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Policy Resources from the DMO Retreat

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DMO held our annual Board Retreat in beautiful Detroit this past September. We wanted to send an overview of the Retreat so that our full membership could benefit from the resources we discussed during the week, and connect with our national partners. We encourage you to get in touch with our policy partners to secure their resources for your city. Email me at for their information.

This email is part of a multi-day series on the DMO Retreat. Today we will cover the Policy Council panel.


(DMO Policy Panel. From left to right: Dan Besse, Sara Jordan, Sarah Curmi, Xavier Persad, Lynne Bowman)

We kicked off the Retreat with a discussion of Hot Topics for 2020 with Cities and Policy, hosted by our own Policy, Labor, and Intergovernmental Affairs Advisor and Winston-Salem Council Member Dan Besse. We were joined by Sarah Curmi from EMILY’s List, Sara Jordan from the League of Conservation Voters, and Xavier Persand and Lynne Bowman from the Human Rights campaign.

Below are a few of the ideas and resources we discussed during the hour. If any of these tips gives you an idea for a new city policy or ordinance, I know our partners would be happy to help you craft one! 

Emily’s List

  • Take advantage of the candidate training center at
  • DMOs can get more involved by prospecting candidates for state office from municipal leadership.


Human Rights Campaign

  • Pass a comprehensive non-discrimination ordinance.
  • Appoint a LGBTQ Liaison to your police or city executive. Even if you don’t have it in the budget to hire staff, a volunteer community liaison can provide your city with public buy in and valuable insights.
  • Institute a “conversion therapy” ban ordinance.
  • See how your city compares to others across the nation in terms of LGBT friendly policy with the Municipal Equality Index. You can also check out your state with their State Equality Index.


Sierra Club

The policy section concluded with a presentation on preparing for the 2020 Census, led by DMO Labor Chair and Philadelphia Councilman Derek Green. Readying your community now, training organizers, and making sure residents are educated in advance will make the difference in making sure everyone is counted. Remember, an accurate census count is about ensuring your communities have the resources they need over the next decade.

Are you interested in doing more to help cities implement these types of policy initiatives? Join the DMO Policy Council. Get in touch with for more information.

We will return tomorrow with news and resources from the Labor Panel at our Board Retreat.