Welcome to Chicago! For the 73rd Annual Conference of Mayors
Plusquellic: CDBG - Full Fund It and Don't Move It
By Ed Somers
June 6, 2005
The nation's mayors will gather in Chicago on June 10-14 for the 73rd Annual Conference of Mayors, presided over by Conference President Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic and hosted by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.
Major issues to be addressed in plenary sessions, committee and task force meetings, and workshops include the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), homeland security and law enforcement, building competitive cities, infrastructure investment, healthy cities, unfunded federal mandates, tax policy, regional cooperation, environmental policy, housing and many others.
Under Plusquellic's leadership, the Conference has put a tremendous effort into saving CDBG, with significant progress made in the adoption of a budget resolution that calls for the program to be fully funded.
Senator Norm Coleman (MN) and Representative Mike Turner (OH) will each be presented the Conference of Mayors' 2005 National Legislative Leadership Award for their efforts in the campaign to save CDBG.
The Conference is continuing to work with the national coalition it helped create and bi-partisan supporters in Congress to make sure that CDBG is fully funded at HUD through the Fiscal Year 2006 appropriations process now underway.
Other confirmed speakers include Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson, National Education Association President Reg Weaver, Governor Dirk Kempthorne (ID), and U.S. Ambassador to Poland Victor Ashe.
Other pending invites include: Senator Richard Durbin (IL), and Senator Barack Obama (IL).
The policy committees of the Conference will meet on Friday and Saturday to consider new resolutions, which will be presented to the entire membership for consideration on Monday.
There will also be a Health Luncheon on Friday, which will focus on childhood/youth obesity and cancer prevention.
Special Session: Making Cities Competitive
Concepts like "The Rise of the Creative Class," "Hot Jobs and Cool Communities," and "Building Manufacturing and Technology Economies" will be explored during an interactive discussion among three highly-regarded national experts and a panel of mayors on Friday afternoon, moderated by Plusquellic.
The session will provide an opportunity for debate as to what kind of investments work best and where, and how cities can position themselves to compete for the workers and businesses in the U.S. and global economies.
As mentioned, Senator Norm Coleman (MN) and Representative Mike Turner (OH) will receive the Conference's 2005 National Legislative Leadership Awards for their work on the campaign to save the Community Development Block Grant.
The conference will present its 26th City Livability Awards at a luncheon on Saturday.
The USCM/DuPont partnership will be awarding a total of $375,000 to three cities for the 2005 Lead-Safe...For Kids' Sake Grant Program on Monday.
And, the Conference of Mayors and Americans for the Arts will present the "Vanguard Arts Leadership Awards" to Maggie Daley, Chair of After School Matters, and Chicago Cultural Affairs Commissioner Lois Weisberg at a luncheon Monday.
- Mayors Business Council - Saturday
- Urban Water Council - Friday
- Council on the New American City - Friday
- Women Mayors - Friday
- Mayors Institute on City Design - Monday
- Workforce Development Council Thursday to Saturday
- Gang Violence - Friday
- Helping Working Families - Monday
- Responding to Military Base Closings - Monday
Task Force meetings include:
- Homeland Security - Friday
- Sustainable Development - Sunday
- Faith-Based and Community Initiatives/Prisoner Re-Entry - Sunday
- Mental Health (with the Children, Health and Human Services Committee) - Saturday
There will also be an orientation session for new mayors, and a Habitat for Humanity home construction on Friday morning.
Reports to be released include:
- 2005 Unfunded Mandates Survey
- Cancer Prevention and Healthy Cities Best Practices
There will be a special celebration on Sunday evening honoring outgoing President Plusquellic and President-Elect Long Beach Mayor Beverly O'Neill.
Then on Tuesday morning, there will be an Inaugural Breakfast honoring Mayor O'Neill during which the new officers of the Conference will be installed.
Host City Events
Daley is arranging a series of wonderful social events, which include:
- Friday evening welcoming reception at Navy Pier
- Saturday night reception at the John G. Shedd Aquarium
- Sunday afternoon Millennium Park Brunch and Tour
- Sunday night Chicago Blues Fest and Dine Around Town Program
- Monday Family Sports Night at U.S. Cellular Field featuring a game between the Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks
More information on these events, as well as spouse and children events during the meeting, can be obtained by going to either usmayors.org or the host committee website: uscmchicago2005.com.
Traveling Workshops on Monday
Chicago will host four traveling workshops on Monday afternoon on:
- Creating a Healthy, Smart, and Green City Today and for the Future - Chicago's Commitment to a Green Environment
- 3-1-1 Center: Matching Citizens' Needs to City Services
- Emergency Operations Center: Harnessing Technology to Improve Public Safety
- Public-Private Partnerships Creating Affordable Housing