in person or via GoTo Meeting online.

In addition to composition, the process has also been revised several times since 1913. Committees of the past have met in the spring and presented their priorities before the membership body at the Annual Conference for review and revision (a raucous and time-consuming process at times).

These days, policy committees meet over the late summer months, put their work before the board and the full membership for a comment period, and then bring these policies to the board for final approval. Then these carefully crafted messages are sent off with our intergovernmental relations staff into the fray known as the legislative session.

These working groups, firmly woven into the League's fiber, continue to be a shining opportunity for members to get involved and improve the landscape for city officials and the residents they serve.

Ready? Steady? Go!

Email or call (651) 281-1256 for more information about getting involved in a committee.

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