Selase has won entry into the Fellows Program run by the non-profit arm of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, a constituency group affiliated with the National League of Cities.
“I’m going to be very excited to represent Anniston,” said Selase, 29, who also serves as the interim director of the Agency for Substance Abuse Prevention.
Selase said he was drawn to the platform and the mission of NBC-LEO, which includes advancing political participation among African-Americans at the local level, promoting municipal employment of African-Americans and increasing positive perceptions of government by African-American citizens.
As one of two fellows chosen annually, Selase will be able to attend the National League of Cities’ Leadership Training Institute. The Fellows Program will cover his fees and expenses for the seminars, he said, so there won’t be any cost to the city for his training opportunities.
Deborah Delgado, board president for the NBC-LEO Foundation and Hattiesburg, Miss., councilwoman, said the fellows program focuses on young and newly elected officials.
“We try to make sure they have a good, solid background in what it takes to serve the public to the highest degree,” she said.
In order to do that, she added, fellows undergo an intense year of training, networking and being put in touch “with people who have been doing this a long time and do it well.”
City Manager Don Hoyt recommended Selase for the program, which he said is a great opportunity for Selase individually and for the city of Anniston.
“It’s a big deal,” he said.
Hoyt said national and statewide conferences and training are important for local elected officials.
“They get a lot of good ideas,” he said, adding that they often return “pumped up and ready to do good stuff.”
In addition to the training, Selase said he’s also excited about networking with colleagues from around the country, “rubbing shoulders with many elected officials who have been doing this much longer than me who can give me fresh and innovative ideas to help make the city of Anniston a better place.”
Delgado said the program is a good investment in Selase as a public servant in Anniston. “Hopefully he’ll come away with skills that certainly can be used to help improve the quality of life in your community,” she said. “We are so excited about him.”
Staff writer Paige Rentz: 256-235-3564. On Twitter @PRentz_Star.