Indiana Mayors to Attend National Conference

WASHINGTON (WOWO): Seven Indiana mayors travel to Washington on Wednesday for the U-S Conference of Mayors‘ winter meeting.

Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson is among the speakers at the three-day conference. She‘ll be part of a panel on community policing. She says when police are active with the community all along, there‘s more mutual understanding of what officers do in emergencies. Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard will also take the stage at the conference. Ballard co-chairs the mayors‘ Water Council, and is part of the conference‘s Professional Sports Alliance. Brainard co-chairs a task force on energy independence and climate change.

Brainard notes it‘s the federal government that has to set and implement policy affecting climate, but says the combined voices of hundreds of mayors can help shape the Washington debate. He and Freeman-Wilson both say the chance to buttonhole federal officials one-on-one is a key part of what makes the meeting valuable. Six Cabinet secretaries will be speaking at the conference, and the mayors will have a White House meeting with President Obama.

Also attending the conference are Mayors Mark Myers of Greenwood, Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Thomas McDermott of Hammond and Jeff Gahan of New Albany.