Recap: 88 Cities Summit drew three dozen cities, elected leaders, top advisors

Our Propel LA 2nd Annual 88 Cities Summit saw another event with great teamwork, energy and conversations around economic development issues that cities are facing. With over 20 speakers, robust roundtable discussions, and a keynote delivered by Lenny Mendonca of the state’s economic development department – GoBiz – attendees left with tangible takeaways and ideas for tackling some of their local challenges. Over three dozen cities, including elected officials, city managers, and business, educational and nonprofit leaders connected to share ideas and collaborate.

Within a very full schedule, attendees heard from experts on how to effectively use data for city services, learned the various sources of funding for development projects and what should be in their “economic development wallet”, and gathered ideas on activation of abandoned and blighted properties – including tips on how to work with developers.

Mr. Mendonca, Chief Economic and Business Advisor to Governor Newsom, shared about the Regions Rise Together initiative and how “California is booming, but not for everyone”. Regions Rise Together is an effort to recognize the economic differences that make-up the regions throughout California, and that a “one size fits all” approach in economic development policies will not satisfy the needs of the diverse regions. Maryam Brown, President of Presenting Sponsor SoCalGas, delivered inspiring remarks and laid out a vision for the role of natural gas in our future in renewable energy, including plans to deliver 20% renewable natural gas by 2030.

Panelists from cities across the county spoke about options in raising capital, tackling abandoned properties, and effective use of data, with representatives from the following cities:

  • Duarte
  • La Verne
  • Long Beach
  • Los Angeles
  • Santa Monica
  • Torrance
Lenny Mendonca, Chief Economic Advisor to Governor Newsom

The CITY Talks were TED Talk-style presentations on best practices tackling a variety of economic development challenges, where attendees heard from cities of Burbank, Culver City and REDF, a social enterprise working with the City and County of Los Angeles.

The Working Groups were a significant contribution to the program, during which attendees with time to collaborate and discuss tangible takeaways from panel talks. Attendees broke off into small discussion groups to examine a city scenario in which they would implement either a P3 or an EIFD; and scenarios to address adaptive reuse by expanding or developing an industry cluster, and how to develop abandoned properties. Session Sponsor, Guidehouse, engaged participants in these dynamic conversations.

Many, many thanks to our sponsors for their support in this key opportunity to engage cities and city partners.

The venue, The Loft at the California Market Center sponsored by Brookfield Properties, provided sweeping views of downtown LA’s Fashion District and the ideal “co-working” space environment for vibrant conversations and networking.

Plans are already underway for 88 Cities Summit 2020! We’re excited about the momentum gained from this Summit and look forward to ways we can engage with cities in the coming months, in preparation for next year’s event. Thank you to all who attended!

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