ESCONDIDO — The city of Escondido is joining the National League of Cities, an advocacy group that supports thousands of communities across the country.
City, town and village leaders from more than 2,400 municipalities nationwide make up the non-partisan organization, which focuses on improving the overall quality of life for its more than 200 million constituents. The league provides leaders education, research, training and idea sharing.
Escondido is already a member of the San Diego County Division of the League of California Cities (also known as Cal Cities), a similar advocacy group that focuses on expanding and protecting local control for cities while also enhancing quality of life. Cal Cities works as a partner to the National League of Cities.
Councilmember Joe Garcia pitched the idea to join the national organization, inspired to do so after attending a few Cal Cities conferences and learning about the potential access to grants and other benefits from beyond the state.
“I began to realize that as funds were being approved by the federal government, I believe it would be a great idea to participate in the National League of Cities because we would be at the front end of these (federal) grants and information as Cal Cities provides for the state,” Garcia said.
Other council members agreed with Garcia about joining.
“I think this is a great idea, Joe,” Mayor Paul McNamara said.
Councilmember Consuelo Martinez noted she had asked for more city funding to go toward the city’s conference and training during previous budget discussions.
“I think it’s an investment in our city that we will be able to learn and have the time to commit to bring back that information,” Martinez said.
Joining the National League of Cities will cost the city $12,000. City Manager Sean McGlynn said staff would work the rest of this year on setting up the city’s membership and start planning to attend conferences and workshops next year.