Mayor attends conference in D.C.

January 25, 2012 04:56 PM
Galesburg’s Mayor, Sal Garza, attended the United States Conference of Mayors in Washington, D.C. last week to participate in sessions on significant community issues and to interact with U.S. cabinet members, federal government administrators, business leaders and mayors from across the nation.
While there, Mayor Garza, representing the city of Galesburg and the Illinois Municipal League as a recent member of its board of directors, was invited by President Obama to attend a private reception for mayors at the White House. "I had the opportunity to chat with the President and he inquired with a sense of fondness, on how Galesburg was doing along with asking how everyone in our community and the community of Alpha were fairing," said Garza. "I told him we are working through the challenges and are coming together to seek out greater opportunities for our area."
Garza said the President thanked him for coming to Washington and asked that he tell the folks in Galesburg and Alpha that he wished the best for them and their families.
Garza reported additional highlights of the trip were connecting with the mayor from a community that was recently successful in attracting Caterpillar; seeing Governor Quinn receive a national award for state leadership in support of the arts; seeing the film, television and theatre actress Holland Taylor receive a life-time achievement award for her work; and participating with a Tri-State Regional Partnership effort (Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois) to build jobs through water based economies, specifically aquaponics.
Some sessions attended at the January 18-20, 2012 conference, along with the featured speaker, include:
  1. Metro Economies and the New American City – Richard Cordray, Director, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  2. Community Development and Housing – Shawn Donovan, Secretary, HUD
  3. Energy – Tom Vilsack, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  4. Jobs, Education and Workforce – Arne Duncan, U.S. Department of Education
  5. Transportation and Communications – Ray LaHood, Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation; and Julius Genachowski, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission
  6. Tourism, Arts, Parks Entertainment and Sports – Mitchell Landrieu, Mayor, New Orleans
  7. That Used To Be Us – Thomas L. Friedman, Columnist and Author, New York Times 
  8. Regional Collaboration on Economic Development and Global Competitiveness – John Fernandez, Assistant Secretary, Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce
  9. Local Pension Systems; Challenges and Solutions – Elizabeth Kellar, President and CEO, Center on Government Excellence
  10. Food Policy – Thomas Menino, Mayor Boston
  11. Community Colleges – Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago
The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more. There are 1,299 such cities in the country today. Each city is represented in the conference by its chief elected official.
The primary roles of The U.S. Conference of Mayors are to:
• Promote the development of effective national urban/suburban policy;
• Strengthen federal-city relationships;
• Ensure that federal policy meets urban needs;
• Provide mayors with leadership and managements tools; and
• Create a forum in which mayors can share ideas and information.


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