Deedee Corradini likes to maintain ties with the national scene, and an event next week will further that tendency.

Next Wednesday, the Salt Lake mayor will be named president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, a 66-year-old organization comprising the chief elected officers of U.S. cities having a population of 30,000 or more.There are about 1,050 such cities.

"It's a great opportunity," Corradini said. "I think it has huge benefits for Salt Lake City."

Corradini is vice president of the organization and before that was chairwoman of its advisory board - each one-year terms, as is the presidency. Once a mayor is elected to the advisory board position, he or she is automatically advanced to the vice presidency and then to the presidency.

According to Corradini, there are numerous benefits accruing to Salt Lake residents from her membership in and leadership of the conference of mayors.

For one, she says it has given her a chance to associate both formally and informally with other mayors, learn from them and implement their experience.

"Just rubbing shoulders with some of these people can help you get a lot of good ideas," she said.

The association has a "best practices" newsletter by which mayors exchange thoughts about how different programs have worked in their cities.

Corradini also said the conference of mayors gives municipalities national clout, as when they helped draft and pressured Congress to pass President Clinton's crime bill. It gave cities such benefits as COPS grants - national financial help to beef up local police forces. Salt Lake City has acquired between 60 and 70 new officers from COPS grants.

Even apart from association-related visits, Corradini makes frequent trips to Washington to lobby for local help from the feds.

"I'm quite well-acquainted with the cabinet, president and vice president," she said.

Given the recent rash of schoolyard shootings, Corradini wants to address violence in schools during her administration as president. Coincidentally, Salt Lake Police Chief Reuben Ortega is chairman of the national Chief of Police Association (large cities division), so she plans to involve him and his organization in the effort.

Corradini will be the third woman president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.