Contact: Craig Chester
Press Manager, Smart Growth America
Council Representative, Fourth Ward
City Council representative Ian Thomas is the newest member of Smart Growth America's Local Leaders Council. This nonpartisan group is dedicated to facilitating collaboration and networking among local elected officials from across the country who have a shared interest in using smart growth strategies to generate economic returns, save taxpayer money and provide housing and transportation options near jobs, shops and schools.
"Columbia has been a regional leader in advancing smart growth practices and policies, for many years." said Councilmember Thomas, "I will continue to promote healthy lifestyles, economic and environmental sustainability and social justice, with initiatives such as expanding our public transit system. I am honored to join Smart Growth America's Local Leaders Council and I look forward to learning from other leaders and sharing some of the successful approaches that have worked here in Columbia."
Invitations to join the Local Leaders Council are issued to exceptional leaders with a track record in applying smart growth principles to strengthen communities. The network consists of more than 85 local elected officials, representing diverse cities and counties across the nation. Members gain access to exclusive policy tools on a broad range of issues, as well as other resources designed to support their local work.
"Smart Growth America is very pleased to have Councilmember Ian Thomas as a member of the Local Leaders Council. He is the type of leader who thinks about the long term quality of life and economic opportunity that will be lasting and benefit the most people," said Neha Bhatt, Deputy Policy Director at Smart Growth America. "Councilmember Thomas is a valuable addition to this network of top smart growth leaders, and we look forward to his ideas on how to build great communities."
Smart Growth America is the only national organization dedicated to researching, advocating for and leading coalitions to bring smart growth practices to more communities nationwide. From providing more sidewalks to ensuring more homes are built near public transportation or that productive farms remain a part of our communities, smart growth helps make sure people across the nation can live in great neighborhoods.
For more information about Smart Growth America's Local Leaders Council, visit www.smartgrowthamerica.org/local-leaders. For more information about Councilmember Ian Thomas, visit www.ianfor4th.com.