Meridian Star

January 11, 2013

Thomas on NLC steering committee

By Terri Ferguson Smith / tsmith@themeridianstar.com
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN —     Meridian city councilman George Thomas has been appointed to the National League of Cities 2013 Human Development Steering Committee.

    The committee is responsible for developing NLC federal policy positions on issues involving social services, children and learning, poverty and income support, employment and workforce development, equal opportunity, Social Security and seniors, individuals with disabilities, public health care, mental health parity, and immigration reform.

    Thomas, who represents Ward 1 on the Meridian City Council, said he previously served on a NLC policy committee, but this is his first time to serve on the steering committee.

    "The steering committee selects the topics of concern for the big group and what they are going to consider," Thomas said.

    The National League of Cities is an advocacy group that works to influence legislation that will benefit cities and towns throughout the country, Thomas said.

    There are five NLC steering committees, he said, and the one upon which he will serve will address issues  of many people's concerns, such as health care.

    "I think with the health care legislation that is ongoing, health care will be a big issue," Thomas said.

    He is also hopeful that issues involving service men and women will be near the top of the list of topics.

    "We have also dealt with veterans affairs, particularly dealing with people who have served on active duty, once they come back home, does the government provide them with the services they are promised," Thomas said.

    Thomas' appointment was announced by Marie Lopez Rogers, Mayor of Avondale, Ariz.,and NLC president.

    "The appointment of Thomas to this committee will give the citizens of Meridian a voice in the development of national policy in the essential areas of human development," Rogers said. "With the recent federal budget and taxation policy concerns this is an important policy area for Meridian and the state of Mississippi."

    NLC represents some 19,000 cities, towns and villages in the U.S., representing more than 218 million Americans.