Article Features Katie Sacco

League of California Cities 2015 Annual Conference & Expo Highlights

Katie Sacco is conference coordinator for the League and can be reached at

Join thousands of city officials from throughout California at the League of California Cities 2015 Annual Conference & Expo on Sept. 30–Oct. 2. This year’s conference is located in the City of San José and features educational sessions with inspiring ideas to help you better serve your city and residents. Visit the Expo Hall to find state-of-the-art products and cost-saving services and explore the League Partner Speaker Theaters.

Expo and Grand Prize Giveaway

This year’s Expo will showcase more than 245 exhibitors, including 70 first-time exhibitors. Be sure to schedule time to meet with vendors and learn how your city can benefit from their products, services and resources. Join us on Wednesday, Sept. 30 for the Expo Grand Opening, held in conjunction with the Host City Reception, which will run from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

New this year is the U.S. Communities Zone, which will be rolling out the red carpet for you. U.S. Communities is the League-sponsored government purchasing cooperative designed to save local agencies money. Look for the centrally located, red-draped area where you can meet with three of the U.S. Communities suppliers: Club Car, Columbia ParCar and Herman Miller. The Grand Prize Giveaway this year for a lucky city is a $3,000 voucher that may be used for products or services from any U.S. Communities supplier. The City of Cudahy won last year’s Grand Prize drawing. The 2015 drawing will be held Friday, Oct. 2 during the Closing General Assembly. Entry details can be found inside the U.S. Communities Zone. You must be present at the General Assembly to win.

League Partner Village

In the Expo Hall, you can find the League Partner Village — an area that offers participants a chance to explore successful examples of public-private partnerships and case studies of innovative projects and programs that have worked in California cities. In this area, educational sessions on drone technology, the shared economy and emerging state and local tax issues will be held Thursday, Oct. 1 in the League Partner Speaker Theater. The League Partner Village also showcases the work of the Helen Putnam Award for Excellence winners. Stop by and learn about these model projects, which can be replicated in your city.

Networking Opportunities

The conference offers attendees a multitude of ways to connect with colleagues and experts to discuss common concerns, exchange ideas and share solutions. The League’s diversity caucuses, regional divisions and League Partners host networking events throughout the conference.

League Professional Departments

Eleven professional departments make up the League, all of which play an integral part in the development and delivery of educational events and networking. These departments comprise:

  1. City attorneys;
  2. City clerks;
  3. City managers;
  4. Community services;
  5. Fire chiefs;
  6. Fiscal officers;
  7. Mayors and council members;
  8. Personnel and employee relations;
  9. Planning and community development;
  10. Police chiefs; and
  11. Public works officers.

Each professional department is represented on the board of directors and plays a key role in League policy-making. Most department business meetings will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 30.

Regional Divisions

The League’s regional divisions function as a grassroots advocacy team and offer city officials a way to become more involved in activities that support the quality of life in their communities. The divisions provide the League board of directors with a diverse range of perspectives and give a voice to member cities throughout the state. All divisions are staffed locally by the League’s regional public affairs managers. Some League divisions hold networking events during the conference. Contact your regional public affairs manager ( for more information.

Brown Act Requirements and League Conferences

The Brown Act, also referred to as California’s Open Meeting Law, permits a majority of the members of a legislative body to attend a conference (or similar gathering open to the public) that addresses issues of general interest to the public or public agencies of the type represented by the legislative body. However, a majority of the members cannot discuss among themselves — other than as part of the scheduled program — business of a specific nature that is within the local agency’s jurisdiction.

The League has long been a strong advocate for open government and transparency. Cities throughout California continue to comply with the requirements of the Brown Act even though the Legislature has suspended several of its provisions for a three-year period. City officials believe that this compliance serves the best interests of their communities and helps foster transparency in local government.

App and Website Offer More Information About the Conference

Visit the annual conference page on the League website at to plan your conference schedule. You can also download the League’s mobile app, designed to help you maximize your time at the conference. You can check out the schedule of events, customize your schedule, import your selected sessions into your calendar, access session materials, speaker bios and exhibitor information and more. Find the app on your device by searching in the app store for “League of California Cities” or “CACities.”

To follow the conference on Twitter, use @CaCitiesLearn or #CaCitiesAnnual. 

Photo credits: Courtesy of Team San José (all photos)

This article appears in the September 2015 issue of Western City
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