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Council Member Dan Besse has been appointed chair of the Large Cities Council of the National League of Cities for 2011.

Besse succeeds Mayor Carl Brewer of Wichita, Kan., as chair. Dina Higgins, a city council member in Mesa, Ariz., will serve as the new vice chair. The appointments were made by newly elected league President James Mitchell, a member of the Charlotte City Council.

The Large Cities Council assists urban centers in exchanging information on critical challenges and innovative problem-solving approaches. It also helps advocate for these cities' concerns within the National League of Cities.

Besse has served as vice chair of the Large Cities Council since 2009 and has been a member of the City Council since 2001. Besse also currently represents the N.C. League of Municipalities on the NLC Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Policy and Advocacy Committee.

Cities with a population of more than 200,000 are eligible to participate in the Large Cities Council. In 2010, 22 cities designated representatives to the council, including Winston-Salem and Charlotte as well as Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Albuquerque, N.M., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Mesa, Ariz., Nashville, Tenn., Oakland and San Jose, Calif., Wichita, Kan., Akron, Ohio, and San Antonio, Texas.

The National League of Cities is the nation's oldest and largest organization devoted to strengthening and promoting cities as centers of opportunity, leadership and governance. The league is a resource and advocate for 19,000 U.S. cities, towns and villages, which collectively serve 218 million people. To learn more about the National League of Cities, go to


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