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NLC’s Congress of Cities and Exposition Kicks Off in Boston

We’re on-site at the National League of Cities’ Congress of Cities and Exposition at the Boston Convention Center & Exposition Center this week, as more than 3,000 mayors, city managers, city council members, government staff and industry corporate partners gather to discuss, among other topics, ways for cities to build more sustainable communities.

Yesterday, Dex One’s Tim Foster, Yellowbook’s Matt Krug and YP’s Jim Troup set up Booth #1149 in the Sustainability Pavilion in the Exhibition Hall in preparation for the event, which officially begins today.

In the evening, Neg and I attended the NLC’s Board of Directors reception and dinner, where we had the opportunity to meet with a variety of attendees. Notably, Neg spoke with Seattle City Councilmember Richard Conlin about our industry’s desire to work with the City of Seattle to address its concerns about directory delivery and update them on positive developments when it comes to our sustainability and consumer choice initiatives.

At dinner, we had the chance to talk one-on-one with Melodee Colbert Kean, the recently elected mayor of Joplin, Missouri. Mayor Colbert Kean, who is the first African-American to be elected as mayor of Joplin, was a very engaging woman and told us stories about how her city was recovering from the devastating 2011 tornado. She discussed how one-third of the city was damaged or destroyed and that more than 160 lives were lost in the storm.

But Mayor Colbert Kean also emphasized how her city is emerging from the destruction with a new hope and vision. She said rebuilding is taking place with a master plan – including the construction of a vibrant city center – to make the city more attractive to new residents and businesses. As part of the rebuilding, the Mayor said she recognized the usefulness of phone directories in helping local businesses in Joplin attract new customers, in addition to providing residents with useful information to use in emergencies like a storm.

Mayor Colbert Kean did note that she believes some residents would prefer to opt-out of directory delivery. She was so encouraged to learn about our consumer choice website at www.YellowPagesOptOut.com that she tweeted about it from the dinner table. The Mayor said she looks forward to gauging interest in the tool from her constituents and will report back to us.

A very exciting and productive kick-off to what we know will be a very productive week. Stay tuned for additional updates from the NLC conference!

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