The 2019 ICMA Annual Report to members demonstrates the power of the Envision ICMA Strategic Plan. With the help of our members and partners, we've been able to make significant progress toward accomplishing the 10 priorities outlined in the plan.
This past year, we called on you for your energy, your wisdom, and your ideas. In response, we had more members willing to volunteer their time and expertise than ever before in our 105-year history—serving on committees and advisory boards, working on international development projects, and serving as host communities for fellows, veterans, and emerging international leaders.
In my travels around the world, I met with our affiliates, student chapters, and member communities and listened to what they had to share. These conversations led to a profound realization that the challenges and the opportunities that communities and local governments face around the world are remarkably similar. The accelerating pace of change—technological, social, and environmental, among others—affects us all, and the need for public servant leaders to respond to those changes in the most effective manner is more important than ever. Therefore, there has never been a more challenging yet exciting time to be in local government.
As you read this year’s annual report and watch the video that we shared at the opening session of the 2019 ICMA Annual Conference, I hope you will get a sense of that excitement as ICMA continues to be the leading local government association worldwide.
In 2019, we embarked on a year-long outreach effort to our membership to identify ways to be a more inclusive organization. We expanded programs targeted to early career professionals; our reimagined regional conferences are one example. Valuable work involving topics of importance to members and communities, being produced by the first cohort of ICMA’s research fellows, will enhance our ongoing cutting-edge research and thought leadership. We conducted ethics training for local government professionals from Oregon to Palestine. Our newly created Chief Technology and Innovation Office began developing innovative products and services that will enhance your ability to do your jobs more effectively. These are but few examples of what we accomplished in 2019.
Most impressive of all is the work you will see throughout our video and printed annual report that reflects our renewed commitment to the “I” in ICMA—the effort to share best practices from around the world and learn from each other.
I hope you will take a few moments to look at what we’ve accomplished together this past year. As we look forward to 2020 and beyond, you can count on ICMA to support and inspire you as you lead your communities through these exciting times.