I spent most of last week in Washington D.C. for the U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter meeting, where I was also able to shoehorn in a meeting with HUD officials to advocate for Richmond Housing Authority issues, and Shirley and I got Senate gallery passes from Senator Feinstein’s Office to watch the impeachment trial!
We got to hear from two presidential candidates, both former mayors, “Mayor Pete” and Michael Bloomberg.
Following are photos of some of the activities, speakers and breakout sessions.
Figure 1 – There was a big Eastbay delegation, including (pictured above) Mayor Karen Stepper of Danville, Mayor Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft of Alameda, Mayor Tom Butt, Vice-mayor Sabina Zafar of San Ramon and Mayor Lilly Mei of Fremont
Figure 2 - Best Practice Forum on Promoting Safe, Caring and Supportive Environments for Children, chaired by Mayor Levar Stoney of Richmond VA. New York First Lady spoke about their Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program in schools. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh talked about after school programs, summer job programs — alternative to just “hanging around.” Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf described there Ceasefire program and the Oakland Promise.
Figure 3 - New York Mayor Bill deBlasio opens up noon plenary at US Conference of Mayors. Decries trillions spent on endless wars. A fraction could “rebuild every road, bridge, school and transit system in the US.”
Figure 4 - At “Social Media and Citizen Engagement in Cities,” presentations by Twitter and Facebook, followed by comments from Mayor Sam Liccardo of San Jose, Mayor David Holt of Oklahoma City and Mayor Steve Adler of Austin.
Figure 5 - Michael Bloomberg shared his five-point infrastructure plan with us today. (1) Access to clean water for all,(2) repair roads and bridges, (3) mass transit and railroads, (4) modernize airports, (5) broadband access for all. Safer, healthier and Fairer.
Figure 6 - Mayor Regina Romero of Tucson apologized for poaching our former police chief Chris Magnus.
Figure 7 - The Latino Leaders Network Annual Tribute to Mayors is always a fun event that typically features a lot of Californians. This year, Mayor Sam Liccardo was honored with the Antonio Villaraigosa Leadership Award, and Congressman Tony Cardenas with the Chairman’s Award. Mayor Regina Romero of Tucson made special guest remarks.
Figure 8 -Addressing the Climate Change Crisis. Mayors on the front line, moving forward despite Trump’s removal of US from the Paris Accords. LA Mayor Eric Garcetti says 2020 is the Climate Decade, and LA already has its own Green New Deal, with goals of zero emissions in transportation, zero emissions in buildings, zero wasted water, zero carbon and zero waste. Solutions are getting both easier and cheaper, not harder.
Figure 9 - Walked into the Senate Office Building to this demonstration.
Figure 10 – We stopped at Senator Feinstein’s Office to secure our Senate galley passes, and the senator was on her way to the trial
Figure 11 - We spent a Little less than an hour in the Senate Gallery after meeting our escort in Feinstein’s Office. We took the Senate subway to the Capitol where we had to give everything but our clothes to security. Definitely no photos allowed. The entire time was taken up by Rep. Jerry Nadler defining an impeachable offense, focusing on abuse of power and corruption, along with invoking numerous quotes from the founding fathers, including Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Hamilton. It was short but fascinating. Feinstein had only three passes, including one for the escort, so they were being rotated hourly. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf was next after us. It’s too bad we already know how it will turn out.
Figure 12 - Always good parties at the USCM. Tonight welcomed by the Japanese Ambassador at the Embassy of Japan. Lots of saki and good food.
Figure 13 - Oh my! This morning was an eye-opener. Who knew that esports is the fastest growing sport in the world, with viewership exceeding NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS, with 2020 revenue predicted at $2 billion? More and more cities are getting into esports. It has a “cool” factor that makes cities destinations and attracts high tech companies. It involves music and visual arts, coding, vocational skills and graphic design. Venues can include areas, theaters, local universities and even park and rec facilities. We heard from Andy Brick, Principal Conductor and Music Director of GameOn! Symphonic Concert and Jason Woo, Chief Strategy Officer, Next Generation Esports.
Figure 14 - Candidate Pete Buttigieg, former Mayor of South Bend IN
Figure 15 – After having seen the impeachment trial, we had to pass on meeting the impeachee, along with others including Ben Carson and Kellyanne Conway. We had a plane to catch.