The NACo Board voted March 19 to relocate the 2021 NACo Annual Conference to Prince George’s County, Md., revising the dates to July 9-12, just outside of Washington, D.C. The conference would be a hybrid of in-person and remote programming. The Board also passed 27 interim policy resolutions (see details on pages 9-13) that will help guide NACo’s advocacy through July’s Annual Business Meeting. Additional information will be forthcoming.
Julie Chávez Rodriguez, White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, spoke to the Board ahead of President Joe Biden’s planned March 24 appearance. As president-elect, Biden spoke during the Fall Board Meeting, too.
Rodriguez said Treasury Department guidance for the American Rescue Plan’s $65.1 billion in direct funding to counties was coming soon and thanked counties for their work championing the bill.
“We want to hear from you all, what are important things for the Treasury Department to keep in mind as we think about flexibilities around state and local funding,” she said. “What are the kinds of issues you are facing and the kinds of critical needs that you have that should be informing the next steps of our implementation?”
Though county officials were not able to make the trip to Washington, D.C. for the Legislative Conference, they’ll be roughly a mile away during the Annual Conference.
“We are proud to welcome and host the National Association of Counties to Prince George’s County, Md.,” said Leslie W. Graves, president and CEO of Experience Prince George’s.
“It is a pivotal time to come together through leadership, empowerment and great purpose. Throughout your visit, we encourage you to experience and enjoy the many unique amenities of our destination.”
Interest in an in-person conference began to grow as the country gets on track to vaccinate all adults by the end of May. The close proximity of Prince George’s County to NACo’s office in Washington, D.C. also played a role in the decision, as it is easier to plan and execute the conference without air travel in a short preparation time of three months. The location is also suitable for bringing any federal officials to the conference to discuss federal COVID aid implementation and rulemaking.
NACo will offer a hybrid experience for both in-person and virtual participation, including for the Annual Business Meeting and second vice president election.
NACo will comply with any state or county public health measures.
NACo will reimagine the conference agenda and format to reduce the overall number of sessions and to maximize the use of the convention space for social distancing, COVID screening/testing and live streaming. A safe experience for members to the maximum extent possible will be ensured by including experienced conference organizers in the execution of the event.
The Annual Conference was originally scheduled to take place in Travis County (Austin), Texas, which will now play host to the 2023 conference. Chatham County (Savannah) Ga. will play host to the 2027 conference.