Smith: National mayoral presidency will help build relationships with federal officials - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Voices

Smith: National mayoral presidency will help build relationships with federal officials

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Scott Smith was first elected Mayor of Mesa, Arizona’s third largest city and and the 38th largest in America, in 2008. He was re-elected (unopposed) to a second term in 2012, and was sworn in as President of the United States Conference of Mayors in June 2013.

Posted: Monday, July 1, 2013 4:57 am | Updated: 9:31 pm, Tue Jul 2, 2013.

Recently, I was privileged to assume the office of president of the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM). USCM is a non-partisan organization that brings together the mayors of America’s larger cities.

Mayors from every state meet to discuss and work on issues that impact cities and their residents. The mayors work together through the USCM to have a unified voice in Washington, D.C. As the first Arizona mayor to lead the organization, I am excited for the opportunities I believe this position can bring to Mesa and the state of Arizona.

It is an honor for me to take on this role for the coming year, and I will work hard to elevate the profile of both Mesa and Arizona. When I first came in to office as mayor, I never envisioned I would be in a position to directly participate on a national level in issues that would affect Mesa and Arizona. I also did not anticipate being able to direct the attention of national leaders that helped to create opportunities in our hometown. I believe my participation in USCM activities has already played a role in highlighting Mesa.

For example, a few months ago, I met with White House and Department of Commerce officials in Washington to discuss how mayors could help to create new manufacturing opportunities. From that meeting, acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank visited the new Able Engineering facility in Mesa. Ms. Blank identified Able and Mesa as examples of how a region could successfully attract investment in high-level manufacturing and high wage jobs.

Arizona has a special interest in national issues such as immigration, federal mandates, cyber security, and expanding trade in the Americas. Through my position, I will work diligently to see that Arizona’s unique perspective will be heard and our interests advanced. Mesa and Arizona can use all of the good national attention we can get, and I will do whatever I can to make sure that happens.

Through USCM, I have been able to build relationships with federal agencies and elected officials that are involved in projects and policies that directly impact Mesa. I hope to expand on those relationships and accentuate the innovative and successful efforts in both Mesa and Arizona.

My presidency of USCM will last only one year, but I plan on making the most of that time by focusing on issues that matter to our residents while showcasing what Arizona has to offer when it comes to business opportunities, job creation, education and tourism. Mesa is a New American City that is recognized as a leader in building the new American economy. As I interact with mayors from across the country and federal officials, I also hope to learn about their successes, and emulate them in Mesa where at all possible. My goal has always been focused on Building a Better Mesa, and I will use this opportunity as president of USCM to help further that objective.

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