Article Features Caitlin Cole

League of California Cities® 2016 Annual Conference & Expo Highlights

Caitlin Cole is a conference program manager for the League and can be reached at

Join thousands of city officials from throughout California at the League of California Cities® 2016 Annual Conference & Expo, Oct. 5–7 in the City of Long Beach. Attend educational sessions and hear about inspiring ways to 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 Theater presentations.

Expo and Grand Prize Giveaway

This year’s Expo will showcase more than 250 exhibitors, including 57 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, Oct. 5 for the Expo Grand Opening, held in conjunction with the Host City Reception from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

The U.S. Communities Zone returns this year and 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 to meet with some of the U.S. Communities suppliers, including Columbia Vehicle Group, Graybar, HD Supply Facilities Maintenance and Herman Miller. One lucky city will win the Grand Prize Giveaway this year: a $3,000 voucher that may be used for products or services from any U.S. Communities supplier. The City of Monrovia won last year’s Grand Prize Giveaway. The 2016 drawing will be held Friday, Oct. 7, during the Closing General Assembly. Entry details can be found inside the U.S. Communities Zone. A representative from the city selected during the random drawing held during the Closing General Assembly must be present to win.

League Partner Village

In the Expo Hall, you can find the League Partner Village, an area featuring highlights and successful examples of public-private partnerships. Explore case studies of innovative projects and programs that have worked in California cities. Gain insight from elected officials, city staff and industry experts who have discovered creative solutions to some of the challenging problems that cities face. The League Partner Village also showcases the work of the Helen Putnam Award for Excellence winners. Stop by to learn about these award-winning projects and programs firsthand from the city staff who implement them.

Networking Opportunities

The conference offers attendees a multitude of ways to connect with colleagues and experts from throughout the state to discuss common concerns, exchange ideas and share solutions. Networking events are held throughout the conference by the League’s diversity caucuses and regional divisions as well as League Partners.

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 League board of directors and plays a key role in League policy-making. Most department business meetings will be held Wednesday, Oct. 5.

Regional Divisions

The League’s 16 regional divisions function as a grassroots advocacy team and give city officials a way to become more involved in activities that enhance 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 to foster transparency in local government.

Find More Information

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

Photo credit: Courtesy of the Long Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau (both photos)

This article appears in the October 2016 issue of Western City
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