Partners in Governance Conference: A Deeper Dive Into Local Government

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Ramona Huckstep
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Partners -- we all need them. Partners can provide input and suggestions, give us a more united voice, and support us as we work through challenges. That is one of the overarching themes of the Partners in Governance Conference, held each spring on the University of Missouri campus in Columbia.

April 17, 2019, will be the fifth annual Partners in Governance Conference where local leaders from across Missouri will gather for a one-day conference. This year will focus on best management practices to bridge resources to strengthen community safety. The theme invites local leaders who represent cities, school, counties and other local, state and federal partners to “Build Bridges to a Safer Community.”

Tornados, earthquakes, shootings, drug overdoses, floods. These are just a few of the situations that local, state and federal governments and organizations must be prepared for in their community and in their state. The goal of this conference is to share, discuss and learn ways that local groups work together and to grow that partnership. Following the Scout Motto of “always be prepared” these local government entities can learn from each other and be as prepared as possible for whatever situation might negatively impact their community.

Being proactive is often key to most emergency situations. However, emergencies still happen, so knowing the role of the various groups and setting up a network to get communities back on track is the next important step. This conference will provide attendees with opportunities to share their experiences as well as learn about new initiatives in safety from other organizations and how best to incorporate those initiatives into a useful plan.

This conference series is a collaboration between partners: The Missouri Municipal League, the Institute for Public Policy at the University of Missouri-Columbia, the Missouri School Board Association, the Missouri Association of Counties and Focus on St. Louis. The underlying principle for the conference series is an in-depth discussion of crucial, but often overlooked elements of the political process. Each of the Partners in Governance partners brings a unique perspective to this collaboration. By joining forces, it is the hope of this group to create a forum in which important aspects of the process of political decision-making are explored in a systematic, non-partisan manner. It draws on each partner's expertise to provide practical governance insights as well as a deeper understanding of the dynamics, issues, values, and consequences involved. This year's focus on safety will bring together people from various fields and areas within government at many levels, academia, and other experts to share their experiences and offer their perspective on the issue.

Since its founding in 2015, the goal of Partners in Governance has been to explore important current events in the context of American Federalism and to address the challenges facing all levels of government in today’s political, social, and technological environment. Just as all levels of government—local, state, and federal—must work together, Partners in Governance reflects a collaboration between its partners. In this collaborative effort, the Missouri Municipal League contributes a vast wealth of experience with local governance. The Public Policy Institute provides rigorous policy analysis and research into the many facets of the public sector. The Missouri School Boards Association brings the significant perspective of the local school boards and the importance of ensuring that local communities are connected to their public schools. The Missouri Association of Counties provides the valuable view of counties and serving the best interests of the local communities. Finally, Focus on St. Louis offers a unique focus on foundational values and their application in the public sphere. Together these organizations provide a powerful combination of resources to government officials around the state working to strengthen the communities they serve.

Mark your calendar for April 17, 2019, and plan on attending the 5th Annual Partners in Governance Conference in Columbia, MO. The cost for this one-day training is $75 and includes parking on the university campus, continental breakfast, lunch, and a host of amazing panelists, presenters, and partners. We look forward to seeing you there!