SOURCE: League of California Cities

October 06, 2005 19:11 ET

League of California Cities Kicks Off Annual Conference: 'Stepping It Up'

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 6, 2005 -- Nearly 2,500 city officials gathered at the Moscone Center West today at the opening session of the League of California Cities' 107th Annual Conference. The kick-off session included addresses by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom and Washington, D.C. Mayor and National League of Cities President Anthony Williams.

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom delivered a warm welcome to the attendees, who gathered under the conference theme of "Stepping It Up," a reference to the League's continuing efforts on coalition-building and advocacy.

"Cities in California are driving advances because we bring together people of all walks of life," Newsom said. "California cities are truly an example for the rest of the world."

League President and Council member of Novato, Pat Eklund, presided over the opening session, urging cities to build on the success from last year's Proposition 1A victory.

"We cannot let our new strength lapse," Eklund explained. "We must build on it. That is the meaning behind 'stepping it up.'"

Eklund also announced the 2005 winners of the League's prestigious Helen Putnam Awards, given to cities that develop programs that significantly increase the level of service for their communities. A total of 24 cities were honored, including grand prize winners Oakland, Fairfield, Oxnard, Lincoln, La Habra, and Belmont. For a complete list of winners, please visit the League website at

Eklund also announced that Sen. Dick Ackerman (Irvine) and Assemblymember Gene Mullin (South San Francisco) were selected to receive the League's prestigious "Legislator of the Year" award, for their ongoing efforts on behalf of cities. "These are two people who have not forgotten their local roots," said Eklund.

Anthony Williams, mayor of Washington, D.C. and president of the National League of Cities, delivered the keynote address. Speaking to an overflowing crowd of city officials, Williams spoke of the need for local government officials to continue being leaders throughout their communities.

"All of us know that as local officials, you're a public servant around 70 percent of the time," Williams said. "But that other 30 percent we serve as leaders, and need to move positions forward that are in the best interests of cities. We're all at the level of government closest to the people and can't make excuses. Our job is to overcome challenges and solve problems."

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger delivered the closing address. He reminded the audience of the strong Proposition 1A partnership forged last year between his administration and local government, and urged city officials to endorse Proposition 76 -- the "Live Within Our Means" measure on the November 2005 ballot.

"Local governments have been great partners with me, but we must move on and rebuild," emphasized the governor. "The movie business is all about sequels. Proposition 76 is the sequel to Proposition 1A in my three-year plan of recovery, reform, and rebuild."

City officials will participate in numerous sessions throughout the three-and-a-half day conference, covering city finance, housing, telecommunications, homeland security, ethics, environmental justice, and a range of other issues important to cities.

Friday's General Session, from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m., will include comments from State Controller Steve Westly. The keynote address at Friday's General Session will be given by Richard Jackson, M.D., M.P.H, an adjunct professor with the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health and former director of the National Center for Environmental Health.

The conference will conclude Saturday with a General Session starting at 10 a.m., with an address by Steven Levitt, professor of economics, University of Chicago and author of the best-seller, "Freakonomics." The conference will convene around 12:30, following the Annual Business Meeting.

To view a complete program, visit the League's website at Press are welcome to attend at no charge, but must first obtain press credentials at the Conference Media Room in the Moscone Center West, Room 2000.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Megan Taylor
    (916) 705-6679 (cell)
    Brian Heaton
    (916) 658-8264

    1400 K Street, Suite 400
    Sacramento, California 95814
    Phone: (916) 658-8200
    Fax: (916) 658-8240