Winter 2019 Policy Meeting

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Winter 2019 Policy Meeting
Friday, January 25 - Saturday, January 26
Washington, DC
Our meetings provide Mayors with dynamic, interactive opportunities to learn from peers and experts around city innovation. As cities tackle the biggest issues—including climate change, infrastructure, economic revitalization, equity—they often develop the most innovative and effective policy solutions. We hope you will join us as we convene to advance urban innovation.

Topics include: 
- Valuing Women’s Health
- Climate Change & Transportation Emissions
- Community Engagement: New Models, Old Rules or Old Models, New Rules?
- Building a Strong, Diverse, and Resilient Local Business Community
- As well as the highly popular Innovation Showcase – share your best ideas with your peers!
Download the Full Agenda

Friday, January 25

11:30 – 1:00pm

Steering Committee Meeting

Members only

1:00 - 2:00pm


2:00 - 2:15pm

Welcome & Introductions

Joel Rogers, Director, COWS

2:15 - 4:00pm

Valuing Women’s Health

With federal health care funds slashed, state politics unpredictable, and stark racial disparities prevalent in health outcomes, what can be done on the local level to ensure that women have access to quality health care? This panel will explore the role that cities can play in protecting and promoting women’s health.

Kimberlee Wyche-Etheridge, Meharry Medical College

Joneigh Khaldun, Detroit, MI

LaQuandra Nesbitt, Washington, DC

Luke Bronin, Mayor, Hartford, CT

Moderator: Rosalynn Bliss, Mayor, Grand Rapids, MI

4:00 - 4:15pm


4:15 - 6:00pm

Climate Change & Transportation Emissions
As cities prepare for climate change, reducing the transit-related carbon footprint of a city can go a long way in reducing a municipality’s carbon output. While reducing gas vehicles through promoting electric vehicles is a key step, it is not sufficient.

Laura Jay, C40 Cities

Jessica Finn Coven, Seattle, WA

Libby Schaaf, Mayor, Oakland, CA

Jacob Frey, Mayor, Minneapolis, MN

Moderator: Suzanne Jones, Mayor, Boulder, CO

6:00 - 6:15pm


6:15 - 7:00pm

Innovation Showcase

The Innovation Showcase will offer all Mayors and city staff the opportunity to present to the group on a leading edge/innovative policy or program idea that they’ve successfully implemented in just 3 minutes. Sign-up to participate through registration.

Moderator: Miro Weinberger, Mayor, Burlington, VT

7:00 - 7:30pm


7:30 - 9:00pm

Dinner & Keynote

Michael Nutter, former Mayor, Philadelphia, PA

Moderator: Joel Rogers, Director, COWS

Saturday, January 26

8:00 - 8:30am


​8:30 - 10:15am

Community Engagement: New Models, Old Rules or Old Models, New Rules?

A healthy relationship between municipal government and residents is a critical component of a strong democracy. Many cities are starting to think outside of the box to encourage community engagement that is authentic and equitable. This panel will provide city leaders with good ideas to improve their community engagement, whether through the use of the latest technology or by simply innovating tried and true techniques.

Shari Davis, Participatory Budgeting Project

Jon Robinson, West Sacramento, CA

Sherman Lea, Sr, Mayor, Roanoke, VA

Chokwe Lumumba, Mayor, Jackson, MS

Moderator: Betsy Hodges, former Mayor, Minneapolis, MN

10:15 - 10:30am


10:30 - 12:15pm

Building a Strong, Diverse, and Resilient Local Business Community

Small, local businesses are a crucial component of thriving cities, but many need support to survive in today’s world of mega-companies and conglomerates, and when neighborhood change risks raising rents, sometimes resulting in displacement. This panel will examine how cities can reduce the regulatory burden for small businesses, increase access to business capital, strengthen local procurement policies, and provide educational opportunities to business owners and workers. We will also address how cities can support populations affected by historical disinvestment or intentional disadvantage to cultivate a thriving, unique local business community that benefits everyone.

Stacy Mitchell, Institute for Local Self-Reliance

Thomas Hoye, Jr, Mayor, Taunton, MA

Vi Lyles, Mayor, Charlotte, NC

Moderator: Stephen Benjamin, Mayor, Columbia, SC


Closing Remarks & Adjourn

12:30 - 12:45pm

Steering Committee Meeting

Members only

12:45 - 2:00pm

Optional: Guided tour of Evicted Exhibition, with Sarah Leavitt, Curator with the National Building Museum. A collaboration with Matthew Desmond, best-selling author of Evicted, this exhibit offers an immersive experience into the world of low-income renter eviction.

Each year more than 2.3 million Americans, most of them low-income renters, face eviction. While it used to be rare, forcible removal has become ordinary, with families facing eviction from the most uninhabitable apartments. Ms. Leavitt will provide an introduction to the eviction crisis, background on the exhibition, and related implications for city leaders.

We are limited to 25 spots for this optional tour, which includes a light lunch and transportation to and from the National Building Museum, 401 F St NW

Friday, January 25 - Saturday, January 26, 2019
Equality Center at the Human Rights Campaign, 1640 Rhode Island, NW, Washington, DC 20036



Member cities: free unlimited registrations

Non-member cities: $325/person

Non-profits/Academic: $400/person

For-profit/prospective sponsors: Contact us to learn more about sponsorship.

Are you a mayor that has yet to attend one of our meetings? Contact us about first-time discounts!


We invite Mayors, other local elected executive-branch leaders, and their senior staff to attend our meetings from the US and Canada only. Other elected local government leaders and staff should contact their executive and/or us for an invitation. Registration covers the cost of materials and all meals listed on the agenda. View our refund cancellation policy here.  If you're with an NGO or a business interested in presenting at or sponsoring a meeting, learn more here or contact us



Attendees are responsible for booking and paying for their own travel and hotel. A room block has been reserved at the Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, a 2-block walk to the meeting, at a rate of $147/night plus tax. Please book no later than Thursday, January 3, 2019. To book:

  1. Call the dedicated group reservation line: 877-212-5752, or
  2. Book online here.



Both meeting and meals will take place at the Equality Center at the Human Rights Campaign, 1640 Rhode Island, NW, Washington, DC 20036. See map:


Logistics: Emily Miota,, 608-263-7958

Content: Ceri Jenkins,, 608-262-5176



Our meetings are business casual, with an emphasis on casual.

Women's Health


Here are the Cities Standing Up for Women’s Health, Alastair Boone, CityLab, October 20th, 2017. Read more.

Local Reproductive Freedom Index, National Institute for Reproductive Health, January 2nd, 2017. Read more.

Advancing Reproductive Freedom in Your City: A Toolkit for Local Policymakers, National Institute for Reproductive Health, October 1st, 2018. Read more.

What Cities Can Do to Protect Residents from Deception, Expand Access to Reproductive Healthcare, National Institute for Reproductive Health, November 1st, 2018. Read more.

The Well-Woman, CityMatCH , CityLights, May 1st, 2017. Read more.

The Well-Woman Project Themes and Reccomendations, University of Illinois-Chicago School of Public Health and City-MatCH, May 1st, 2017. Read more.

Working Women Need Paid Sick Days, National Partnership for Women & Families, April 1st, 2013. Read more.

The Black Maternal Mortality Rate in the US is an International Crisis, Dr. Joia Crear Perry, The Root, September 30th, 2016. Read more.

Advancing the Human Right to Safe and Respectful Maternal Health Care, Black Mamas Matter Alliance and Center for Reproductive Rights, June 16th, 2016. Read more.

De Blasio Administration Launches Plan to Reduce Maternal Death, Life-Threatening Complications, New York City, July 20th, 2016. Read more.

City advocates, gently, for use of IUD, Addy Baird, Politico, March 21st, 2016. Read more.

SisterFriends Detroit is Creating a Support Network for Pregnant Women and Their Families, The Detroit Health Department, Black Life, Arts & Culture, July 2nd, 2018. Read more.

iDecide Detroit Improves Access to Reproductive Healthcare for Teens, Detroit Health Department, Black Life, Arts & Culture, July 2nd, 2018. Read more.

How to solve D.C.‘s maternal health crisis? A health advocacy group proposes some ideas, Samantha Schmidt, The Washington Post, September 12th, 2018. Read more.

DC Health Strategy to Improve Perinatal Health Outcomes, Washington, DC, January 1st, 2018. Read more.

Perinatal Health: Improving Perinatal Outcomes, Washington, DC, January 9th, 2019. Read more.

Hartford Moves Forward With Restrictions on Faith-Based Pregnancy Centers, Jenna Carlesso, The Hartford Courant, September 19th, 2018. Read more.

Pregnancy Information Disclosure and Protection Ordinance Rule, City of Hartford, CT, October 1st, 2018. Read more.

Two years after opening new facility, Sojourner Family Peace Center keeps growing, Ashley Luthern, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 10th, 2017. Read more.

One Small City in New York is Finding Innovative Ways to Combat Domestic Abuse, Natalie Pattillo, Pacific Standard, May 4th, 2018. Read more.

In Columbus, Expectant Moms Will Get On-Demand Rides to the Doctor, Laura Bliss, CityLab, December 27th, 2018. Read more.

Climate Change & Transportation Emissions


Vehicles are now America’s biggest CO2 sources but EPA is tearing up regulations, Oliver Milman, The Guardian, January 1st, 2018. Read more.

C40 Cities work together to invest in clean buses, C40 Cities, May 11th, 2017. Read more.

Our Commitment to Green and Healthy Streets, C40 Cities, Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy , January 11th, 2019. Read more.

Spotlight on the C40 Transportation Initiative Opportunity & Action in C40 Cities, C40 Cities, August 14th, 2013. Read more.

How states and municipalities can encourage autonomous vehicles to be shared and electric, Southwest Energy Efficiency Project, September 3rd, 2018. Read more.

Investing in Charging Infrastructure for Plug-In Electric Vehicles, Lia Cattaneo, Center for American Progress, July 30th, 2018. Read more.

Cities, obsessed with electric cars, overlook simple solutions at climate summit, Alissa Walker, Curbed, September 18th, 2018. Read more.

Bus Rapid Transit, C40 Cities, February 1st, 2016. Read more.

Transit and Climate Adaptation=Transit and Equity, Diane Jones Allen, Meeting of the Minds, December 4th, 2018. Read more.

Finding Climate Justice in the Fight for Transit Equity, Johnathon Ostar, Climate Solutions, February 25th, 2015. Read more.

Implementing Accessible Low Carbon Transit, Urban Sustainability Directors Network, Urban Sustainability Innovation Report, January 1st, 2018. Read more.

Safe streets are the best tool we have to combat climate change, Alissa Walker, October 10th, 2018. Read more. Curbed.

New Mobility Playbook, Department of Transportation, City of Seattle, WA, September 1st, 2017. Read more.

How Seattle Bucked a National Trend and Got More People to Ride the Bus, Andrew Small, CityLab, October 16th, 2017. Read more.

Minneapolis Climate Action Plan: A Roadmap to Reducing Citywide Greenhouse Gas Emissions, City of Minneapolis, MN, June 28th, 2013. Read more.

Green Fleet Policy, City of Minneapolis, MN, December 2nd, 2010. Read more.

Energy and Climate Action Plan, City of Oakland, CA, March 1st, 2018. Read more.

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Requirements for New Multi-Family and Nonresidential Buildings, City of Oakland, CA, April 25th, 2017. Read more.

Sustainable Oakland Report, City of Oakland, CA, January 1st, 2016. Read more.

City Releases CONNECT, Philadelphia’s Strategic Transportation Plan, City of Philadelphia, PA, October 10th, 2018. Read more.

Community Engagement


The First Steps to Meaningful Community Engagement, Neeraj Mehta, Next City, October 31st, 2012. Read more.

The Ladder of Citizen Participation in the Digital Era, Wietse Van Ransbeeck, Citizen Lab, July 27th, 2016. Read more.

Inclusive Outreach and Public Engagement Guide, Seattle Office for Civil Rights,City of Seattle, WA, April 2nd, 2009. Read more.

Participatory Budgeting: Next Generation Democracy, Participatory Budgeting Project, August 1st, 2016. Read more.

Building Better Cities with Civic Technology, Kate Gasparro, Data-Smart City Solutions, November 8th, 2018. Read more.

Public Engagement: The Future in 2 Data Points, Travis Parker, StrongTowns, July 3rd, 2018. Read more.

Two Cities Test Tinder-Like App to Encourage Citizen Engagement, Caroline Cournoyer, Government Technology, March 13th, 2017. Read more.

How Roanoke Rocks Civic Engagement, Ron Littlefield, Governing, May 8th, 2017. Read more.

Getting Compton’s young men to trade gang life for working life, Aja Brown, CNN Business, June 14th, 2016. Read more.

Will the People Have a Say in 2018 Budget?, Ko Bragg, Jackson Free Press, April 18th, 2018. Read more.

How Communities Can Thrive in a Post-Newspaper World, Otis White, Governing, August 29th, 2018. Read more.

Making Sure all of Detroit Has a Voice on Sustainability, Emily Nonko, Next City, December 19th, 2018. Read more.

Local Business


8 Policy Strategies Cities Can Use to Support Local Businesses, Stacy Mitchell, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, August 28th, 2017. Read more.

Affordable Space: How Rising Commercial Rents Are Threatening Independent Businesses, Olivia LaVecchia and Stacy Mitchell, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, April 4th, 2016. Read more.

How Charlotte, NC is Expanding Opportunities for Minority Businesses, Governing, October 9th, 2018. Read more.

With an NBA Assist, All-Star Host City Aims to Help Minority-Owned Businesses, J. Brian Charles, Governing, July 12th, 2018. Read more.

Downtown Taunton Rent Rebate Program, City of Taunton, MA. Read more.

Three New Businesses Open in Downtown; All Utilize Mayor’s Rent Rebate Program, City of Taunton, MA, September 26th, 2016. Read more.

Cities Developing Worker Co-ops: Efforts in Ten Cities, Michelle Camou, Imagined Economy Project, August 8th, 2016. Read more.

Rochester Mayor: Investing in Co-ops Builds ‘Stairway out of Poverty’, Oscar Perry Abello, Next City. Read more.

City of Minneapolis Partners with Nonprofits to Provide Culturally Diverse Business Assistance, City of Minneapolis, MN, December 12th, 2014. Read more.

Target Market Program, City of Minneapolis, MN, January 8th, 2019. Read more.

Small Business Plan, City of Boston, March 1st, 2016. Read more.

Boston Offers Critical Lending to Minority-Owned Small Businesses, Oscar Perry Abello, Next City, March 9th, 2017. Read more.

Settle Commercial Affordability Advisory Committee Reccomendations, City of Seattle, WA, January 11th, 2019. Read more.