Albanian delegation looks to Georgia for municipal advocacy training

Athens, Ga. – Representatives of the Association of Albanian Municipalities will be in Atlanta March 6-10 to learn about democratic processes from Georgia local government officials and the organizations that serve them. The trip will be the first to the United States for the 12-member group composed of mayor-members of the AAM steering committee and the executive and deputy directors.

The Albanian delegation’s agenda is being coordinated by the International Center for Democratic Governance, a division of the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government that provides instruction and technical assistance to emerging democracies worldwide. The trip is sponsored by United States Agency for International Development, with World Learning as the programming agent.

“Since the end of communist rule in the early 1990s, Albania has faced many challenges in its transition to a multiparty democracy. Organizations like AAM are gaining strength but have no historical model from which to operate,” explained Dan Durning, International Center for Democratic Governance program director. “The agenda we have planned will provide the participants with the knowledge and tools they need to become a more self-sufficient organization that is an advocate for its membership.”

The group will spend time with local government instructional faculty from the Vinson Institute, administrative staff of the Association County Commissioners of Georgia and the Georgia Municipal Association, and attend a legislative committee meeting at the state capitol. They will also have the opportunity to visit with Mayor Shirley Franklin of Atlanta, as well as with a variety of other local government officials during site visits to Gainesville and Dahlonega. The delegation will then travel to Washington, D.C., to attend the annual conference of the National League of Cities.