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Home > News > News Articles > 2020 > September > Message from League Executive Director Carolyn Coleman on annual conference and keynote speaker Sole
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Message from League Executive Director Carolyn Coleman on annual conference and keynote speaker Soledad O’Brien

September 30, 2020
Dear California City Leaders,

I am excited to announce the keynote speaker for the Annual Conference & Expo closing general session - Soledad O’Brien. The award-winning journalist, documentarian, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, will speak Friday, Oct. 9, and share her experiences with “Communicating in Times of Crisis,” something we’ve all become more familiar with in the last year.

In just one week, the League will host its first ever virtual Annual Conference & Expo, and it’s not too late to register, but the deadline to join live is Friday, Oct. 2, so be sure to register by then!

Over the last several months, your League team has reimagined all aspects of our annual conference to provide the best virtual experience for our members, and we’re excited as ever about this year’s incredible program.  

The three-day conference will kick off on Oct. 7 with an inspiring keynote by best-selling author and award-winning podcaster and blogger Neil Pasricha. As city leaders, you are leading through an extraordinarily difficult year. Pasricha’s keynote will explore how resilience, change, and growth come from times of challenge. He’ll also share research about the relationship between happiness and leadership.

In addition to powerhouse speakers during our general sessions, we have an incredible lineup of more than 30 breakout sessions that focus on solutions to the challenges cities have faced during this turbulent year. Session topics include leading through tough times and weathering a global pandemic, tools to address rising pension costs, best practices for serving residents experiencing homelessness, using technology to detect wildfires, and advancing equity in our communities. We are pleased to host a powerful keynote panel and breakout session on Oct. 8 on advancing racial equity led by National League of Cities Race, Equity, and Leadership director Leon Andrews and featuring California city leaders.

In addition to learning from each other during the breakout sessions, we also know how valuable it is for you to foster connections and learn from each other during the conference. We’ve put together a variety of networking events, receptions, and an interactive expo so you can collaborate and engage with your fellow city leaders and exhibitors – even through a keyboard and computer screen.

The ever-popular CitiPAC reception is still on the schedule for the first night of the conference, this time as an entertaining trivia night. Regional divisions will each team up to show off their trivia prowess and compete for the top score.

As our opening general session speaker, Neil Pasricha said in his promotional video for the conference, “you can’t pour from an empty vessel.” This week is your time to gather with your peers, recharge, and get inspired to go back out and serve your communities. In times like these, it’s an opportunity you don’t want to miss. Remember, the League of California Cities Annual Conference & Expo is your conference, and we can’t wait to see you there.

Again, be sure to register by the deadline, Friday, Oct. 2.

Carolyn M. Coleman
Executive Director
League of California Cities

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