LONG BEACH — The League of California Cities Past Presidents Council today announced the selection of the former Local Government Commission (LGC) executive director Judy Corbett as the recipient of the 2019 Past Presidents’ Lifetime Achievement Award. She received her honor today during the opening General Session of the League’s 2019 Annual Conference & Expo in Long Beach.
When Gov. Jerry Brown created the Local Government Commission in 1979, Judy Corbett was hired as the commission’s first executive director, where she led its transition to an independent nonprofit, and continued to lead the organization for more than three decades.
At the LGC, she published over 50 policy guidebooks for local government officials on topics including community water sustainability, hazardous waste reduction, recycling, energy conservation and alternative energy, sustainable economic development, and resource-efficient land use patterns.
She was co-developer of the highly acclaimed Village Homes, a model for sustainable development located in Davis. She coauthored three books on resource efficient land use and building design, most recently Designing Sustainable Communities: Learning from Village Homes.
Judy’s leadership is perhaps best known nationally for convening the first conference of local elected officials and visionary architects to seek an alternative to sprawl. Held at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park, the event gave birth to the “Ahwahnee Principles” which laid the foundation for “new urbanism” and “smart growth,” leading communities across the nation to promote infill, transit-oriented development and walkable communities. The now annual Ahwahnee Conference continues to break new ground in innovative public policy at the local level.
The League’s Immediate Past President and South San Francisco Vice Mayor, Richard Garbarino presented Judy Corbett with the award and congratulated her on this achievement. “Judy is an admirable champion for healthy, sustainable communities,” said Garbarino. “Our cities have benefitted from her passion to connect local leaders with innovative solutions that promote livable communities in which we want to live – that will last for generations to come.”
The League 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.