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League of California Cities
Home > News > News Articles > 2017 > September > League of California Cities® Brings Over 1,800 City Officials to Sacramento for Education, Recogniti
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League of California Cities® Brings Over 1,800 City Officials to Sacramento for Education, Recognition, Resources and Advocacy

September 22, 2017
California’s capital city was extremely busy last week as city officials from throughout the state traveled to Sacramento for the League’s 119th Annual Conference & Expo. 
The event featured 52 educational sessions, 259 exhibitors, dynamic keynote speakers, recognition of work by cities, legislative awards, the adoption of two resolutions and the swearing in of the 2017–18 officers and board of directors. Held Sept. 13–15, the conference coincided with the last three days of the 2017 legislative session and during breaks between sessions, city officials met with their legislators to advocate on bills affecting cities. 

League President and Lodi Council Member JoAnne Mounce welcomed attendees to during the opening general session.  
“The League’s Annual Conference is our largest gathering of city officials each year. This year, we are over 1,800 strong! We come together as one League of California Cities to learn from experts and each other, to connect with our colleagues from cities throughout California, and to grow as city leaders. Our Annual Conference is also a celebration. We take time to recognize the excellence in cities and city officials and acknowledge innovation at the local level.”
Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg also welcomed League members to the city during this session. 
Carolyn Coleman addressed conference attendees during at the opening general session and delivered her first annual report as executive director of the League of California Cities. In her remarks, she focused on the League’s 2017 legislative accomplishments on a variety of issues such as transportation funding, housing, public safety and contracting. She also encouraged city officials to talk with their legislators during the conference about several pending bills including SB 649 (Hueso), which would virtually eliminate cities’ authority to negotiate with telecommunications companies on the siting of wireless equipment in the public right of way and on public equipment and caps the lease rate.
Conference keynote speakers were Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour and Eric Liu who inspired attendees with their messages of empowerment.
National League of Cities Executive Director Clarence Anthony addressed city officials during the closing general session and gave an update on NLC and federal issues.
The city of Benicia won the Grand Prize Drawing on Friday, taking home a $3,000 U.S. Communities voucher to use at any of the U.S. Communities suppliers that exhibited at the conference.
During a Friday morning press conference, more than 250 city officials stood on the North Steps of the Capitol to urge Gov. Jerry Brown to veto SB 649 (Hueso).
Throughout the three-day annual conference, attendees and League staff shared highlights on social media. Search #CaCitiesAnnual on Twitter and Facebook to find posts. Photos of the conference are posted on the League’s Facebook page at
Helen Putnam Award for Excellence
During the opening general session, the Helen Putnam Award for Excellence program recognized cities for their outstanding efforts to deliver services and engage residents.
This year’s winners are: 
  • CCS Partnership Intergovernmental Collaboration Award: South San Francisco for its Big Lift Collaborative.
  • Community Services and Economic Development: San Leandro for its Homelessness Compact.
  • Economic Development through the Arts: Temecula for its Cultural Arts District’s First Fridays.
  • Enhancing Public Trust, Ethics & Community Involvement: Rancho Cucamonga for its Los Amigos Park.
  • Health & Wellness Program: Long Beach for its Junior Runners.
  • Housing Programs and Innovations: Citrus Heights for its Navigator Program.
  • Internal Administration: Santa Clarita for Employee Development.
  • League Partners Award for Excellence in City-Business Relations: Mill Valley for its Adaptive Needs Program.
  • Planning & Environmental Quality: Farmersville for its Cameron Creek Colony Emergency Water Supply Project.
  • Public Safety: Rialto for its Summer Bridge to Success Program.
  • Public Safety: Santa Clarita for its Heroin Kills: The High is a Lie — The Shocking Truth about Heroin in Santa Clarita.
  • Public Works, Infrastructure & Transportation: Farmersville for its Highway 198 Gateway Project.
  • Ruth Vreeland Award for Engaging Youth in City Government: Tracy for its D.A.R.E. to Pay it Forward.
Conference attendees enjoyed this short video that highlighted the winning cities. 
Past Presidents’ Council Lifetime Achievement Award
League Immediate Past President and Rancho Cucamonga Mayor Dennis Michael presented two former League executive directors with the Lifetime Achievement Award: Don Benninghoven (1973–1997) and Chris McKenzie (1998–2016). The award is given to an individual(s) whose lifetime of public service has had a significant impact on California cities and the state as a whole.
Distinguished Legislative Leadership Award
The League honored Sen. Jim Beall (D-San Jose) and Assembly Member Jim Frazier (D-Discovery Bay) for their collective work and leadership in the approval of new transportation resources to fix California’s local streets and roads with its Distinguished Legislative Leadership Award. This historic transportation investment package addresses concerns raised by cities and counties for a decade over deteriorating streets and roads, due to a $73 billion shortfall in road maintenance and repair funding.
SB 1 (Beall) and ACA 5 (Frazier), combines dedicated funding with strong accountability measures to ensure that this investment is prioritized for maintenance and repairs and can only be spent on transportation. SB 1 provides an additional $5 billion annually for the state and local transportation system. For cities, it doubles the amount of road maintenance funds they will receive to begin to fix their streets.
League President and Lodi City Council Member JoAnne Mounce thanked the legislators and commended them for the years of work that went into the passage of this legislation in April. “As cities, no one had to tell us there was a transportation maintenance problem,” said Mounce. “But year after year, the political agreement necessary to get something done just wasn’t there, so the roads got worse. Now, thanks to the Senator and Assembly Member’s leadership, our cities, counties and state can finally get to work fixing our roads. The projects these revenues support will improve the quality of life for all Californians.”
Institute for Local Government Beacon Award
The Institute for Local Government recognized eight cities with the 2017 Beacon Award. This award honors local governments that lead the way on climate, energy and sustainability through voluntary action.
This year’s winning cities are:
  • Palo Alto: Platinum Level
  • Claremont: Gold Level
  • Hayward: Gold Level
  • San Carlos: Gold Level
  • Sacramento: Silver Level
  • Scotts Valley: Silver Level
  • Foster City: Silver Level
  • Fremont: Silver Level
Each winning city is highlighted in this short video
New League Officers and Board of Directors
The board elected South San Francisco Council Member Rich Garbarino to serve as its president, San Diego City Council Member Mark Kersey to serve as first vice president and Grass Valley Council Member Jan Arbuckle as second vice president. Lodi Council Member JoAnne Mounce, who served as the 2016–17 president, became immediate past president. The board also elected six new at-large board members. 
The 2017–2018 officers and board of directors are listed in a press release announcing the new board.
The General Assembly approved two resolutions: Implement Strategies to Reduce Negative Impacts of Recent Changes to Criminal Laws and Local Control for Emergency Medical Response. More information on these resolutions is available on the League’s website at
2018 Annual Conference
Planning for the 2018 Annual Conference & Expo, scheduled for Sept. 12–14 in Long Beach, is already underway. The call for session proposals is open, and the League invites city officials, partners and other stakeholders to submit their ideas between now and Jan. 8. 

© League of California Cities