Alva delegates attend annual Congress of Mayors


February 16, 2024

Photo provided

Attending the Congress of Mayors are, from left: City Councilmembers Gail Swallow and Sadie Bier, Alva Mayor Kelly Parker and the mayor's son Kade Parker.

OKLAHOMA CITY – City of Alva Mayor Kelly Parker and City Council members Gail Swallow and Sadie Bier participated in the Oklahoma Municipal League (OML) and the Mayors Council of Oklahoma (MCO) 13th Annual Congress of Mayors event, held in Oklahoma City and the Oklahoma State Capitol on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 8-9.

Parker, Swallow and Bier met, along with approximately 70 other Oklahoma mayors, vice-mayors, and councilmembers, to debate issues facing municipalities and craft a legislative agenda. The group divided up into committees and discussed important topics, such as economic development, infrastructure needs and revenue diversification. After discussion on the topics, each group drafted a resolution and presented them to the general session. Discussion followed and the topics were adopted to present to the Legislature.

"The annual Congress of Mayors allows our municipal officials to become involved in the State Legislative process," said Craig Parham, mayor of Amber, and president of the MCO Board of Directors. "This event brings together Mayors and other municipal officials from across Oklahoma to discuss issues important to municipalities and to relay our concerns to our Legislators."

Parker served as Speaker of the House and presented a "State of the Cities" address to the Congress of Mayors. "It was my honor to serve as Speaker of the House for the Congress of Mayors," said Parker. "This event gathers municipal leaders from across the State of Oklahoma to discuss our shared challenges, and we do so without presenting a partisan agenda."

In his "State of the Cities" address, Parker paid tribute to long time Alva businessman and community leader, Jim Holder, sharing the poem that Holder had shared with him and countless others. "'It Isn't Your Town – It's You' is fairly well known for people in Alva thanks to Mr. Holder; its message means a lot to me, and I felt others needed to hear it, too."

Parker's son, Kade, Alva High School junior, also attended as an observer. "I thought this would be a good experience for him, and it was," shared Parker. Kade is a member of the Alva High School State Champion speech and debate team. "I was glad he was able to witness, firsthand, respectful discussion and debate about issues important to Oklahomans from across the state."

"The Congress of Mayors allows municipal officials to learn the legislative process, and then use that experience to educate lawmakers on issues that are critical to municipalities across the state," said Mike Fina, executive director of OML. "By learning about how the Legislature works, municipal officials are better prepared to advocate for municipal issues at the State level."

Photo provided

Speaker of the House Kelly Parker, Alva, gives a State of the Cities address to the Congress of Mayors.

To see the recommendations approved by the Congress of Mayors, go to

The Mayors' Council of Oklahoma was formed in 1991 as a bipartisan organization to represent the concerns and views of the body of the state's Mayors. MCO provides a vehicle for the development and implementation of programs of multi-jurisdictional cooperation between cities and towns designed to lessen the burden on local government. Oklahoma Mayors make the commitment to work through the conference to improve their own communities as well as the conditions facing cities and towns throughout the state and nation.

The Oklahoma Municipal League is the authoritative source for information, training, and resources on effective local government for member organizations and is recognized as the unified voice of Oklahoma Cities and Towns. For more information, visit


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