Sedalia Sanders Receives Prestigious League of California Cities Lifetime Achievement Award

Sep 7, 2022

Contact: Kayla Sherwood
(530) 844-1744


Sacramento  The League of California Cities Past Presidents Council today announced the selection of Sedalia Sanders as the recipient of the 2022 Past Presidents’ Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sanders is a native of El Centro with a broad range of distinguished national, state, regional, and local experiences. Sanders currently serves on the Executive Committee of the California Commission on Aging Commission, where she’s been serving since 2016 and was reappointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2020.  

“This award honors a person who has committed their time, talents, and energy to making our communities better places to live, work, play, and raise our families,” said Cal Cities Immediate Past President and El Centro Council Member Cheryl Viegas Walker. “Throughout her career as a public servant, Sedalia has been a graciously tenacious advocate on issues that are important to cities, and it is most fitting that we recognize her today.”

Sanders served on the El Centro City Council from 2003-2015 and 1984-1999, where she served as mayor five times. Sanders emerged as a state and national figure when she was elected in 1995 to be president of the League of California Cities and joined the National League of Cities Board of Directors in 1996. Sanders is the first elected official from El Centro to hold these posts and is the first woman from Imperial County to be elected president of Cal Cities.

In 1992, Governor Pete Wilson appointed her to his Task Force on Rural Competitiveness. Governor Wilson called on her again in 1994 – this time to serve as Vice-Chair of his Rural Development Council. This group made policy recommendations for rural Californians on such diverse issues as: economic development, job creation and retention, education, health care, affordable housing, public safety, and transportation.

During her public service, Sanders also served as on the California Elected Women's Association for Education and Research Board of Directors and as the chair of the Imperial Valley Association of Governments. She is a former member of Women in Municipal Government, National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, and U.S. Conference of Mayors.

The Cal Cities Past Presidents’ Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 1996 and is given annually. Preference is given to nominees with close ties to cities; however, nominees may also be selected from the categories of local government leaders, academics/teachers, authors, media producers, community leaders, and state or national leaders.

Established in 1898, the League of California Cities is a nonprofit statewide association that advocates for cities with the state and federal governments and provides education and training services to elected and appointed city officials. Cal Cities’ mission is to expand and protect local control for cities through education and advocacy to enhance the quality of life for all Californians.