The League’s past presidents select an individual for this award whose contributions have been extraordinary over a lifetime of public service. The Past Presidents Council is recognizing one of its own, Beverly O’Neil who served as League president from 2001 to 2002. The former Long Beach mayor is the city’s only mayor to be elected to three terms in office.
First elected mayor in 1994, Beverly came to city leadership after a 31-year career with Long Beach City College. Beverly focused her 12 years as Long Beach mayor on revitalizing a city in transition. She worked to improve the economy hit hard by the downsizing of the military and aerospace industries, improved public safety, enhanced economic development and job creation, and more. The breadth of Beverly’s public service has garnered her significant recognition including being named 2004’s Municipal Leader of the Year by American City and County Magazine.
League Immediate Past President Mike Kasperzak presented Ms. O’Neill with the award and congratulated her on her achievement. “Our cities are more than just boundaries, facilities and services. They are unique and vibrant because of the individuals who lead. Beverly O’Neil is an inspiration to all of us who dedicate our lives to making our communities better.”
Mr. Kasperzak also presented Ms. O’Neill with a California State Senate Resolution commending her public service on behalf of Sen. Alex Padilla. The senator is a former League president and was unable to attend. “I congratulate Beverly O'Neill. I've known and worked with her for many years. Beverly's work to improve the lives of the residents of the City of Long Beach is a testament to her dedication and leadership. She is an inspiration and role model for all of us who are dedicated to public service. She is a well deserving recipient of this award," said Sen. Alex Padilla.
The League’s Past Presidents’ Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 1996 and is given annually to an individual who has made a significant and unique contribution to the state or his or her community over an extended period of years. Preference is given to nominees with close ties to cities; however, nominees may also be selected from the categories of local government leaders, academics/teachers, authors, media producers, community leaders and state or national leaders.
Founded in 1898, the League of California Cities is an association of California city officials who work together to enhance their knowledge and skills, exchange information, and combine resources so that they may influence policy decisions that affect cities. The League’s mission is to expand and protect local control for cities through education and advocacy to enhance the quality of life for all Californians.