Cheryl Viegas Walker, President; Council Member, El Centro
Council Member Viegas Walker has served on the El Centro City Council since 1997 and has served as Mayor of El Centro five times. She serves on the statewide League of California Cities Board of Directors and is the President of the League’s Women's Caucus. She represents El Centro on the Imperial County Transportation Commission (ICTC), Local Transportation Authority, and the Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies. Council Member Viegas Walker is also the ICTC representative to the California Association of Councils of Governments, where she serves as President.
Council Member Viegas Walker is past president of the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), the largest metropolitan planning organization in the nation, and is currently a member of the SCAG Executive, Transportation, and Audit Committees, as well as the Imperial County representative on the SCAG Regional Council. Council Member Walker is a member of the El Centro Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees, and serves on the Finance and Board Quality Committees at the Hospital.
Council Member Viegas Walker is also a member of the Juvenile Justice Commission, a state mandated citizens' commission which operates under the auspices of the Imperial County Probation Department. She also serves on the San Diego State University (Imperial Valley Campus) Dean's Advisory Board and is active with the Imperial Valley Food Bank. She is a graduate of the University of Washington.
Cindy Silva, First Vice President; Council Member, Walnut Creek
Council Member Cindy Silva was first elected to the Walnut Creek City Council in 2006, subsequently re-elected in 2010, re-appointed in 2014 and re-elected in 2018. She has served as mayor three times, in 2010-11, 2012-13 and again in 2018-19.
As mayor, Silva founded Walnut Creek Community Service Day in 2011, which she still co-chairs, spearheaded a Community Blue Ribbon Task Force on Fiscal Health, and organized the city’s Second Saturday Spotlight in 2013 and 2019. In her council member role, Silva served on numerous council committees: Finance; Public Education; Housing and Community Development; Public Safety; Youth and Family Services; and several ad hoc committees. Prior to her election to the city council, Silva served on the Planning Commission from 2004-06, including two years during which the city was updating and adopting its General Plan 2025.
Regionally, Silva represents Walnut Creek on the Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority (Recycle Smart), chairing in 2015, and is the a Finance Committee member of the East Bay Regional Communications System Authority. Silva chaired the Contra Costa Mayors’ Conference in 2017 and the City Selection Committee of the Mayors’ Conference in 2019. From 2008-10, Silva was Walnut Creek’s representative to the regional transportation planning committee of Central Contra Costa and chaired in 2010.
Silva is an active member of the League of California Cities. She has been a League board member since 2015, served as the East Bay Division president in 2013 and on a number of League Policy Committees including: Housing, Community and Economic Development (2010-present, 2016 chair); Governance, Transparency and Labor Relations; and Community Services. Recently, Silva served on a statewide Homelessness Task Force in 2016 and on a housing working group in 2017. In 2012-13, she was one of 16 city representatives on the League’s Strategic Initiatives Task Force.
Ali Sajjad Taj, Second Vice President; Mayor, Artesia
Ali Sajjad Taj was first elected to the Artesia City Council in December 2013, served as mayor December 2016-17, and currently serves as mayor for the 2019-20 term. Throughout his tenure on the city council, Taj has focused his time and energy on improving day-to-day quality of life issues for Artesia residents by supporting improved lighting, street quality, and traffic safety, while being an advocate for bringing new businesses to the city, both to generate revenue for city services and to provide new amenities for residents.
Taj has been in the financial services industry for two decades, and held several key leadership positions including district manager, regional manager, managing principal, and vice president of multinational firms like American Express, Ameriprise Financial, Weddell & Reed, and T.D. Ameritrade.
Taj currently serves on several internal and external committees representing Artesia as a member of many regional boards and committees, including as board member and membership committee chair for California Contract Cities Association, and as vice chair for the Eco-Rapid Transit Orange Line Development Authority of Los Angeles County.
He has been actively involved with the League of California Cities for many years, and serves on the League of California Cities Asian Pacific Islander Caucus board, as well as the League Public Safety Policy Committee, and Finance Committee.
John F. Dunbar, Past President; Mayor, Yountville
The Yountville Town Council appointed John F. Dunbar to the council in 2004, and he was elected to his first full term in 2006 before being elected mayor in 2010. Voters re-elected him to a third term as mayor in 2018. He served as the League’s North Bay Division president from 2011–2012 and continues to serve on the North Bay Division Executive Committee. The North Bay Division appointed Mayor Dunbar to the League board in 2016 to represent the division.
At the local level, Mayor Dunbar is engaged in numerous regional and county-wide boards and commissions including the Yountville Tourism Improvement District — Local Governing Committee, Napa County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, Napa Valley Transportation Authority, Napa County League of Governments, and the Association of Bay Area Governments. Gov. Jerry Brown in 2012 appointed Mayor Dunbar to the 25th District Agricultural Association, Napa Exposition and Fair Board, where he serves as president. He also is a board member of The Pathway Home nonprofit veteran treatment program.
Carolyn Coleman, Executive Director, League of California Cities
Carolyn Coleman brings 25 years of experience as a leader and an advocate in the public and private sectors to her role as executive director of the League of California Cities. She joined the League of California Cities in December 2016 after a decade with the National League of Cities (NLC) in Washington, D.C. as senior executive and director of federal advocacy. During her tenure at NLC, she oversaw the organization’s advocacy efforts and worked closely with city leaders and the 49 state municipal leagues throughout the country to advance NLC’s priorities in matters before Congress, the Administration and the courts.
Prior to working with NLC, Coleman served as deputy mayor for the city of Indianapolis where she focused on economic development, infrastructure and community engagement. She previously practiced law and held marketing leadership positions in the private sector. In addition to her professional endeavors, Coleman serves on the board of trustees of the University of Indianapolis and on the dean’s cabinet at the McGeorge School of Law. She also now serves on the NLC board of directors.