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Mayors to Convene in Chicago for 73rd Annual Conference: June 10-14

By Ed Somers
May 23, 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 continuing campaign to save 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.

Confirmed speakers include Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, Senator Norm Coleman (MN), Representative Mike Turner (OH), Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson, and U.S. Ambassador to Poland Victor Ashe.

Other invited speakers include: President George W. Bush, Senator Richard Durbin (IL), Senator Barack Obama (IL), Governor Rod Blagojevich (IL), Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, EPA Administrator Steve Johnson, Governor Ed Rendell (PA), Governor Dirk Kempthorne (ID), Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings, Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt, and NEA President Reg Weaver.

The policy committees of the Conference will meet on Friday, June 10 and Saturday, June 11 to consider new resolutions, which will be presented to the entire membership for consideration on Monday, June 13.

There will also be a Health Luncheon on Friday June 10, which will focus on childhood/youth obesity, cancer prevention, and heart and stroke disease among women.

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 Mayor 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.

Award Presentations

The conference will present its 26th City Livability Awards at a luncheon on Saturday, June 11. 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, June 13.

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, June 13.

Meetings include:

  • Mayors Business Council
  • Urban Water Council
  • Council on the New American City
  • Women Mayors
  • Mayors Institute on City Design
  • Workforce Development Council

Workshops include:

  • Gang Violence
  • Helping Working Families

Task force meetings include:

  • Homeland Security
  • Sustainable Development
  • Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
  • Mental Health (with the Children, Health and Human Services Committee)
  • Amtrak Intercity Rail Investment

There will also be an orientation session for new mayors, and a Habitat for Humanity home construction on Friday morning, June 10.

Host City Events

Mayor 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 Lunch and Tour followed by Chicago Blues Fest
  • Monday night 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 or the host committee website:

Transition Events

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, June 14 there will be an Inaugural Breakfast honoring Mayor O'Neill during which the new officers of the Conference will be installed.

Agenda on Web

A detailed draft agenda for the meeting is available at Registration information for mayors can be obtained by calling Carol Edwards at (202) 293-7330.