Sustainability Conference Focuses on Water, Energy and Transportation

U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson to Kick Off California Event

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Mike Thompson was first elected to represent California's 1st Congressional District in 1998. The district includes all of Napa, Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties as well as portions of Yolo and Sonoma Counties. A decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, Thompson is a member of the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, where he serves as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Human Intelligence, Analysis and Counterintelligence.

Keynote speaker Anna Garcia is acting program manager of the Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program in the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, providing leadership to maximize the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy through technology deployment, accessing new partnerships and resources, and communications and outreach activities.

Supervisor Valerie Brown represents the first district in Sonoma County, Calif., where she is a former mayor and state assembly member. She is also chairperson of Applied Solutions.

Michelle Wyman is executive director of Applied Solutions,  a non-profit organization of local governments committed to aggregating action, leadership and innovation to advance integrated solutions for water, energy, transport and the built environment. She is also a former executive director of ICLEI USA - Local Governments for Sustainability, and she served as the natural resources director for the city of Fort Collins, Colo.

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Posted: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 3:00 pm

ROHNERT PARK, Calif. -- More than 100 municipal government leaders and staff representing 40 Western jurisdictions will be on hand for the Growing Sustainable Communities Conference - Western Region next week.

Late registrations are still being accepted at

The conference will feature four tracks of educational sessions on Thursday, May 3 at the Double Tree Hotel in Rohnert Park. The general conference will be preceded by a special, half-day legislative roundtable for California elected officials and senior staff, and an evening networking reception for all conference and roundtable attendees at the St. Francis Winery and Vineyards in Santa Rosa on May 2.

Special presentations at the conference will include opening remarks by U.S. Congressman Mike Thompson (CA-1) and keynote addresses by Anna Garcia, acting program manager of the Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program at the U.S. Department of Energy, and Michelle Wyman, executive director of Applied Solutions.

Workshops with include sessions on West Coast water supply forecasts, financing renewable energy, case studies in "complete streets," mining waste streams for power, managing stormwater with green infrastructure, community choice aggregation, a case study in water reuse, municipal solar power, alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure, climate adaptation planning, using advanced weather forecasting data to enhance water supply and stormwater management, community engagement strategies, and measuring sustainability.

A key focus of the roundtable on Wednesday will be moderated discussions on establishing California's federal priorities for transportation, water and energy policy.

"The Growing Sustainable Communities Conference in Sonoma County will bring together leaders from across California and the Western states to share best practices and further the discussion on how local governments can have a strong voice at the federal level," said Sonoma County Supervisor Valerie Brown.

Brown and Rohnert Park Mayor Jake Mackenzie will host several of the general sessions at the conference.

Hosted by the Sonoma County Water Agency and Applied Solutions, the conference is presented by Sustainable City Network and Climate Communities.

California municipalities who will be represented at the conference include the cities of Berkeley, Burlingame, Chula Vista, Cotati, Cupertino, Daly City, Davis, Hayward, Irvine, Menlo Park, Mill Valley, Monterey Park, Napa, Petaluma, Palo Alto, Pleasant Hill, Redwood City, Rohnert Park, Salinas, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Francisco, San Jose, San Rafael, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Windsor and Yountville.

The counties of Sonoma and Santa Clara will also be represented, as will leadership from Aspen, Colo., Baton Rouge, La., Boulder, Colo., Salt Lake City, Utah, Seattle, Wash., Springfield, Ore., and Tigard, Ore.

"This conference is a unique opportunity to access the latest information on a wide variety of sustainability topics for local government leaders," said Tom Woodward, president and CEO of Sustainable City Network. "From cutting-edge issues like community choice aggregation, climate adaptation planning and sustainable energy utilities, to the latest information on energy efficiency, green infrastructure, complete streets and waste-to-fuel technologies, we know attendees will find something in each session that will help them continue addressing the issues that impact the long-term resiliency of our communities, and ultimately, the nation."

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