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Franklin County Hosts NACo's Large Urban County Caucus

Monday, June 17, 2013
Contact: Hanna M. Greer, Franklin County Commissioners, 614/525-5848
Jim Phillips, NACo, 202/942-4220
Scott Peacock, Experience Columbus, 614/222-6104

Leaders from the nation’s largest counties will meet this week in Franklin County to explore innovations in economic and workforce development, education and human services delivery, and fighting poverty in urban communities during the National Association of Counties (NACo) 2013 Large Urban County Caucus Annual Meeting, June 19-21, at the Hilton Columbus Downtown Hotel.

NACo’s Large Urban County Caucus (LUCC) is a bipartisan coalition of 1,000 elected county executives and officials from the nation’s most populous metropolitan counties. LUCC identifies challenges, provides input in developing national solutions and implements programs that assist metropolitan communities nationwide.

The 2013 LUCC Annual Meeting will be led by LUCC Chair Helen Holton, council member, Baltimore City, Md., and hosted by Franklin County Board of Commissioners President John O’Grady, a member of LUCC’s Steering Committee.

“Jobs, economic development and human services delivery are among the most important challenges facing our metropolitan counties,” Holton said. “On behalf of LUCC, we are delighted to explore these issues in detail and learn first-hand how Franklin County is successfully addressing them.”

This year’s annual conference gives county leaders from across the country an opportunity to come together, network, and discuss the unique challenges that face large urban communities.

“We’re so pleased to welcome our LUCC colleagues to Franklin County,” said John O’Grady, President of the Franklin County Commissioners. “During the conference tours, participants will see how rhetoric turns into action, as we explore the results of our economic development efforts - including a visit to the Scioto Mile, the Lincoln Theatre, and the # 1 Zoo in America, our Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Attendees will also have the opportunity to view firsthand how local social service agencies like LifeCare Alliance and the MidOhio Foodbank play a vital role in serving the Franklin County community.”

With special focus on Franklin County successes, panel discussions will include: Investing in Dynamic Urban Redevelopment; Collaborative Regional Economic Development and Public- Private Partnerships that Work; Paying It Forward: Innovations in Education and the Fight Against Poverty, and the Importance of Tax Exempt Municipal Bonds to Counties.

Informational tours are planned as well around Franklin County, including:
  • Tour of the 145-acre Scioto Mile parkland in the heart of Columbus as an example of public-private partnerships resulting in successful downtown economic development
  • Tour of the Franklin Park Conservatory, LifeCare Alliance and MidOhio Foodbank as examples of improving the community through human service investments.
  • Tour of Columbus Zoo and Aquarium as an example of regional cooperation and publicprivate partnership resulting in successful economic development and tourism.
Commissioner Paula Brooks, a LUCC steering committee member, serves as Chair of the International Economic Development Task Force for NACo. “As the 30th largest county in the US, and the 7th strongest regional economy in the nation, I look forward to showcasing our county’s many assets. From our crown jewel of the “creative economy,” the Lincoln Theatre, to the home plate of our award winning Huntington Ballpark, we have a lot to be proud of,” said Commissioner Brooks. “As a result of focused community investments, today, Franklin County, Ohio, rates as: the number one area for working moms, the second safest area for families with young children, the third best for tech jobs, and one of the top five places with good jobs and cheap housing in our nation.”

“Having the opportunity to host this national conference is a major win for Franklin County,” said Commissioner Marilyn Brown. “Franklin County is excited to host this important meeting, showcasing economic development across our region and how we’ve developed innovative approaches to assist the most vulnerable residents in our community.”

“We are very excited to be showing off the best of Franklin County to the members of LUCC, as they are some of the leading voices in the National Association of County Official (NACo) which Columbus is proud to be hosting in 2017,” said Brian Ross, president and CEO of Experience Columbus. “The attendees of LUCC will be getting a sneak preview of all the great assets our community has now and will have by 2017 when we welcome the entire 3,000 members of NACo to our city.”

Click here to review the full meeting agenda.
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For more information on the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, log on to: www.FranklinCountyOhio.gov/Commissioners.

The National Association of Counties (NACo) is the only national organization that represents county governments in the United States. Founded in 1935, NACo provides essential services to the nation’s 3,069 counties. NACo advances issues with a unified voice before the federal government, improves the public's understanding of county government, assists counties in finding and sharing innovative solutions through education and research, and provides value-added services to save counties and taxpayers money. For more information about NACo, visit www.naco.org.

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