Article Features Anna Swanson

Preview: League of California Cities 2014 Annual Conference & Expo
Los Angeles Convention Center, Sept. 3-5

Anna Swanson is conference marketing coordinator for the League and can be reached at

Join city officials from over 400 cities throughout the state at the League’s largest conference of the year. Meet with approximately 1,900 elected officials and staff, and choose from more than 45 break-out sessions and CityTalks designed to educate and inform. Look for sessions of special interest to city attorneys, firefighting leaders and human resources staff seeking a more personalized professional development experience.

Newcomers to the conference may find it somewhat challenging to navigate the numerous learning opportunities available, so an orientation for first-time attendees (from 1:00 to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday) provides guidance on how to get the most out of your conference experience, as well as helpful background on the League.

Wednesday, Sept. 3

This year’s conference begins Wednesday, Sept. 3 and offers attendees a unique experience with three different tours of Los Angeles. Choose to explore the historic Los Angeles River, “blast off” with the space shuttle Endeavour at the California Science Center or take a walking tour of the Los Angeles Emergency Operations Center. Space is limited, and preregistration is required for all tours, so be sure to secure your reservation when registering for the conference.

Several pre-conference sessions are also being offered this year, including AB 1234 ethics training for those arriving prior to the Opening General Session, which commences at 3:00 p.m. The session includes the League’s annual report, announcement of the Helen Putnam Award for Excellence winners, presentation of the Past Presidents’ Lifetime Achievement Award, the Nominating Committee Report and a keynote address from Benjamin R. Barber.

Barber believes that the future of global governance lies with cities, which is the thesis of his book If Mayors Ruled the World. At a time when nation-states are unable or unwilling to work together across borders to address shared challenges, mayors are collaborating and establishing networks with one another with increasing frequency. Learn more about how these urban partnerships have already made a profound impact on such pressing concerns as climate change and terrorism.

After the Opening General Session, the evening’s festivities kick off with the grand opening of the Expo Hall held in conjunction with the Host City Reception, hosted by the City of Los Angeles from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Thursday, Sept. 4

A full day of educational opportunities is planned for Thursday, including the General Session where speaker Michael Pritchard will discuss how collaboration, cooperation and connectivity form the building blocks of a thriving community and workforce. Using humor and anecdotes, Pritchard addresses overcoming burnout, fighting indifference and apathy, using humor in stressful situations and ways to reinvigorate your dedication to public service.

This year’s Expo extended hours make it easier to meet with the 225-plus companies that offer city governments a wide range of products and services designed to help communities improve local services and the quality of life for residents. Network with your colleagues during lunch, which will be served in the Expo Hall, and compare notes on what you’ve seen and learned.

Thursday afternoon’s educational sessions examine topics such as enhancing neighborhoods, health-care reform, dealing with city debt and exploring sustainability solutions. The evening offers a plethora of networking opportunities at various receptions held by the League’s diversity caucuses, which include the African-American Caucus; Asian-Pacific Islander Caucus; Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Local Officials Caucus; Latino Caucus; and the Women’s Caucus.

Check with your regional public affairs manager for division event times, dates and applicable costs.

Friday, Sept. 5

The final day of the conference offers attendees professional development opportunities with over a dozen break-out sessions.

The closing luncheon program includes the swearing in of the 2014–15 League board of directors as well as the General Assembly, where city delegates vote on policy resolutions to be implemented in the coming year. Each city should designate at least one voting delegate to represent its position at the conference on issues under consideration at this meeting. Voting delegates must be registered for the conference to participate in the General Assembly.

Watch for updates on the sessions and speakers at

This article appears in the August 2014 issue of Western City
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