The Importance of Political Leadership – Elected Officials Panel (4:00pm-5:30pm)

Thursday, September 14

In this session, you will learn about successful tactics employed by legislators to establish funding mechanisms that support trail development demanded by their constituents. A key focus will be on generating ‘buy in’ for these initiatives among key stakeholder groups, including legislative and agency bodies as well as competing interest groups. This panel of political leaders will discuss the importance of active transportation in helping local communities to thrive via economic development, health and safety, environmental sustainability and inclusiveness/diversity. Strategies used to ensure that the citizens these elected officials represent are positive and supportive of their efforts to facilitate pedestrian infrastructure will also be highlighted.

Room: State 3


Brian K. Housh, Midwest Policy Manager, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy


  • Senator D. Scott Dibble (DFL) District 61, State of Minnesota
  • A C Wharton, Jr, Attorney, Principal of The A C Wharton Group, former Mayor of Shelby County and the City of Memphis, Tennessee
  • Michael Wojcik, Councilmember, Rochester, MN
  • Mary Lee Nielson, Sheyenne River Valley National Scenic Byway/Valley City Convention & Visitors Bureau, former Mayor of Valley City, South Dakota