Article Features Liz Birmingham

League of California Cities 2008 Annual Conference Preview: Sept. 24–27, Long Beach Convention Center

Liz Birmingham is senior conference logistic manager for the League’s Education and Conferences Department and can be reached at

The League’s 110th annual conference brings together city officials, city staff, dignitaries, policy-makers, experts and private and public sector leaders from throughout California. The conference is value packed with numerous workshops and learning opportunities, policy development meetings and networking events. The Exposition showcase of municipal products and services and CityBooks, an extensive bookstore geared to municipal issues, inspiring leadership and California history, complete this well-rounded conference.

Day-by-Day Overview

Wednesday, Sept. 24

Registration opens at noon, when attendees can pick up their attendance badge and conference packets. Policy committee meetings will be held from 10 a.m.–12:00 p.m. and 12:30–2:30 p.m. at the Hyatt and do not require a badge to attend. Two optional pre-conference workshops, “California Public Officials Emergency Preparedness” and “Understanding Public Service Ethics Laws and Principles (AB 1234 Training),” will be held from 1:30–3:30 p.m. — be sure to register in advance if you plan to attend. At 2:30 p.m., a helpful orientation is provided for first-time attendees.

The Opening General Session kicks off at 4:00 p.m., featuring League President and San Diego Council Member Jim Madaffer and Executive Director Chris McKenzie. Keynote speaker Neal Petersen will present “No Barriers — Only Solutions.” Petersen sailed 27,000 miles in a nine-month adventure at sea, piloting a boat he built at home. He will share his insights on how using imagination and the determination to achieve can break through the toughest challenges.

On Wednesday evening, enjoy the CITIPAC 3rd Annual Leadership Gala Casino Night festivities at the Museum of Latin American Art, beginning at 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, September 25

Registration and CityBooks open at 7:30 a.m. Department business meetings are held from 8:00–9:15 a.m. Concurrent educational sessions are offered throughout the day, from 9:30–11:00 a.m., 12:45–2:00 p.m. and 2:30–3:45 p.m. The Exposition opens at 11:00 a.m. Enjoy lunch in the Expo hall or purchase a ticket to the Institute for Local Government’s 4th Annual Luncheon Symposium; this year’s topic is “Local Leadership and the Changing Demographics of California’s Communities.”

The General Session concludes the afternoon program with keynote speaker Richard Florida, author of Who’s Your City, which looks at how people choose where they live and how that affects virtually everything else in their lives. After a full day of conference activities, relax with colleagues and enjoy great food, music and entertainment at the complimentary Long Beach Host
City Reception.

Friday, September 26

Registration and CityBooks open at 7:30 a.m., and regional networking breakfasts are held from 7:30–8:45 a.m. (contact your League regional public affairs manager, as an additional fee may apply to attend).

This full day of activities includes concurrent educational sessions from 9:15–10:45 a.m., 11:00 a.m.–12:15 p.m. and 1:45–3:00 p.m. Lunch is offered in the Expo hall from 12:15–1:30 p.m. The Closing General Session, 3:45–5:00 p.m., will feature installation of the new League board and officers and keynote speaker Doris Kearns Goodwin. Goodwin is a renowned historian and gifted storyteller who illustrates today’s issues with lessons from some of the country’s greatest leaders.

During the evening, join the fun at one of the League caucus receptions or gather with colleagues to watch the first presidential debate of 2008.

Saturday, September 27

Participate in the concluding Annual Business Meeting from 8:30–9:45 a.m. Remember to register your city’s voting delegate, and be sure he or she is present at the business meeting to vote your city’s position.

Registration Options

Option 1 (credit card): Register online for immediate access to conference confirmation and a link to online hotel reservations. If paying by credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover) you can register online at The League cannot process American Express payment. Those who register online by the Friday, Sept. 5 deadline will receive a $20 CityBooks coupon to be used during the conference.

Option 2: Full payment must accompany the registration form. Please obtain and print the check registration form online at Registrations will not be processed until payment in full — by check only — is received. Make checks payable to the League of California Cities. The League is unable to accept purchase orders. After Friday, Sept. 5, you must register on-site at the conference.

This article appears in the August 2008 issue of Western City
Did you like what you read here? Subscribe to Western City