City Leaders Summit

April 17-19, 2024

SAFE Credit Union Convention Center

1400 J Street, Sacramento, CA

Thank you for joining the League of California Cities for three days of advocacy, educational content, and networking at the 2023 City Leaders Summit in Sacramento! 

The summit took place Wednesday, April 12-Friday, April 14 at the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center, where city officials from across the state influenced policy decisions in the Capitol and gained top-notch leadership skills. City officials met with legislators to advocate for cities’ top priorities and participated in peer-to-peer discussions and in-depth sessions covering topics ranging from leadership to emerging issues facing cities. 

We hope you join us April 17-19, 2024 at the SAFE Credit Union Convention Center for our next City Leaders Summit! 

For questions about the April 2023 conference, please contact Associate Manager, Event Program, Kayla Boutros

Please see our event and meeting policies.

Summit Information


Explore Previous Summits

View the 2023 City Leaders Summit program.

Wednesday, April 12

Registration Open

8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Opening General Session

10:00 a.m.-11:15 a.m.

Day one of the conference focuses on legislative advocacy. Join Cal Cities leadership and lobbyists for an update on high priority legislation that you will want to advocate on when you meet with legislative officers later in the day.

Member Rally and Press Conference

11:30 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Join Cal Cities leadership and members for a rally and press availability to advocate for the Governor and Legislature to #InvestInCities. With a special focus on funding for homelessness and affordable housing, this is our opportunity to get loud and be heard! View a map to the location here.

Lunch on Your Own

12:15-1:30 p.m.

The Shared Path to Preventing and Reducing Homelessness

1:30-4:30 p.m.

Cal Cities and the California State Association of Counties are holding a special joint convening on collective solutions for preventing and reducing homelessness. Attendees will hear from both state lawmakers and local leaders as they share their perspectives on this challenging topic, as well as the roles, responsibilities, and resources needed to address this crisis. 

Dessert and Coffee Break

2:45-3:00 p.m.

Legislative Reception sponsored by Cal Cities Partners

5:30-7:00 p.m.

In partnership with the California State Association of Counties, please join us for an evening reception. Relax and enjoy some light hors d'oeuvres and refreshments while networking with your city and county colleagues.

Thursday, April 13

Registration Open

7:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Networking Breakfast

7:30-8:15 a.m.

General Session

8:30-10:00 a.m.

Get Them to “Yes”! Persuasive Critical Communication Skills for City Leaders

Successful city leaders have the skill set to demand decorum during city council meetings, resolve conflict, set and achieve strategic plans, persuasively communicate with department heads, and powerfully lead community meetings. The key to transforming perceptions, decreasing division and conflict, and increasing community trust is through strengthening the communication skills of everyone in the organization. In this interactive and engaging keynote, attendees will learn how to improve their overall communication skills, receive coaching and guidance as they practice implementing these techniques during group exercises, and apply the concepts learned.

Opening Remarks:
Susannah Meyer, President, Mayors and Council Members Department and Vice Mayor, Brentwood

Keynote Speaker:
Tracy Miller, TM Consulting, Expert Communications Coach and Former Senior Assistant District Attorney

Tracy Miller is a former prosecutor with over 25 years of legal experience and was the highest-ranking woman in the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. She led the daily operations of the 6th largest district attorney’s office in the nation, including supervising 155 attorneys and operating a 140 million dollar budget. Miller began her career as a law clerk for prosecutors Marcia Clark and Christopher Darden on one of the most visible cases in our nation’s history — the O.J. Simpson trial.  As a communications expert, Miller transforms leaders by strengthening their skills to positively impact their influence on public perception while retaining and motivating those in their organization, engaging in healthy conflict, setting expectations, and increasing morale.

Strategies for Local Governments to Prevent Organized Retail Crime

10:15-11:30 a.m.

Organized theft continues to be a challenge for local municipalities across California. This session aims to introduce new strategies to local leaders to effectively combat this issue. By coordinating the right stakeholders in the public and private sector, you can be a force for change to create a safer shopping experience for your constituents, protect your tax base, and make it harder for your community to be targeted.

Mike Karbassi, Council Member, Fresno

Jason Daughrity, Captain, California Highway Patrol
Michael Lamb, Organized Retail Crime Investigations Manager, Rite Aid
Rachel Michelin, President/CEO, CA Retailers Association

Future of Homekey: Motel Conversions Over the Next 10 Years

10:15-11:30 a.m.

Homekey has become a key way to prevent and reduce homelessness. In two years, the program has created nearly 13,000 housing units at an accelerated rate. If funding for Homekey expires, cities will need to find new, creative ways to continue building off the program’s success. Prior to Homekey, this expert panel produced hundreds of converted permanent supportive housing units, with these properties later serving as the framework for the State’s program. This discussion will explore the future of motel conversions from a state, regional, local, and developer perspective. Panelists will open their playbook to share lessons learned and innovative approaches to zoning, funding, and long-term operations and services.

La Shelle Dozier, Executive Director, Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency

Timothy Lawless, Branch Chief, Homekey, Cal Department of Housing and Community Development
Michael Massie, Chief Development Officer, Jamboree Housing Corporation
Grace Ruiz-Stepter, Housing and Community Development Director, Anaheim

Networking Lunch

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Reimagining Emergency Medical Services Through Mobile Integrated Healthcare

12:45-2:00 p.m.

The City of Beverly Hills’ Nurse Practitioner Program is an innovative Mobile Integrated Healthcare solution that offers a holistic, patient-centered delivery model. In this session, attendees will learn how the Nurse Practitioner Program enables firefighter paramedics/EMTs to focus on emergent calls, positively impacts the community’s health, treats chronic conditions, and explores potential avenues for reimbursement through the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare.

Julian Gold, Mayor, Beverly Hills

Greg Barton, Fire Chief, Beverly Hills Fire Department
Marc Cohen, Medical Director, Beverly Hills Fire Department
Sean Stokes, EMS Administrator, Beverly Hills

Speed Sessions

Navigating Housing Challenges Associated with Short-Term Rentals

12:45-1:15 p.m.

Short-term vacation rentals have boomed during and post pandemic. Many cities are struggling with how to identify and monitor activities at these properties while striking a balance for their community. Some cities opt to ban or create a cap on the number of short-term rentals while others do not. Learn best practices for every community and help to assure that cities are capturing revenue associated with this exploding industry.

John Minto, Immediate Past President, Mayors and Council Members Department and Mayor, Santee

Dustin Reilich, VP Sales & Government Relations, Deckard Technologies, Inc

Speed Sessions

Best Practices in Addressing Illegal Dumping

1:25-1:55 p.m.

Illegal dumping of durable waste (e.g., auto parts, household appliances, mattresses, furniture, construction and home renovation waste, and electronics) is different from littering and requires distinct prevention and mitigation strategies. To help policymakers and other stakeholders better understand the significant environmental, economic, and societal harms that illegal dumping creates (both where the dumping occurs and in surrounding communities), this presentation identifies drivers of illegal dumping and explores public policy options to address the problem. Also, hear what several cities have accomplished through implementing pilot projects using these best practices.

Taylor Grimes, Special Projects Coordinator, Mattress Recycling Council

City Council and Staff’s Role in Workplace Investigations

2:15-3:30 p.m.

What if a department head brought a harassment complaint against a city manager directly to a council member? How do you handle the complaint and the department head’s requests for updates on the investigation? This session will take attendees through the required legal and policy processes and review what confidentiality means in this scenario. The presenter will also discuss the practicalities of providing public service during an ongoing investigation. 

Lori Ogorchock, Department Director, Mayors and Council Members Department and Council Member, Antioch

Shelline Bennett, Partner, Liebert Cassidy Whitmore

Surplus Land Act and its Housing and Land Use Impacts

2:15-3:30 p.m.

California continues to face a housing crisis and the state legislature continues to pass laws to accelerate the production of affordable housing. The Surplus Land Act seeks to increase housing by requiring public agencies to follow a state-controlled process, including offering public property to affordable housing developers prior to selling or leasing property for other uses. Learn how this law impacts local land use and how to navigate the sale, lease, and use of public property to pursue public-private projects that produce economic development results while staying in compliance with state requirements. 

Larry Kosmont, Chairman and CEO, Kosmont Transactions Services

Troy Brown, City Manager, City of Moorpark
Matthew Cody, Of Counsel, Best Best & Krieger
David Zisser, Assistant Deputy Director, Local Government Relations & Accountability, CA Department of Housing & Community Development

Universal Inclusionary Housing

3:45-5:00 p.m.

This session will discuss expanding inclusionary housing requirements to cover existing rental properties. Many were exempted by the Palmer decision. One approach is with a parcel tax based on the number of rental units, offering inclusionary housing as an in-lieu option. The tax would exempt existing housing developments with affordable housing, significantly expanding affordable housing opportunities. Unlike rent control, it won’t affect the new housing starts, which are affected by the existing inclusionary housing regulations. Existing properties, previously protected from inclusionary housing requirements, have government-created lower operating costs.

Moderator and Speaker:
Stuart Kasdin, Council Member, Goleta

Ethan Walsh, Attorney, Best Best & Krieger LLP
Rob Wiener, Executive Director, California Coalition for Rural Housing

Partnering for Protection: Looking Past Jurisdictions to Provide School Safety

3:45-5:00 p.m.

The dreadful rise in school violence often brings unity through grief, but what happens if the city and its partners are united before something so horrific happens? Can it be prevented? Can they work cooperatively while respecting boundaries? Attendees will learn different tactics to cooperate across organizations to provide proactive strategies to address the rising violence in schools.

Frank Oviedo, Assistant City Manager, Santa Clarita

Steve Ellis, Administrative Director Student Safety and Security, Corona Norco Unified School District
Larry Gonzalez, Chief of Police, Riverside Police Department

Friday, April 14

Registration Open

7:45-10:30 a.m.

Networking Breakfast

7:45-8:45 a.m.

How Cities Can Fight Crime with Civil Litigation

9:00-10:15 a.m.

Drugs such as meth and fentanyl are a major problem in California. What happens when a property becomes a hotbed for drugs and criminal activity? What can city leaders do? The answer is a Drug Abatement lawsuit, codified at H&S 11570 et seq. This is a powerful civil tool that allows public agencies to shut down drug properties. The city can also recover its attorney fees and costs for the lawsuit making it cost-neutral for the city. 

Moderator and Speaker:
Ryan Griffith, Attorney & Receiver, Bay Area Receivership Group

Adam Abel, Assistant City Attorney, Santa Rosa

Why a Balanced Masculine and Feminine Leadership Approach Matters

9:00-10:15 a.m.

Seventy-six percent of employees are disengaged at work. Staff eventually leave because they don't feel seen, heard, or appreciated. Who knew the answer to this lies in a TV show called “Ted Lasso”? Ted Lasso's leadership style, which combines both feminine and masculine traits, is vital for organizations because it demonstrates the effectiveness of a holistic and inclusive approach to being a leader. Attendees will learn how to rise above the antiquated “Mad Men” way of managing and embrace a Ted Lasso standard of leadership where people are the priority.

Melissa Hunt, First Vice President, Mayors and Council Members Department and Council Member, Anderson

Jeff Harry, Positive Psychology Play Speaker, Rediscover Your Play

Closing General Session

10:30 a.m.-noon

Citizens, Cities, Resilience: Engage the Never Give Up Mindset

Imagine what you could learn from a man who rescued his two small children when they were kidnapped to the Middle East. Attendees will learn about advocacy, resilience, perseverance, and how to overcome obstacles both professionally and personally.

Closing Remarks:
Ali Sajjad Taj, President, League of California Cities and Council Member, Artesia
Susannah Meyer, President, Mayors and Council Members Department and Vice Mayor, Brentwood

Keynote Speaker:
Scott Lesnick, Global Leadership Keynote Speaker, CSP, Certified Speaking Professional and Author

Scott Lesnick is an author, trainer, and global leadership keynote speaker who motivates audiences with powerful, entertaining messages and interactive sessions. His memoir “Kidjacked – A Father’s Story” and his book “Lifejacked: Life Lessons on Leadership” both received critical acclaim.  Lesnick has spent 24 award-winning years in sales and management at Shaw Industries, a Berkshire Hathaway Fortune 500 company. He earned a Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association — a designation given to roughly 17% of members worldwide — and served as the Dean of the Academy in 2016-17. Lesnick is a graduate of the University of Miami, Florida.





2023 Summit Session Materials

Previous Conference Session Materials