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League of California Cities

League of California Cities Announces New Board Officers and Directors

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Contact: Kayla Woods, (530) 844-1744
kwoods@cacities.org
Oct. 9, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 

League of California Cities Announces New Board Officers and Directors

El Centro Council Member Cheryl Viegas Walker Elected League of California Cities President


SACRAMENTO — The League of California Cities announced its 2020-21 leadership and board of directors on Friday, Oct. 9, as part of the League’s virtual Annual Conference & Expo.
 
The League Board of Directors elected El Centro Council Member Cheryl Viegas Walker to serve as president, Walnut Creek Council Member Cindy Silva to serve as first vice president, and Artesia Mayor Ali Sajjad Taj to serve as second vice president. Yountville Mayor John F. Dunbar, who served as the 2019-20 president, became immediate past president.
 
“I am thrilled to work alongside this dedicated group of local leaders,” said League of California Cities Executive Director Carolyn Coleman. “Each of our board officers and directors are dedicated public servants who are committed to California’s cities and the residents who reside in them. I look forward to the work we will do together in this coming year to advocate for the issues that matter most to California cities and advance our communities.”
 
Viegas Walker has served as the League Imperial County Division representative since 2015, and has been an active member of the League since she was elected to city council in 1997. She is a past president of the League’s Women's Caucus.
 
At the local level, Viegas Walker has served on the El Centro City Council since 1997 and has served as mayor five times. She is a 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. Viegas Walker represents El Centro on multiple regional bodies in the areas of transportation, is a member of the Juvenile Justice Commission and the El Centro Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees.

Under the League’s bylaws, officers are elected to serve a one-year term with the outgoing president becoming immediate past president. Along with the League Executive Director Coleman, the four officers comprise the League’s executive committee. Individual releases for each of the board officers can be found at the end of this release.
 
The board also elected six at-large directors who will serve a two-year term. These directors are: 
  • Jan Arbuckle, Council Member, Grass Valley
  • Denise Athas, Mayor, Novato
  • Reva Feldman, City Manager, Malibu
  • JoAnne Mounce, Council Member, Lodi
  • Blanca Pacheco, Mayor, Downey
  • David Sander, Mayor, Rancho Cordova 
The 2020-21 League Board of Directors are:
 
Officers:
  • President Cheryl Viegas Walker, Council Member, El Centro
  • First Vice President Cindy Silva, Council Member, Walnut Creek
  • Second Vice President Ali Sajjad Taj, Mayor, Artesia
  • Immediate Past President John F. Dunbar, Mayor, Yountville 
Directors:
  • Amy Albano, City Attorney, Burbank – City Attorneys Department
  • Jan Arbuckle, Council Member, Grass Valley – At-large
  • Denise Athas, Mayor, Novato – At-large
  • Emily Beach, Mayor, Burlingame – Peninsula Division
  • Lee Brand, Mayor, Fresno – Large City
  • London Breed, Mayor, San Francisco – Large City
  • Joe Buscaino, Council Member & President Pro Tem Los Angeles – Large City Alternate for Mayor Garcetti and NLC Board of Directors
  • Ken Carlson, Mayor, Pleasant Hill – East Bay Division
  • Ross Chun, Council Member, Aliso Viejo – Orange County Division
  • Pippin Dew, Vice Mayor, Vallejo – North Bay Division
  • Kevin Faulconer, Mayor, San Diego – Large City
  • Reva Feldman, City Manager, Malibu – At-large
  • Rich Garbarino, mayor, South San Francisco – At-large
  • Edgard Garcia, Mayor, El Centro - Imperial County Division
  • Karen Goh, Mayor, Bakersfield – Large City
  • Eric Guerra, Vice Mayor, Sacramento – Large City Alternate for Mayor Steinberg
  • George N. Harris II, Director of Finance, Lancaster – Personnel & Employee Relations Department
  • Steve Hofbauer, Mayor, Palmdale – Desert Mountain Division
  • Dawn Holm, Director of Finance, Sacramento, Fiscal Officers Department
  • Sergio Jimenez, Council Member, San Jose – Large City Alternate for Mayor Liccardo
  • Randi Johl, Director of Legislative Affairs/City Clerk, Temecula – City Clerks Department
  • Dan Kalb, Council Member, Oakland – Large City Alternate for Mayor Schaaf
  • Jim Lewis, City Manager, Pismo Beach – City Managers Department
  • Corina Lopez, Council Member, San Leandro – NLC Board of Directors
  • Jesse Loren, Council Member, Winters – At-large
  • Clint Lorimore, Council Member, Eastvale – Riverside County Division
  • Steve Manos, Council Member, Lake Elsinore – At-large
  • Annie Mezzacappa, Mayor’s Chief of Staff, Anaheim – Large City Alternate for Mayor Sidhu
  • L. Dennis Michael, Mayor, Rancho Cucamonga – At-large
  • John Minto, Mayor, Santee – San Diego County Division
  • Richard Montgomery, Mayor Pro Tem, Manhattan Beach – NLC Board of Directors
  • JoAnne Mounce, Council Member, Lodi – At-large
  • Eric Nelson, Planning Commissioner, Dana Point – Planning and Community Development Department
  • Robert Newman, Director of Public Works, Santa Clarita – Public Works Department
  • Eric Nickel, Fire Chief, Santa Barbara – Fire Chiefs Department
  • Blanca Pacheco, Mayor, Downey – At-large
  • Daniel Parra, Council Member, Fowler – South San Joaquin Division
  • Robert Plummer, Chief, Napa Police Department – Police Chiefs Department
  • Dave Potter, Mayor, Carmel - Monterey Bay Division
  • Ana Maria Quintana, Vice Mayor, Bell – Los Angeles County Division
  • Monica Rodriguez, Council Member, Los Angeles – NLC Board of Directors
  • David Sander, Mayor, Rancho Cordova – At-large
  • Mariam Shah, Council Member, Grover Beach – Channel Counties Division
  • Sam Spagnolo, Council Member, Rancho Cucamonga – Inland Empire Division
  • Ed Spriggs, Council Member, Imperial Beach – At-large
  • Randall Stone, Mayor, Chico – Sacramento Valley Division
  • Mireya Turner, Council Member, Lakeport – Redwood Empire Division
  • Roberto Uranga, Council Member, Long Beach – Large City Alternate for Mayor Garcia
  • Alan Wapner, Council Member, Ontario – At-large
  • Jeramy Young, Mayor, Hughson – Central Valley Division
  • Amanda Young Rigby, Deputy Mayor, Vista – Mayors & Council Members Department
 
─ More ─

El Centro Council Member Cheryl Viegas Walker Elected League of California Cities President
 
Sacramento — The League of California Cities Board of Directors elected El Centro Council Member Cheryl Viegas Walker to serve as its 2020-21 president. Council Member Viegas Walker was installed on Oct. 9 as part of the League’s virtual Annual Conference & Expo.  
 
“It is an honor to serve as president for the leading voice of California cities,” said League President Viegas Walker. “These are challenging times and I look forward to working with the League board and staff, member cities, and community stakeholders as we strive to create more diverse, inclusive, and equitable cities for all Californians.”
 
Viegas Walker has served on the El Centro City Council since 1997 and has served as mayor five times. She 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.
 
Regionally, Viegas Walker represents El Centro on the Imperial County Transportation Commission (ICTC), Imperial County Local Transportation Authority, and the Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies. Viegas Walker is also the ICTC representative to the California Association of Councils of Governments, where she serves as president.

Viegas Walker is a 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.

Viegas Walker has served as the Imperial County Division board representative for the League since 2015, and has been an active member of the League since she was elected in 1997. She is also a past president of the League’s Women's Caucus.
 
“Cheryl is a passionate and dedicated public servant who has remained steadfast in her commitment to both the League and improving California’s communities,” said League of California Cities Executive Director Carolyn Coleman. “As president, Cheryl’s insight, empathy, and perspective will be integral as we continue our focus on finding effective solutions to the challenges facing our cities and protecting local authority.”
 
During its meeting this week, the League Board of Directors also elected Walnut Creek Council Member Cindy Silva to serve as first vice president and Artesia Mayor Ali Sajjad Taj as second vice president. Yountville Mayor John F. Dunbar, who served as the 2019-20 president, became immediate past president.
 

Walnut Creek Council Member Cindy Silva Elected League of California Cities First Vice President
 
Sacramento — The League of California Cities Board of Directors elected Walnut Creek Council Member Cindy Silva to serve as its 2020-21 first vice president. Council Member Silva was installed on Oct. 9 as part of the League’s virtual Annual Conference & Expo.  
 
“For more than a decade, I have been part of the League’s efforts to advocate for our cities on behalf of our California residents. Without a doubt, my city and, in turn, our community have been the beneficiaries of the League’s advocacy, educational resources, and professional development opportunities,” said Silva. “I am honored to serve as first vice president of the League this coming year, and I look forward to working alongside local leaders from across the state on the many issues facing our communities.” 
 
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 2018-19.
 
As mayor, Silva founded and still co-chairs Walnut Creek Community Service Day in 2011, 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 has served on numerous council committees: Finance; Public Education; Housing and Community Development; Public Safety; Youth and Family Services; and several ad hoc committees.
 
Regionally, Silva represents Walnut Creek on the Central Contra Costa Solid Waste Authority (Recycle Smart) and is a Finance Committee member of the East Bay Regional Communications System Authority. From 2008-10, Silva was Walnut Creek’s representative to the regional transportation planning committee of Central Contra Costa.
 
Silva is an active member of the League of California Cities. She has been a League board member since 2015 and served as the East Bay Division president in 2013.
 
“Cindy has been an invaluable and knowledgeable member of the League for many years,” said League of California Cities Executive Director Carolyn Coleman. “Cindy’s expertise on issues regarding housing and transit oriented development will be vital as we advocate for cities in the coming year.”
 
Silva served 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. Silva also 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. 
 
During its meeting this week, the League Board of Directors also elected El Centro Council Member Cheryl Viegas Walker to serve as president and Artesia Mayor Ali Sajjad Taj as second vice president. Yountville Mayor John F. Dunbar, who served as the 2019-20 president, became immediate past president. 

 
Artesia Mayor Ali Sajjad Taj Elected League of California Cities Second Vice President
 
Sacramento — The League of California Cities Board of Directors elected Artesia Mayor Ali Sajjad Taj to serve as the organization’s 2020-21 second vice president. Taj was installed on Oct. 9 as part of the League’s virtual Annual Conference & Expo.  
 
“I am honored to join the League of California Cities esteemed leadership team,” said Mayor Taj. “I look forward to working collaboratively alongside the League officers, board of directors, membership, and League staff to help shape the resources the League provides to city leaders who are committed to serving their communities.”
 
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.
 
“Ali has been a valued and insightful member of the League for many years, and I’m pleased to welcome him to the League’s leadership,” said League of California Cities Executive Director Carolyn Coleman. “Ali brings a commitment to public service and belief in the power of city officials to make their communities stronger through effective policymaking. I’m thrilled to have his expertise and perspective as we advocate for California cities.”
 
The League Board of Directors also elected El Centro Council Member Cheryl Viegas Walker to serve as president and Walnut Creek Council Member Cindy Silva as first vice president. Yountville Mayor John F. Dunbar, who served as president in 2019-20, became immediate past president.

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 restore and protect local control for cities through education and advocacy to enhance the quality of life for all Californians. 
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