CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin is on the six-member delegation of U.S. mayors headed to Jerusalem for an international conference about improving urban life that begins tomorrow. Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory is also in the delegation. Both are Democrats.
The conference also gives the mayors a "fresh and open look at Jerusalem, and a new understanding of Israel and its achievements," says Jack Rosen, who heads an organization that helps cover the mayors' expenses. Israel is America's closest ally in the Middle East, so the diplomatic layer of the trip is probably as important as all other aspects put together.
Costs are paid by the American Jewish Congress-Council for World Jewry, and the sessions are hosted by Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski. About 60 others mayors from around the world are coming for the annual conference, whose theme this year is the urban center as the heart of a metropolitan area's economic, governmental, cultural, and administrative influence and importance. The announcement says:
"During the October 14-18 event, the mayors are scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, President Shimon Peres, and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. They will participate in round-table sessions that will explore topics such and intercultural and economic challenges facing cities and the role of mayors in the international arena. The mayors will tour both historic and modern sites in Jersualem and visit Yad Vahsem, the holocaust memorial; the Hadassah Hospital; a high-tech business incubator; and Yad Sarah, a social services facility in Jerusalem."