Fred Harris and Hilda Solis Headline Conference Lookback at 1968 National Conference on Local Governance Promotes Equity Through Inclusive Civic Engagement

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On June 22, the 109th National Conference on Local Governance will bring together community leaders, academic practitioners, elected officials and concerned citizens for workshops, presentations and discussions on civic engagement. There are three workshop tracks: Health Equity, Youth and Education and Community-Police Relations.

Fred Harris, Former US Senator and last remaining member of the Kerner Commission will provide the opening plenary remarks.

“An engaged citizenry is necessary to the practice and preservation of democracy,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor and conference keynote speaker Hilda L. Solis, who also served as US Secretary of Labor and as a Member of Congress.

On June 22, the 109th National Conference on Local Governance will bring together community leaders, academic practitioners, elected officials and concerned citizens for workshops, presentations and discussions on civic engagement, at the Hilton Denver City Center, 1701 California Street. Walk-in registrations are welcome.

The conference and the All-America City Awards that follow it focus on Promoting Equity Through Inclusive Civic Engagement. The theme connects the important 50th anniversary of several events that took place in 1968, including the release of a report from President Johnson’s Kerner Commission, which warned of a worsening racial divide and proposed actions at the local and national levels to improve relations with people of color and reduce disparities.

Fred Harris, Former US Senator and last remaining member of the Kerner Commission will provide the opening plenary remarks. Former Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis will also address the gathering. Solis is currently a County Supervisor for Los Angeles County.

The conference offers three workshop tracks: Health Equity, Youth and Education and Community-Police Relations.

The Health Equity Track includes: "Waiting for Health Equity" presented by Chris Lyttle and Sarah McAfee, Center for Health Progress; "Using Engagement to Gain Ground on Healthy Lifestyles" presented by Zach Dyer, formerly with Worcester Public Health Department and Thelma Craig, Colorado Black Health Collaborative; and "HEAL Cities Campaign: Creating Resolutions for Equity in Health" presented by Eliz Lanman, Kaiser Permanente Colorado and Blythe Young, Public Health Advocate.

The Youth and Education track includes: "Viewing Education as a Community-Wide Responsibility" presented by Grade-Level Reading Communities of Springdale, AR and New Britain, CT; "Moving Beyond Photo Op Youth Engagement" Shari Davis, Participatory Budgeting Project and Allison Bayley, County of Boulder, CO; and "Reducing Inequality Summer by Summer" Cassie White, City of Boston and Alicia Modestino, Northeastern University.

The Community-Police Relations track features: "Pressure Points: How Communities Are Organizing to Push Criminal Justice Reforms" Sonya Joseph, Faith In New York and Christie Donner, Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition; "How Communities Foster Positive Youth and Police Relationships" Gia Irlando, City and County of Denver and Danny McLaughlin, Teen Empowerment Somerville; and "21st Century Policing and Intentional Civic Engagement" Karen Chesson, Norfolk Police Department, Sgt. Aprell Copeland, Norfolk Police, and Joli Angel Robinson, Dallas Police Department.

“An engaged citizenry is necessary to the practice and preservation of democracy,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor and conference keynote speaker Hilda L. Solis, who also served as US Secretary of Labor and as a Member of Congress. “I am honored to speak at the 109th National Conference on Local Governance and to be part of this important conversation on creating equity and how best to listen to the communities we represent. I am proud to join hundreds of fellow local elected officials to celebrate our communities that have come together to identify impactful solutions to address critical issues.”

Manuel Pastor, PhD: Professor at University of Southern California and author of Equity, Growth, & Community; Jandel Allen-Davis, MD: Vice President of Government and External Relations, Kaiser Permanete; and Reverend Alvin Herring: Executive Director of Faith in Action will also speak.

The National Civic League advances inclusive civic engagement through our community assistance programs, including tools, trainings and facilitation services, our award and recognition programs, and nationally recognized research and publications. We promote efforts that seek to listen to, and to learn from residents in ongoing conversations and leverage those insights to help reshape communities so they will thrive.

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Heather Grady

Stephanie Fry
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