Every year, NCSL welcomes international legislators and legislative staff members to its annual Legislative Summit, the premier meeting of state legislators and staff in the U.S. In 2016, more than 300 international legislators and legislative staff attended the Legislative Summit held in Chicago, representing 22 countries.
The program included an opening reception hosted by the Canadian government on Aug. 7. The next morning, the international participants introduced their diverse delegations and spoke about their intentions for the meeting. Afterwards, they enjoyed a joint session with the Energy Policy Summit to hear about the risks to our energy grid and the steps that government and industry are taking to address these risks, before a keynote speech by journalist Ted Koppel on the subject.
Later that morning, international attendees heard from panelists on trends in fostering genuine citizen engagement in policy. The panel included Senator Rodney Ellis, Senator Elaine Bowers, President of CALRE Raffaele Cattaneo, Vice President for Government Relations from iCitizen Derrick Kitts, and NCSL’s Angela Andrews. The international delegates then engaged in mixed group discussions about their own experiences with constituents.
The International Program concluded with a lunchtime cruise on Lake Michigan while learning about the history, politics, and architecture of Chicago.
NCSL members were pleased to welcome international participants at sessions throughout the Summit, where they interacted on a wide range of subjects. Networking opportunities at receptions throughout the week provided the space for relationship building and sharing among international participants and with NCSL members.
NCSL looks forward to continued participation with its international partners in 2017 in Boston, Mass.