- Associated Press - Sunday, November 23, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker has become president of the National League of Cities.

Becker assumed the position for a one-year term Saturday at the organization’s annual conference in Austin, Texas.

He had served as vice president for the past year of the nation’s largest advocacy group for city officials. The league is comprised of leaders from 19,000 municipalities.

Becker, a former National Park Service employee, says he would like the organization to help connect kids to nature and the outdoors to reverse a trend known as “nature deficit disorder.”

The two-term mayor also seeks to connect communities to new financial, political and intellectual resources to achieve goals.

He also called on the league to become “an army of advocates” on behalf of some federal priorities, including climate change.

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