A statewide organization representing all 281 cities in Washington will hold its annual conference in Yakima starting Tuesday.

The Association of Washington Cities’ (AWC) 85th annual conference is Tuesday, June 26th through Friday, June 29th at the Yakima Convention Center, 10 N. 8th Street.

“Yakima is a special place to call home­—we cherish our strong sense of community and connection to one another,” said Yakima Mayor Kathy Coffey. “And, at the City of Yakima, we cherish our strong connection to AWC and the 280 other cities and towns in Washington state.”

Yakima is no stranger to the AWC. The City hosted the annual conference eight years ago.

In fact, the organization began right here in Yakima. In 1933, Yakima Mayor W.W. Stratton summoned city officials from across the state to Yakima to stand together on issues affecting communities. It was at this conference that the AWC was born.

This week’s conference for City council members, mayors, managers and administrators, and department heads includes several sessions on topics ranging from public records to partnerships.

Other highlights include a Downtown Yakima redevelopment tour, as well as a tour of Nelson Dam to show AWC participants how partnerships are addressing public safety and fish habitat concerns.