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Winter 2013 Meeting

At our 9th Winter meeting, we were honored to have Bill McKibben, renowned author and co-founder of 350.org, as our keynote. We also covered timely policy topics like adapting to climate change, strategic regional economic development, sustaining the multi-generational city, as well as innovation and the entrepreneurial city. 

Speakers

View presentations and videos below. 

 
Adapting to Climate Change

Vicki Arroyo, Georgetown Climate Center, Presentation, Video

Mayor George Heartwell, Grand Rapids, MI, Presentation, Video

Nicole Hefty, Miami-Dade County, Presentation, Video

 
Strategic Regional Economic Development

Robert Weissbourd, Brookings, Presentation, Video

Kathleen Lee, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Presentation, Video

Cecile Bedor, Planning and Economic Development, St. Paul, Presentation, Video

Toni Griffin, The City College of New York, Presentation, Video

 
Sustaining the Multigenerational City

Mildred Warner, Cornell University, Presentation, Video

Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Somerville, MA, Presentation, Video

Laura Keyes, Atlanta Regional Commission, Presentation, Video

 
Innovation and the Entrepreneurial City

Story Bellows, Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, Philadelphia, Presentation

Mayor Vincent C. Gray, Washington, DC, Presentation

Mayor Bill Bell, Durham, NC, Presentation, Video

Mayor Sylvester James, Kansas City, MO, Presentation, Video

 

Contact

 

Satya Rhodes-Conway, Managing Director  |  (608) 262-5387 | satya@mayorsinnovation.org

Download the Full Agenda

Tuesday, January 15

​2:00 - 3:00pm

Mayors’ Innovation Project Steering Committee Meeting (Members only)

​3:00pm

​Registration opens

​3:30pm

​Welcome and Introductions

​4:00 - 6:00pm

Adapting to Climate Change

Moderator: Frank Cownie, Mayor of Des Moines, IA

Speakers:

Vicky Arroyo, Executive Director, Georgetown Climate Center Mayor

George Heartwell, Grand Rapids, MI

Nicole Hefty, Sustainability Director, Miami-Dade County

​6:00 - 6:30pm

​Reception

​6:30 - 8:00pm

Dinner & Keynote


Wednesday, January 16

​8:00 - 8:30am

​Breakfast

​8:30 - 10:30am

Strategic Regional Economic Development

Moderator: Dr. Valarie McCall, Chief of Government Affairs, Cleveland, OH

Speakers:

Robert Weissbourd, Senior Fellow, Metropolitan Policy Program, Brookings

Kathleen Lee, Vice President, Greater Phoenix Economic Council

Cecile Bedor, Director, Planning and Economic Development, St. Paul

Toni Griffin, Director, J. Max Bond Center, The City College of New York

​10:30 - 11:00am

Break, MIP TAP Report, COWS and MIP Reports

11:00 - 1:00pm

Sustaining the Multigenerational City

Moderator: Ralph Becker, Mayor of Salt Lake City, UT

Speakers:

Mildred Warner, Professor, City and Regional Planning, Cornell University

Mayor Joseph Curtatone, Somerville, MA

Laura Keyes, Community Development Manager, Atlanta Regional Commission

​1:00 - 1:30pm

​Lunch

​1:30 - 3:30pm

Innovation and the Entrepreneurial City

Moderator: Mike McGinn, Mayor of Seattle, WA

Speakers:

Story Bellows, Co-Director, Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, Philadelphia

Mayor Vincent C. Gray, Washington, DC

Mayor Bill Bell, Durham, NC

Mayor Sylvester James, Kansas City, MO

3:30 - 4:30pm

Discussion of stormwater issues with representatives from the EPA

4:30 - 5:30pm

Discussion of clean energy issues with representatives from the DOE



  • Adapting to Climate Change

    Cities often lack the resources to analyze and predict the impact of global climate change on infrastructure, public health and cities services. Where can cities find the best data and projections on the local impact of climate change? What is the most effective planning framework, and how should cities analyze their vulnerability? What types of adaptation should be highest priority? Full Briefing Book Here.

  • Keynote
  • Strategic Regional Economic Development

    All economic development processes should begin with taking stock of assets, challenges and opportunities. What are the most relevant assets to being competitive in the emerging global economy? What are the best tools for cities to assess their economic performance, drivers, assets and capacities? How do cities then use that information to design comprehensive, integrated initiatives tailored to truly grow their unique economy? Full Briefing Book Here.

  • Sustaining the Multigenerational City

    By 2040, half our population will be under 18 and over 65. How can cities adopt planning processes to meet the diverse needs of multiple generations, helping older adults age in place while keeping young families in your community? What types of infrastructure and housing make a city livable for multiple generations? How might cities promote civic engagement across generations? Full Briefing Book Here.

  • Innovation and the Entrepreneurial City

    Innovation has become the buzzword for many new projects in the public and private sectors. But how do cities define this concept, in policy and practice? How might cities recruit dynamic innovators and promote new, equitable solutions to challenging problems? Full Briefing Book Here.

Adapting to Climate Change

Resources

Adaption Toolkit, Georgetown Climate Center. Read more.



Climate Change 101: Adaption, January 1st, 2011. Read more.



Climate Progress, Joe Romm, November 11th, 2012. Read more.



Impacts and Adaptation, US EPA, November 3rd, 2014. Read more.



Preparing for Climate Change: A Guidebook for Local, Regional, and State Governments, Tom Wilson, November 3rd, 2014. Read more.



A Region Responds to a Changing Climate, Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact Counties, October 1st, 2012. Read more.



A Stronger, Smarter New York, Richard Florida, November 6th, 2012. Read more.



Progress Report of the Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force - 2010, Interagency Climate Change Adaption Task Force, December 31st, 1969. Read more.



Will Sandy’s Legacy Loom AS Large As it Should Past 2012?, Anthony Flint. Read more.



Mayor Heartwell Calls on Teens to Green the City, Mayor George Heartwell. Read more.



Green Print: Our Design for a Sustainable Future, Miami-Dade County, October 31st, 2014. Read more.



Adapting to Urban Heat: A Tool Kit for Local Governments, Sara P. Hoverter, August 1st, 2012. Read more.



Innovative Approaches for Adapting to Water Variability in the West, Sarah Cottrell Propst, December 31st, 1969. Read more.



Climate Wire - the politics and Business of Climate Change, Anne C. Mulkern, December 21st, 2012. Read more.



Climate Adaption and Resilience: A Resource Guide for Local leaders, Institute for Sustainable Communities, January 16th, 2013. Read more.



Adaption Toolkit: Sea-level Rise and Coastal Land Use, Georgetown Climate Center, January 16th, 2013. Read more.



A City Prepares for a Warm Long-Term Forecast, Leslie Kaufman, May 22nd, 2011. Read more.



6 Ways California is Planning to Adapt to Climate Change, Erika Eichelberger, August 4th, 2012. Read more.



Will Sandy’s Legacy Loom AS Large As it Should Past 2012?, Anthony Flint, The Atlantic Cities, December 27th, 2012. Read more.



Speakers 

Vicki Arroyo is Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center of Georgetown Law where she is also a Visiting Professor, teaching experiential classes on climate change law and policy. She oversees the Center’s work on climate change mitigation and adaptation at the state and federal level. She previously served at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, most recently as Vice President for Policy Analysis and General Counsel.  For over a decade, she directed Pew’s policy analysis, science, adaptation, economics, and U.S. policy programs. She has worked at all levels of government and in the private sector on environmental issues, including serving in two offices of EPA (Office of Air and Radiation and Office of Research and Development) and as Policy Director for Louisiana’s Department of Environmental Quality and Environmental Advisor to Gov. Roemer.  She has also practiced environmental law at leading firms. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of the national Transportation Research Board, on the Board of Trustees for the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, and on National Science Foundation’s Advisory Board.
 

Mayor George Heartwell, now serving in his third term, took office on January 1, 2004. During his tenure City government has "gone green", implanting a variety of environmental measures including purchase of renewable resource energy, use of alternative fuels in City vehicles, continued attention to water quality in the Grand River and widespread implementation of energy conservation measures. In January of 2007 the United Nations recognized Grand Rapids as a "Center of Expertise" in sustainability. The Mayor has overseen a period of rapid economic development in Grand Rapids, even during an extended downturn in the Michigan economy. He is married to Susan Heartwell who is the Executive Director of the Student Advancement Foundation. The Heartwells have three children and six grandchildren.

Nichole L. Hefty is a Manager for the Office of Sustainability, Regulatory and Economic Resources Department for Miami-Dade County in Florida. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from the University of Miami, Florida in 1987. She has worked for Miami-Dade County since 1989, managing the County’s pollution prevention and climate change efforts, and is currently Manager of the County’s Office of Sustainability. Mrs. Hefty was a core team member responsible for developing Miami-Dade County’s community-wide Sustainability Plan, “GreenPrint; Our Design for a Sustainable Future,” and is currently serving on the Staff Steering Committee of the SE Florida Regional Climate Compact. 

Keynote

Speaker

Bill McKibben, President and Co-founder of 350.org (via videoconference): Author of a dozen books about the environment, beginning with The End of Nature in 1989, which is regarded as the first book for a general audience on climate change. He is a founder of the grassroots climate campaign 350.org. Time Magazine called him ‘the planet’s best green journalist’ and the Boston Globe said in 2010 that he was ‘probably the country’s most important environmentalist.’ Juan Carlos Soriano, Latin American Field Coordinator for 350.org, will join in person.

Strategic Regional Economic Development

Resources

America’s Metro Regions Take Center Stage 8 Reasons Why, Citistates Group, April 1st, 2012. Read more.



Detroit Future City, Toni Griffin, January 16th, 2013. Read more.



Minneapolis – Saint Paul Regional Business Plan, Cecile Bedor, January 16th, 2013. Read more.



Greater Phoenix Metropolitan Business Planning, Kathleen Lee, January 16th, 2013. Read more.



Regions Charting New Directions: Metropolitan Business Planning, Robert Weissbourd, January 16th, 2013. Read more.



Speakers 

Robert Weissbourd manages RW Ventures, LLC, an economic development firm specializing in technical analysis of urban assets and markets, and in creating the information, products and enterprises necessary to successfully grow urban and regional economies. Mr. Weissbourd was a lead developer of MetroEdge, the Center for Financial Services Innovation, the Urban Markets Initiative and the Metropolitan Business Planning Initiative, which he co-manages with the Brookings Institution. Mr. Weissbourd previously served for ten years in executive positions at Shorebank Corporation, designing, delivering and managing comprehensive development finance initiatives to invest in distressed communities. Before Shorebank, Mr. Weissbourd spent a decade leading complex civil rights and other constitutional litigation, and representing community and other non-profit groups and leaders.  Mr. Weissbourd brings over thirty years of experience leading economic development work in dozens of cities and scores of neighborhoods.

Mr. Weissbourd is a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Center, and served as Chair of the Obama Campaign Urban Policy Committee, on the Obama Transition HUD Agency Review Team, and as President or Vice-President of the Boards of City Colleges of Chicago, Crossroads Fund, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, BPI and PROCAN, as well as on the Visiting Committee of the University of Chicago Law School. Mr. Weissbourd is a frequent author, public speaker and guest lecturer on a broad range of urban markets, housing, business and economic development issues, and has testified on these issues before federal, state and local legislatures.  

 

Kathleen Lee, Vice President of Research and Strategy for the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, supports the organization’s strategic initiatives, business development activities and regional competiveness through research and analysis in economic development policy, tax policy, fiscal analysis, competitive analysis, industrial cluster development and evaluation of new market opportunities. During her time at Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Lee has driven research efforts that have resulted in the successful passage of economic development policies, including the Arizona Renewable Energy Incentive Program in 2009.

Lee’s experience has also led to advancements in collaborative community planning. In 2009, she implemented GPEC’s Community Partnership Program, which established strategic planning sessions hosted by community leaders and the region’s economic development professionals. Lee’s contributions also include GPEC’s Convening the Community, a series that engaged business and political leaders in an effort to promote the region’s competitiveness.

Prior to joining GPEC, Lee served as vice president of research at the PMR Group, a Los Angeles-based consulting firm. Her work there resulted in state and federal grants to assess the technological impact on California’s industries and analyses of labor market dynamics. Lee has also worked overseas at a think-tank in Seoul, Korea. As a research fellow, she conducted industrial planning in the Philippines. 

Lee attended UCLA’s Urban Planning Program where she completed doctoral coursework focusing on regional specialization. She has earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Lee has also taught undergraduate courses at Arizona State University. 

Lee currently resides in Tempe with her husband who is a member of the faculty in the College of Geographic Sciences and Urban Planning at ASU.

Cecile Bedor has served as the City of Saint Paul’s Director of Planning and Economic Development since June of 2006. She also serves as the Executive Director of the City’s Housing & Redevelopment Authority. She is responsible for all planning functions in the city, and implementing and administering the City’s participation in housing development, economic development, small business lending, home rehabilitation lending, mortgage foreclosure prevention programs, emergency shelter grant programs, and the Neighborhood and Cultural Sales Tax loan and grant programs; she also oversees a $100 million Parking and Transit program. 

Prior to joining the City, Ms. Bedor was the Director of Partnerships and Development for the Minneapolis Public Library, overseeing the system’s marketing and communications; community library capital projects; and community partnerships. Ms. Bedor has also held various leadership positions related to the development of affordable housing, working with the National Equity Fund, the Metropolitan Council, the regional governmental agency and metropolitan planning organization for the Twin Cities, and Aeon Homes, one of the largest developers of affordable housing in the region. 

Ms. Bedor earned her BA from the University of Minnesota, with majors in Economics and English.  She currently co-chairs the Minnesota Foreclosure Partners Council, and serves on various boards including the Family Housing Fund (a philanthropic organization) and Hope Community (a local CDC). Ms. Bedor lives in south Minneapolis with her two teenage children.

Toni L. Griffin was recently named Professor and Director of the J. Max Bond Center for Architecture at the Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of New York and maintains an active private practice, Urban Planning and Design for the American City, whose current clients include the cities of Newark, New Jersey and Detroit, Michigan. 

Prior to returning to private practice, Toni was the Director of Community Development for the City of Newark, where she was responsible for creating a centralized division of planning and urban design.  Between 2000-2006, Ms. Griffin served as Vice President and Director of Design for the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation in Washington, DC, and held the position of Deputy Director for Revitalization Planning and Neighborhood Planning in the DC Office of Planning.

Prior to locating in Washington, DC, Ms. Griffin served as Vice President for Planning & Tourism Development for the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development Corporation in New York City. She began her career as an architect with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP in Chicago, where she became an Associate Partner involved in architecture and urban design projects.

Ms. Griffin received a Bachelors of Architecture from the University of Notre Dame and a Loeb Fellowship from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Sustaining the Multigenerational City

Resources

SomerVision Plan to be honored by American Planning Association, Mass. Chapter, City of Somerville, MA, December 13th, 2012. Read more.



SomerVision Process, City of Somerville, MA, January 1st, 2014. Read more.



Want Healthier Seniors? Give them Bus Passes., Nate Berg, September 21st, 2012. Read more.



America’s Best Intergenerational Communities: Building Livable Communities for Children, Youth…, MetLife Foundation and Generations United, December 10th, 2012. Read more.



America’s Diverse Future: Initial Glimpses at the U.S. Child Population from the 2010 Census, William H. Frey, April 6th, 2011. Read more.



Checklist of Essential Features of Age-Friendly Cities, World Health Organization, January 1st, 2007. Read more.



Lifelong Communities, Laura Keyes, January 15th, 2013. Read more.



Multi-Generational Planning: Linking Needs of Children and Elders, Mildred E. Warner, January 16th, 2013. Read more.



Best Cities for Successful Aging, Anusuya Chatterjee and Ross DeVol, Milken Institute, July 1st, 2012. Read more.



Speakers

Dr. Mildred E. Warner is a Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University where her work focuses primarily on local government service delivery, economic development and planning across generations. Dr. Warner's research explores the impact of privatization and devolution on local government and the role of human services as part of the social infrastructure for economic development. Her work shows potential for market based solutions in public service delivery but also raises cautions about the uneven incidence of market approaches in depressed inner city and rural areas. Her work on planning across generations explores new community development models for addressing human services and linking the needs of children and elders.

Dr. Warner has a strong extension orientation and consults widely with local government and union leaders on local government reform, and with child care policy makers and business leaders on economic development strategies to support social infrastructure. She is a Research Affiliated Scholar with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and a Research Associate with the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, DC where she spent her sabbatical in 2005. Prior to her professorship at Cornell, she served as a program officer with the Ford Foundation in NYC and as Associate Director of Cornell's Community and Rural Development Institute.

Dr. Warner has a Ph.D. in Development Sociology, a Masters in Agricultural Economics from Cornell University and a BA in History from Oberlin College. 

Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone, first elected in November of 2003, began his fifth term as Mayor of Somerville on January 2, 2012. He had previously served for eight years as an Alderman at Large. He earned his B.A. from Boston College in 1990, and a J.D. from New England School of Law in 1994. Prior to his election as mayor, he had served as an attorney in private practice.

As Mayor, he has successfully implemented a wide range of reforms and new programs that have earned Somerville many distinctions by regional and national organizations, including the designation by Boston Globe Magazine as “the best-run city in Massachusetts,” by America's Promise Alliance as one of the "100 Best Communities for Youth," and a winner of the 2009 "All America City" competition.

Mayor Curtatone established a policy advisory commission to develop a comprehensive reform agenda for the Somerville Police. He created Neighborhood Impact Teams that combine fire, health and building inspectors – along with representatives of the Council on Aging and the city's environmental office – in a coordinated effort to monitor and improve the health, safety and appearance of Somerville’s businesses and residential neighborhoods. After inheriting a government in fiscal crisis, he has stabilized city finances and begun a restoration of lost city services and personnel cuts that occurred before he took office – and he led a successful effort to end years of delay in the development of Assembly Square as a transit-oriented, mixed use, Smart Growth project on the banks of the Mystic River.

In 2006, Somerville became the first city in America to offer both a 311 constituent service center and Connect CTY mass notification technology. By calling 311 from any phone in the city, Somerville residents and businesses can now access information and services from any city department and can track progress on service requests through a publicly accessible work-order system. Under his leadership, Somerville has also earned national recognition for its successful joint effort with Tufts University to implement “Shape Up Somerville,” an effective program to reduce the incidence of childhood obesity among the city’s elementary school children. He serves as the President of the Massachusetts Mayor’s Association, a position on the Board of Directors for the National League of Cities, and as a member of the Metropolitan Mayors Association.

Laura Keyes, a certified-AICP Planner, works for the Atlanta Regional Commission in the fields of transportation, housing and aging. She manages Community Development for ARC’s Lifelong Communities Initiative. She holds a BS from the University of Michigan, a MS from Michigan State University and a Certificate in Aging through the Institute for Geriatric Social Work from the Boston University School of Social Work. She is a graduate of both the Regional Leadership Institute’s Class of 2010 and Leadership DeKalb’s Class of 2012 and is the current President for the Georgia Planning Association. She recently published her work on Lifelong Communities in Atlanta in the Journal of Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics.

Innovation and the Entrepreneurial City

Resources

Supporting Entrepreneurs and Small Business, J. Katie McConnell, Christiana McFarland, and Brett Common, National League of Cities, January 1st, 2014. Read more.



A Peace Corps for Civic-Minded Geeks, Holly Finn, August 24th, 2012. Read more.



What is “New Urban Mechanics” and Why Does Philadelphia Want Some?, Nick Judd, October 3rd, 2012. Read more.



November Congress of Cities to Spotlight Boston’s Success, Katie McConnell, May 21st, 2012. Read more.



Durham Names as Top 20 Finalist in Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge, City of Durham, November 5th, 2012. Read more.



City of Kansas City, Missouri: The City of Entrepreneurs, Sylvester James, January 16th, 2013. Read more.



Promoting Entrepreneurship in Durham: Unlikely Partnerships, William V. Bell, January 16th, 2013. Read more.



When We’re All Urban Planners, David Lepeska, Next American City, Volume 1, Issue 23. Read more.



Speakers 

Story Bellows joined the City of Philadelphia in April of 2012 as Co-Director of the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics. The new office is a civic idea and innovation incubator, which develops innovative approaches and processes to solving complex problems in the public arena. Prior to coming to Philadelphia, Story served as Director of the Mayors’ Institute on City Design, a leadership initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the American Architectural Foundation and the US Conference of Mayors. An urban designer by training, Story spent four years in a private design practice Chicago, where she founded a research group and worked with leaders in the public, private and non-profit sectors on urban, education, healthcare and environmental design projects and initiatives. She holds an undergraduate degree from Colgate University and a Masters degree in City Design and Social Science from the London School of Economics and Political Science. 

Mayor Vincent C. Gray was sworn in as the sixth elected Mayor of the District of Columbia on January 2, 2011. A native Washingtonian, Mayor Gray has advocated for the residents of the District for more than 30 years. His disciplined approach to public service was born from humble beginnings. He grew up in a one-bedroom apartment at 6th and L Streets, NE. Despite being scouted by two Major League Baseball teams, the Mayor chose to continue his education, studying psychology at The George Washington University at both the undergraduate and graduate school levels. While at George Washington, he became the first African-American admitted in the GW fraternity system, and in his junior and senior years, became the first person to serve consecutive terms as Chancellor of Tau Epsilon Phi.

Vincent C. Gray began his professional career with The Arc of DC (then known as the Association of Retarded Citizens). In 1991, then-Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly appointed Gray to the post of Director of the Department of Human Services. In December 1994, he was named the first Executive Director of Covenant House Washington, an international, faith-based organization dedicated to serving homeless and at-risk youth. During his decade at the helm of Covenant House, Mayor Gray led successful campaigns to purchase and renovate a crisis center for homeless youth and a multi-purpose center and to build a new community service center in the far southeast community of the District of Columbia.

Mayor Gray’s dedication to his community and the residents of Ward 7 inspired a successful campaign for elected office in 2004. During his first term as Councilmember from Ward 7, he chaired a Special Committee on the Prevention of Youth Violence, and created the Effi Barry HIV/AIDS initiative. Two years after joining the Council, Gray ran for the citywide office of Chairman of the Council. He won the general election with 98 percent of the vote. As Chairman, Gray was a leader in efforts to improve the Council’s operations, transparency and oversight capacity, and was a true champion for school reform. He spearheaded the Pre-K Expansion and Enhancement Act, which established a voluntary, high-quality pre-school program to provide 2,000 new classroom slots for three-and four-year-olds over six years. The Mayor’s diligence resulted in that goal being met in September of 2010, well before the 2014 target.

Mayor Bill Bell stepped into Durham politics approximately 40 years ago with the goal of maximizing Durham’s economy, education and other resources, believing that government best serves citizens by partnering with them and the private sector. Bell a retired IBM Senior Engineer (1996), served as an elected Durham County Commissioner for 26 years (1972 – 1994; 1996 – 2000) and Chairman of the Durham Board of County Commissioners for12 years (1982 - 1994). As Chairman of the Durham County Board of Commissioners he was recognized as the architect of the 1992 merger of the then “Durham City Schools System” and the then “Durham County School System” into the now “Durham Public School System” (DPS). He was elected Mayor of Durham, NC in 2001 and continues to serve as the Mayor of Durham, NC. He is Chairman of the NC Metropolitan Mayors Coalition an organization of the 27 largest cities in NC with populations of more than 30,000. He has over the years served on numerous local, state and national boards and committees. He continues to serve on many committees and boards, such as the Triangle Transit Authority (TTA); NC Film Commission; M&F Bank Durham Advisory Board; US Conference of Mayors; National Conference of Black Mayors, and over the has years been the recipient of many awards and honors.

Born in Washington, DC, Bell attended the public schools in Winston-Salem, NC graduating from Atkins High School in 1957 prior to the integration of Atkins High School. He received his B.S./Electrical Engineering from Howard University in Washington, DC in 1961 and his M.S./Electrical Engineering from New York University in New York, NY in 1968. He served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps as a 1st Lieutenant from 1961 to 1963. He has worked as an Electrical Engineer in both the private and public sectors respectively at Martin Marietta Corporation, Orlando Florida, the U.S. Research and Development Laboratory Ft. Monmouth, NJ and the IBM Corporation, Research Triangle Park, NC where he retired in 1996.

He presently is the Executive Vice-President/Chief Operating Officer of UDI/Community Development Corporation, a 501(c3) Non-Profit Corporation here in Durham, NC. He is married to Judith Chatters Bell and they are the parents of 4 children and grandparents of 3 grandchildren.

Mayor Sly James, a former Marine MP, a small business owner, and a community leader, was elected mayor of Kansas City on March 22, 2011. Sly attended Bishop Hogan High School in Kansas City and graduated in 1969. While there, Sly was the president of his junior class. He also developed a great passion for music and was the lead singer in the Amelia Earhart Memorial Flying Band.

In 1971 he left the band and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War where he served as a military police officer for four years in California, the Philippines, and Japan and received an honorable discharge in 1975. When his service ended, Sly returned home to Kansas City and graduated cum laude from Rockhurst College before earning his law degree, also cum laude, from the University of Minnesota in 1983.

He joined Blackwell, Sanders, Matheny, Weary & Lombardi in 1983, and became the first African-American partner in the firm’s history in 1990. In February, 2002, Sly started his own successful small business, The Sly James Firm, where he works with victims to seek justice and positive outcomes to disputes.

In 1992, the Missouri Supreme Court appointed Sly to the Missouri Board of Law Examiners. He was president of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association (KCMBA) in 2003, director of the Kansas City Bar Foundation, and vice president of the Public Interest Litigation Clinic. In 2003, while president of the KCMBA, Sly established the Diversity Initiative with 26 managing partners of the largest law firms in the city. He was appointed to the board of directors of the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri, and to the board of the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority (LCRA) by former Mayor Kay Barnes. He was also appointed to the boards of the Enhanced Enterprise Zones of Kansas City and the Jackson County Ethics Commission. He served as one of two co-chairs of the Save Our Stadiums committee, a successful tax initiative to refurbish the Truman Sports Complex in Kansas City in 2006.

Sly has been a member and Board Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the Eye Foundation of Kansas City, Inc.; a member of the Board of The United Way; a member of the Executive Board of the Committee for County Progress; a member of the Steering Committee of the Partnership for Children, a joint project of the United Way and the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation; president of the Board of Bishop Hogan High School; a member of the Board of Trustees of Notre Dame de Sion schools; a member of the Board of Operation Breakthrough; and a member of the Board and the immediate past chair of the Genesis School. 

Name, Title, City/Organization

Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director, Georgetown Climate Center
Tom Bates, Mayor, Berkeley, CA
Ralph Becker, Mayor, Salt Lake City, UT
Cecile Bedor, Director, Dept of Planning and Economic Development, St. Paul, MN
Gary Belan, Director, Clean Water Program, American Rivers
William Bell, Mayor, Durham, NC
Story Bellows, Co-Director, Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics, Philadelphia, PA
Scott Bernstein, President, Center for Neighborhood Technology
Connie Bosma, Chief of Municipal Branch, Water Permits Division, EPA
Ardell Brede, Mayor, Rochester, MN
Allison Burson, Project Manager, Seattle, WA
Dave Cieslewicz, Consultant and Former Mayor - Madison, WI, DCA Consulting
Richard Clark, City Manager, Des Moines, IA
David Coss, Mayor, Santa Fe, NM
T.M. Franklin Cownie, Mayor, Des Moines, IA
Joseph Curtatone, Mayor, Somerville, MA
Heidi Davison, Former Mayor, Athens, GA
Christopher Doherty, Mayor, Scranton, PA
Paul Dyster, Mayor, Niagara Falls, NY
William Euille, Mayor, Alexandria, VA
Ralph Garboushian, Washington Representative, CapitalEdge
Vincent C. Gray, Mayor, Washington, DC
Joy Grewatz, Washington Assistant, Columbia, SC
Toni Griffin, Director, J. Max Bond Center, The City College of New York
Pegeen Hanrahan, Consultant and Former Mayor - Gainesville, FL, Community and Conservation Solutions, LLC
George Heartwell, Mayor, Grand Rapids, MI
Nichole Hefty, Manager, Office of Sustainability, Miami-Dade County
Rachel Herbert, Physical Scientist, Water Permits Division, EPA
George Homsy, Cornell University
Michael Hursch, Advisor to the Mayor, Auburn, WA
James Irwin, Senior Associate, Mayors Innovation Project
AmyJo Jacobsen, Legislative Assistant, Washington Representative
Sylvester James, Mayor, Kansas City, MO
Ceri Jenkins, Senior Associate, Mayors Innovation Project
Mike Kanarick, Assistant to the Mayor, Burlington, VT
Mike Kasperzak, Former Mayor, Mountain View, CA
Laura Keyes, Community Development Manager, Atlanta Regional Commission
Mark Kleinschmidt, Mayor, Chapel Hill, NC
Christopher Kloss, Green Infrastructure Program, Water Permits Division, EPA
Chris Koos, Mayor, Normal, IL
Shauna Larsen, Federal Relations Director, Seattle, WA
Kathleen Lee, Vice President, Research & Strategy, Greater Phoenix Economic Council
Gary Leitzell, Mayor, Dayton, OH
Mary Kay Leonard, President and CEO, Initiative for a Competitive Inner City
Pete Lewis, Mayor, Auburn, WA
Valarie J. McCall, Chief of Government Affairs, Cleveland, OH
George McCarthy, Director, The Ford Foundation
Mike McGinn, Mayor, Seattle, WA
Lydia Morken, Cornell University
Sheila Moynihan, Urban Advisor, U.S. Department of Energy
Kate Noble, Economic Development, Santa Fe, NM
Donna Owens, City Administrator, Niagara Falls, NY
Neal Peirce, Columnist, Washington Post Writers Group
Kitty Piercy, Mayor, Eugene, OR
David Pope    Village President    Oak Park, IL
Satya Rhodes-Conway, Managing Director, Mayors Innovation Project
Joel Rogers, Director, Mayors Innovation Project
Matthew Ryan, Mayor, Binghamton, NY
John Schwarten, Principal, OEM Capital Corp.
Len Simon, Washington Representative, Madison, WI
Marjorie Sloan, Mayor, Golden, CO
Paul Soglin, Mayor, Madison, WI
Gil Sperling, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, DOE
Zachary Vruwink, Mayor, Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Mildred Warner, Professor, Cornell University
Miro Weinberger, Mayor, Burlington, VT
Robert Weissbourd, President, RW Ventures, LLC
Yuanshuo Xu, Cornell University
Geno Zamora, City Attorney, Santa Fe, NM
Tammy Zborel, Program Director, Sustainabilitym, National League of Cities