New Mayors and Council Members Academy

January 18-20 in Sacramento, and February 1-3 in Universal City, 2023

Join the League of California Cities for three days of educational content and networking at the 2023 New Mayors and Council Members Academy. This year’s conference takes place in two different locations over two separate weekends. For attendees in the Northern California area, the New Mayors and Council Members Academy will take place in Sacramento, January 18-20, 2023 at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento. For those in Southern California, the conference will take place in Universal City, February 1-3, 2023 at the Sheraton Universal Hotel.

Designed for newly elected officials and for veterans wanting a refresher course, this conference provides you with an introduction to the services of the League of California Cities, offers a basic legal and practical framework in which city officials operate, and fosters relationships with fellow elected officials. The opportunity for city leaders to learn from and network with each other provides invaluable support.

The conference will touch on current topics of importance to newly elected mayors and council members, including diversity, relationships between city council and city management, city planning, effective advocacy, financial responsibilities, and more.

Opportunities for elected officials to complete state-mandated AB 1234 ethics training and AB1661 sexual harassment prevention training will be offered and included in your registration fee. Stay tuned for more details!

Join Cal Cities for this can’t-miss opportunity to sharpen your skills as you prepare your city for the future. Registration will open in fall 2022.

For questions about the 2023 conference, please contact Education and Events Manager, Christina George.

Please see our event and meeting policies.

Academy Information


Explore Previous Academies

2022 Academy Session Descriptions

Click to view the full academy schedule PDF.

Thursday, January 20

Morning Coffee Chat with the Department Executive Committee

8:30–9:15 a.m.

Join the Mayors and Council Members Department executive committee for an informal coffee chat before the conference begins. Come (virtually) meet your peers, share insights, and gear up for the day ahead!

Cal Cities Mayors and Council Members Department Officers
John Minto, Department President and Mayor, Santee
Susannah Meyer, First Vice President and Council Member, Brentwood
Blanca Pacheco, Second Vice President and Mayor, Downey
Lori Ogorchock, Immediate Past President and Department Director and Council Member, Antioch


An Irregular Meeting of the City Council of Dysfunction Junction: The Do’s and Don’ts of Conducting a Public Meeting

9:30–11:30 a.m.

Enjoy a popular depiction of a city council meeting gone awry and learn from its mistakes.

Welcome and Introductions 
John Minto, President, Mayors and Council Members Department, League of California Cities and Mayor, Santee

Speakers 
Christi Hogin and Michael Jenkins, Best Best & Krieger
 

Your Cal Cities and How to Use It

1:00–1:45 p.m.

As a city official, you are the League of California Cities. Meet the Cal Cities leadership team and learn about the organization’s mission and structure, the advocacy and educational tools Cal Cities provides, and how you can get the most out of your membership.

Moderator
Jennifer Whiting, Director, Education and Member Services, League of California Cities 

Speakers
Cindy Silva, President, League of California Cities and Mayor Pro Tem, Walnut Creek
Carolyn Coleman, Executive Director and CEO, League of California Cities

 

Developing an Effective City Council and City Manager Team: The Key to Good Governance and City Success 

2:00–3:30 p.m.

Successful communities require highly effective governance and management, key to which is a positive city council/city manager working relationship guided by good, open communication. This session will help you to better appreciate the roles that the city council governing body, individual council members, and the city manager fulfill in a successful working relationship based on effective communication and sound governance practices.

Moderator

Pat Martel, West Coast Regional Director, ICMA

 

Speakers
Angela Andrews, Council Member, Hayward
Kelly McAdoo, City Manager, Hayward 

 

Friday, January 21

Financial Responsibilities, City Revenues Workshop 

9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Learn about your responsibilities as an elected official when exercising fiduciary accountability and transparency in open government. In this enlightening conversation, discuss the local government financial cycle, elected official financial oversight duties, and state and local funding relationships, and the four stages of fiscal meltdown. Plus, learn how to be a better leader by discovering how to avoid micromanagement and manage complacency. The importance of structurally balanced budget tips for setting city council goals and the need for financial policies will be stressed during this session.

Speakers
Michael Coleman, Fiscal Policy Advisor to the League of California Cities and CSMFO; CaliforniaCityFinance.com
Christina Turner, City Manager, Morgan Hill

 

Thursday, January 27

Morning Coffee Chat with your Regional Division 

8:30–9:15 a.m.

Meet your regional public affairs manager and join fellow division members for an informal coffee chat before the day begins. Regional Divisions cover every part of California and serve as the grassroots advocacy core of the League of California Cities. Made up of elected and career city officials, Regional Divisions develop region-specific programs and carry out grassroots activities to support specific legislative, regulatory, and ballot measure goals. Divisions guide Cal Cities policy by appointing representatives to the board of directors, as well as its resolutions, policy, and annual conference committees.

*Desert Mountain and Inland Empire divisions will not have a coffee chat. Please contact Laura Morales for more information.

*The Monterey Bay division will not have a coffee chat. Please contact Deanna Sessums for more information.


Speakers
Regional Public Affairs Managers

Effective Advocacy and Key City Issues

9:30–10:30 a.m.

Meet the League of California Cities’ legislative team and learn about the 2022 Cal Cities Action Agenda, legislative calendar, and trending issues in the Legislature. The Cal Cities team will also share ideas for establishing practical skills to develop persuasive arguments and testimony that will serve your city’s interests.

 

Moderator

Melanie Perron, Deputy Executive Director, Advocacy & Public Affairs, League of California Cities

 

Speakers
Bismarck Obando, Director of Public Affairs, League of California Cities
Jason Rhine, Assistant Legislative Director, League of California Cities
Caroline Cirrincione, Legislative Affairs, Lobbyist, League of California Cities 
Damon Conklin, Legislative Affairs, Lobbyist, League of California Cities 
Derek Dolfie, Legislative Affairs, Lobbyist, League of California Cities
Elisa Arcidiacono, Legislative Affairs, Lobbyist, League of California Cities   
Johnnie Piña, Legislative Affairs, Lobbyist, League of California Cities     
Nicolas Romo, Legislative Affairs, Lobbyist, League of California Cities
Jessica Sankus, Senior Policy and Legislative Analyst, League of California Cities

Policy Role in Land Use Planning

11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Land use planning is one of the most important parts of a city official’s responsibilities due to the long-term impacts it can have on a community’s environment, economic vitality, and the physical health of its residents. Learn about tools and processes in land use planning, such as the general plan, zoning, and the California Environmental Quality Act, as well as the role of regional agencies and the state. This knowledge will help you foster a solid working relationship with your city’s planning commission and planning staff.

Moderator
Lori Ogorchock, Immediate Past President and Department Director and Council Member, Antioch

Speakers
Mark Teague, Managing Principal Environmental Services, PlaceWorks
Eric Nelson, Planning Commissioners Department Director and Dana Point Planning Commissioner


Your Legal Powers and Obligations; Open Government and Conflicts of Interest

1:30–3:00 p.m.

You were elected to make things happen in your city. Learn the breadth and limitations of your powers as a city official. Then, acquire a basic understanding of the legal authorities and restrictions under which cities and city officials operate, with a focus on open government laws, such as the Brown Act and the Public Records Act, and laws pertaining to conflicts of interest.

Moderator

Corrie Manning, General Counsel, League of California Cities

 

Speaker
Thomas Brown, Of Counsel, Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP

 

Friday, January 28

Morning Coffee Chat with the Department Executive Committee

8:30–9:00 a.m.

Join the Mayors and Council Members Department executive committee for an informal coffee chat before the conference begins. Come (virtually) meet your peers, share insights, and gear up for the day ahead!

Cal Cities Mayors and Council Members Department Officers
John Minto, Department President and Mayor, Santee
Susannah Meyer, First Vice President and Council Member, Brentwood
Blanca Pacheco, Second Vice President and Mayor, Downey
Lori Ogorchock, Immediate Past President and Department Director and Council Member, Antioch


Social Media / Digital Communications and Civic Engagement

9:15–10:30 a.m.

With constant advancements in social media over the last several years, it can be hard to keep up with the “do’s and don’ts” of every platform. Moreover, as misinformation increases, elected officials need to be quick on their feet and have the necessary skills to proactively manage public perceptions about local governmental affairs. Discover what cities should be doing to communicate with their constituents in the 21st century, and the rules that elected officials must follow.

Moderator
Blanca Pacheco, Second Vice President and Mayor, Downey

Speakers
Brandon Castillo, Partner, Bicker, Castillo & Fairbanks
Traci Park, Partner, Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP

 


From Dangerous Discourse to Extraordinary Engagement: Changing the Conversation on Inclusion

11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Diversity is a fact: Inclusion is a choice and often, an expectation. It is important to take a good, hard, long look at how we are doing business and truthfully examine how to do business better. As elected officials, it is incumbent upon us to ask and effectively answer two questions: "Who else needs to be included in our conversations?" and "How can we effectively engage them?" This session will give you a personal lens into conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion, and will equip you with specific strategies for more inclusive business practices.

Moderator
John Minto, President, Mayors and Council Members Department, League of California Cities and Mayor, Santee

Speaker
Eric Bailey, Managing Partner, Extraordinary Balance
 

Conference Adjourns
12:30 p.m.

*Agenda is subject to change 


 

2022 Academy Session Materials

In addition to access to all live sessions, session materials, and virtual networking opportunities, registering for the conference grants you access to all session recordings for later viewing for a limited time. Click to view the session recordings. 

 

Previous Academy Session Materials

2021 Session Materials
2020 Session Materials
2019 Session Materials