From the RNC

City work carries on behind convention scene


Political party nominating conventions are always exciting times for party members, allowing Republicans and Democrats to highlight their leaders, talk about their successes and lay out their vision for the future. This year's Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., was no different for the two of us. Mayor Fung was part of his second convention while it was my eighth.

In Tampa, we were joined by Rhode Island delegates and alternates and numerous guests to be part of the process of nominating a candidate former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney to be the party standard bearer in November.

This may look on television to be a giant commercial, but it really gives us a chance to network with other mayors, to see what other states are doing. It also gives us a chance to re-connect with people who have shaped our work. For me, it gave me a chance to see members of my Aspen Rodel Fellows class people like Kentucky's former Secretary of State, Trey Grayson, former Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele, and New Jersey Senate leader Tom Kean Jr.

And yes, it is exciting to be in a group of people looking to make the country and their states and communities better and stronger. It also was exciting to see Mayor Fung speak at a summit of Asian Republicans and talk about his work to make Cranston a better and stronger community. And it was great to have the opportunity to sit with fellow mayors including Tampa's Democrat Mayor Bob Buckhorm and talk about infrastructure, emergency responses to weather and budget issues.

Along the way, Mayor Fung was still working for Cranston. He fielded calls from his office on traffic issues on Sockanosett Crossroad, sewer issues and personnel issues. For me, it was dealing with the ongoing investigation at the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority, bids and requests for proposals, Rocky Point issues, and the like.

That is really the story coming out of Tampa. Yes, we were here to nominate Mitt Romney and to talk about the future of the country. But, for us, it was a continuation of the work that happens in Cranston and Warwick every day.


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