DESOTO—As the federal government shutdown reached day 35, more than 100 mayors from across the country descend on Washington. Representing the All-American City of DeSoto, Texas is Mayor Curtistene McCowan.
“This is my third year coming to this conference and each year I have learned so much,” said Mayor McCowan. “In every session, workshop or even one on one lunch you are going to pick up some things to bring back to your own city.”
The three-day conference was held January 23-25 at the Capital Hilton and brought together officials, members of Congress, as well as business and community leaders to explore innovative solutions to the issues facing American cities.
“No matter what job you have, we all need to refresh. [We all need] to hear and talk to other leaders, to see what they are doing in their cities,” McCowan adds. “It also helps me confirm that some of the things that we are currently doing are best practices.”
One such confirmation was the recent opening of the DeSoto Business Incubator. In June the refurbished 26,000-square-feet former Westlake Ace Hardware Store afforded local business owners commercial space and support to sell their wares and develop their businesses.
“We know that the background of any community are small businesses,” she said. “With the Incubator we are investing in entrepreneurial development. We are getting these business owners out of their homes and garages etc. It’s all a part of learning that you can do to move your community forward.”
With more than 85 percent of Americans living in U.S. metropolitan areas, mayors are on the front-lines of today’s challenges and have consistently called on Washington to draw on mayoral expertise. During the Meeting, mayors from both sides of the aisle, from cities rural, urban and suburban, held sessions on a range of priorities, including infrastructure, immigration, border security, opportunity zones, climate, automation and the economic future of cities.