Ron Loveridge: From Professor and Mayor to National Leader
Eva Spiegel is director of communications for the League and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Loveridge moved to
Through students’ internships, Loveridge learned about
“My political hero is Robert Kennedy, and I accept the premise that I should try to make a difference — not just comment,” says Loveridge when asked about his inspiration to run for city council.
Loveridge credits his campaign strategy for his 63 percent victory over an incumbent. “I went to all my good books and tried to take the lessons from the academy to the campaign. I knocked on 4,500 doors and had 50 coffees,” says Loveridge. “In local politics, it’s a friends-and-neighbors exchange. Knocking on doors is the single most important thing you can do.”
Sea Change for Cities in the Nation’s Capital
National League of Cities (NLC) Executive Director Don Borut says cities have a new voice in
The Obama administration, unlike the previous two, has placed its director of intergovernmental affairs in a Cabinet-level position. This office reports directly to the White House and works with the other Cabinet officials to set a local government agenda. Borut reports that two of the administration’s representatives with whom NLC works come from local government.
“In the past we’ve said don’t take money, funds or programs away from cities — cities want to be at the table. Now we are at the table and there to help shape national decisions,” says Loveridge. “Cities shouldn’t be seen as another pleader [in
“Loveridge is managing the reality that is hitting cities across the country. He understands how cities are having to contract at the same time that expectations are higher,” said Borut. This experience, he adds, will be essential as NLC focuses on the major issues facing cities.
“The administration has invited local government to be a major partner in solving problems,” says Loveridge. “Until cities recover, the nation as a whole won’t recover.”
Many important issues are on the table for the nation’s cities in 2010. NLC will continue to advocate this year on the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009, working to make sure that cities can access available grant monies. Because ARRA has been so important to cities’ recovery, Vice President Joe Biden has been talking with mayors about the funds’ impact. Later this year, Loveridge will represent NLC’s 19,000 cities and towns when he testifies about the implementation of ARRA and its effect on localities before the House Oversight and Governmental Reform Committee. It’s this kind of invitation that will help Congress and the Obama administration interpret cities’ experiences, according to Loveridge.
With energy issues pressing, Borut says that now is the time to translate the leadership cities have shown on sustainability to the national level. He predicts Loveridge’s ability to reflect deeply on issues and take action will help NLC’s effectiveness, saying, “Ron focuses on important issues and stays the course to accomplish the right policy decisions for his community.”
2010 promises to be unlike other years in
In addition, the state’s voice is strengthened by the combined forces of its two senior senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, U.S. Representative and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, 53 congressional representatives — more than any other state — and many Californians serving in the Obama administration.