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Dispatch from New Partners for Smart Growth Conference

As chair of the Local Government Commission, I opened the 7th Annual New Partners for Smart Growth Conference tonight in Washington, DC, welcoming over 1,450 attendees from all over the U.S. and several foreign countries, among whom was a strong local contingent including my City Council colleague Jim Rogers, Planning and Building Director Richard Mitchell, Neighborhood House of North Richmond Director Barbara Becnel, Contra Costa Health Services Program Director Nancy Baer, Contra Costa Director of Health Services Wendel Brunner, former Superintendent of Rosie the Riveter WW II Home Front National Historical Park Judy Hart (now living in Charlottesville, VA) and our General Plan Consultant Daniel Iacofano of MIG.

For a complete program, see http://www.newpartners.org/agenda.html.

Adrian Fenty, Mayor, District of Columbia welcomed the attendees and reviewed an impressive list of sustainable and smart growth initiative underway in the District of Columbia, including the nation’s first LEED certified stadium.

Dr. Richard Jackson, who is still officially a Contra Costa County resident but currently the Director of the Graham Sustainability Institute, University of Michigan, was presented the Local Government Commission Lifetime Achievement Award.

Finally, Senator Mary L. Landrieu of Louisiana and Congressman Earl Blumenauer of Oregon discussed the role of the federal government and Congress in smart growth and sustainability in a conversation with Neal Peirce, Chairman, the Citistates Group.

I attended some great workshops today with relevance to Richmond, including “Urban Forests and Local Mitigation Measures: Essential Tools in Climate Change Strategies” and “Integrating Sustainability and New Urbanism: The Light Imprint Initiative.” In the afternoon, I joined several other council members and county supervisors playing a mock city council receiving and critiquing presentations from attendees of the day-long workshop sponsored by Kaiser Permanente, “Promoting Healthy Eating and Active Living through Improvements in the Built Environment: What Health Professionals Need to Know and What They Can Do.”