Summer 2018 Annual Meeting

Summer 2018 Annual Meeting
Wednesday, August 22, 2018 – Friday, August 24, 2018
Grand Rapids, MI

Thank so much to everyone that joined us in Grand Rapids for a fantastic three days of good ideas and beautiful weather! We sincerely hope you left inspired and with many new ideas to improve the quality of life in your own city. Another big thank you to our Summer Meeting hosts, Mayor Bliss and her amazing team in Grand Rapids.

The Summer 2018 Annual Meeting was an opportunity for Mayors and senior staff to see and learn about the great work happening in cities up close while still digging deep into the most pressing challenges (and solutions) that most cities face.

All presentations and Briefing Book materials, as well as information about the attendees and our sponsors, are below.

See full agenda here

Presentations and Briefing Book

Traditional economic development has left neighborhoods and communities behind. It’s time to take a more equitable approach – one that involves communities, informed by history, and focuses on keeping the benefits of growth in your community.


Tracey Ross, PolicyLink

Tyler Bump, Portland, OR

Kara Wood, Grand Rapids, MI


Equitable Development as a Tool to Advance Racial Equity, Ryan Curren, Nora Liu, Dwayne Marsh, Local and Regional Government Alliance on Race & Equity, September 1st, 2015. Read here.

Puget Sound Regional Equity Network: Principles of Equitable Development, Growing Transit Communities, Puget Sound Regional Council and Impact Capital, February 1st, 2013. Read here.

Equitable Development Principals and Scorecard, January 1st, 2016. Read here.

Twin Cities Region Equitable Development Principals & Scorecard, Community Engagement Steering Committee Equitable Development working group, June 2nd, 2014. Read here.

Where is Gentrification Happening in Your City?, Chris Bousquet, Data-Smart City Solutions, June 5th, 2017.

City of Portland Neighborhood Economic Development Strategy, Portland Development CommissionRead here.

SW Corridor Economic Housing Strategy, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, City of Portland, OR, March 1st, 2018. Read here.

Rose Center Fellowship: City Commission Presentation, The Rose Center, City of Grand Rapids, MI and Downtown Grand Rapids Inc, November 14th, 2017. Read here.

GR Forward: Downtown and River Action Plan Executive Summary, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc, City of Grand Rapids, MI, and Grand Rapids Public Schools, October 26th, 2015. Read here.

Ensuring Racial Equity in Public Contracting, Judith Dangerfield, PolicyLinkRead here.
Policy Brief

Local and Targeted Hiring, Julia Gross, PolicyLinkRead more..
Policy Brief

Executive Directive No. 15, Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, City of Los Angeles, CA, April 29th, 2016. Read here.

Anti-Displacement Tax Fund Fact Sheet, Westside Future FundRead here.

Resolution Establishing Displacement Free Zones (DFZs)City of Atlanta, GA, December 5th, 2016.
Legislative Reference No. 16-R-4683

City Announces First Cannabis Dispensary Permit Recipients Under Equity ProgramCity of Oakland, CA, January 31st, 2018.

Neighborhood Jobs Trust Impact Report 2016-2017, Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, City of Boston, MARead here.

Summary of Proposed Revisions (2018 Tax Abatement Renewal), Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, City of Houston, TX, May 8th, 2018. Read here.

Equitable Development: The Path to an All-In Pittsburgh, PolicyLinkRead here.

Equity New Orleans: The Road to Equitable Government, City of New Orleans, LARead here.

City to weigh ‘social impact’ of development proposals on public landPlan Philly, September 22nd, 2016.

Oakland Army Base is a Model for Equitable Development, Fran Smith, Next City, February 19th, 2016.

San Jose Manufacturing Comeback Linked to Equitable Growth, Johnny Magdaleno, Next City, September 16th, 2016.

The pumping of drinking water and treatment of wastewater use a massive amount of energy and contribute to carbon emissions. Cities striving for net zero city-wide need to consider water as part of the equation.


Neal Elliott, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

Alison Waske Sutter, Grand Rapids, MI

Mayor Mike Wiza, Stevens Point, WI


Energy Efficiency in Water and Wastewater Facilities, US Environmental Protection AgencyRead here.

A Survey of Energy Use in Water Companies, Rachel Young, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, June 1st, 2015. Read here.

Local Technical Assistance Toolkit: Energy Efficiency in Water and Wastewater Facilities, American Council for an Energy-Efficient EconomyRead here.

The Energy Roadmap Primer, Water Environment FederationRead here.

Increasing Participation in Utility Energy Efficiency ProgramsAmerican Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, August 3rd, 2015.

The Road to 100: Grand Rapids’ journey to be Michigan’s first all-renewable-powered city, Andrew Steiner, Rapid Growth, August 17th, 2017. Read more.

Grand Rapids building $38M biodigester, Rachel Watson, Grand Rapids Business Journal, December 21st, 2017.

City of Stevens Point Wastewater Treatment Plant, Jeremy Cramer, Central States Water Environment AssociationRead here.
Summer 2013

Waste water historyCity of Stevens Point, WI.

Gresham, Oregon, Wastewater Plant Achieves Energy Net Zero StatusCity of Gresham, Oregon, April 22nd, 2015.

DC Water’s Thermal Hydrolysis and Anaerobic Digester Project, DC WaterRead here.

DC Water leverages technology first in North America to generate clean, renewable energy from…DC Water, October 7th, 2015.

Trees tout a suite of economic, social, and environmental benefits, but they are disappearing from urban spaces at an alarmingly fast rate.


Karen Firehock, Green Infrastructure Center Inc.

Stephanie Adams, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks

Mayor Pam Hemminger, Chapel Hill, NC


Funding Trees for Health, Rob McDonald, et. al, The Nature ConservancyRead here.

Solving (Part of) the Urban Forest Paradox, Cara Byington, The Nature Conservancy, June 3rd, 2018.

Section 5.11.09 of ‘Zoning Ordinance for City of Grand Rapids: Minimum Tree Canopy’, City of Grand Rapids, MI, April 27th, 2017. Read here.

Back to Our Roots: Thriving Communities from Urban Forestry, Chuck Otto, U.S. Green Building Council.

Upcoming Study to Evaluate Auburn’s Trees, Carla Nelson, Opelika-Auburn News, March 15th, 2018.

Group working to map Charlotteville’s green infrastructure, Sean Tubbs, Charlottesville Tomorrow, July 20th, 2016.

Portland’s Tree Planting: Actions for EquityCity of Portland, OR, May 24th, 2016.

Forest Management Framework for New York City, Natural Areas Conservancy and NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, April 2nd, 2018. Read here.

Cleveland Tree Plan, City of Cleveland, OH, August 3rd, 2015. Read here.

Tree Benefits for Indianapolis, City of Indianapolis, INRead here.

Toronto’s ‘urban forest’ worth $14.2 billion, report saysUniversity of Toronto, November 14th, 2016.

Going Green: How Trees Helped Transform Greenville into a Top Travel Destination, Andrew Moore, Greenville Journal, March 28th, 2018.

“Smart” has become a buzzword for all data-driven projects and innovations that improve city services. But with the overwhelming number of smart devices, providers and attention flooding this space, what does it truly mean to be a smart city?


Melanie Nutter, Nutter Consulting

Josh Naramore, Grand Rapids, MI

Josh Carpenter, Birmingham, AL

Eric Finch, Spokane, WA


The Rise of the Smart City, Michael Totty, The Wall Street Journal, April 16th, 2017. Read here.

Getting Smart about Smart Cities, Institute for Sustainable Communities, Nutter Consulting, and Urban Sustainability Directors NetworkRead here.

Trends in Smart City Development, Center for City Solutions and Applied Research, National League of CitiesRead here. 2016

What it means to be a ‘smart city’ in 2018—and why we should consider another name, Benjamin Freed, State Scoop, May 16th, 2018.

Smart Money: Developing New Funding Mechanisms for Smart InitiativesKnowledge@Wharton, University of Pennsylvania, February 14th, 2018.

Problem solving with real-time data: GR on the road to become a Smart City, Allison Spooner, Rapid Growth, September 28th, 2017.

Birmingham: Boldly Using Smart Technology as the Great Equalizer, Michael Keating, Icons of Infrastructure.

Spokane Takes Step to Become a ‘Smart City’ Research Center, Nicholas Deshais, The Spokesman-Review, December 6th, 2017.

Schenectady on road to becoming ‘smart city’ of the future, Larry Rulison, Times Union, June 17th, 2018.

Smart City Procurement as Open Data in Pittsburgh, Nicholas Hall and Robert Burack, Data-Smart City Solutions, January 31st, 2018.

KCMO= the world’s most connected Smart CityCity Project Summary of efforts to date, Kansas City, MO.

The Safe Way to Build a Smart City, Corin Faife, CityLab, October 2nd, 2017.
Boston Smart City PlaybookMayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, City of Boston, MA.

How Chula Vista is turning its bayfront into a smart city test bed, Teena Maddox, TechRepublic, April 6th, 2017.

How Austin brought the human touch to smart city planning, Jenny McGrath, Digital Trends, July 31st, 2017.

Q&A: How the Colorado Smart Cities Alliance is pushing its members to ‘advance faster together’, Chris Teale, Smart Cities Dive, February 20th, 2018.


Stephanie Adams, Executive Director, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks
Linda Anderson, Mayor, City of Douglas, MI
Ralph Becker, Speaker, Independent
Ty Beckering, Business Development Manager, Triangle Associates
Christine Berg, Mayor, City of Lafayette, CO
Melissa Bertolo, Certified Welcoming Manager, Welcoming America
Dave Bieter, Mayor, City of Boise, ID
Rosalynn Bliss, Mayor, City of Grand Rapids, MI
Garrett Brinker, Product Manager, Neighborly
Tyler Bump, Senior Economic Planner, City of Portland, OR Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Patrick Burtch, City Manager, City of Jackson, MI
Pete Buttigieg, Mayor, City of South Bend, IN
Rafael Carbonell, Executive Director, Harvard Kennedy School Taubman Center for State & Local Government
Bill  Carpenter, Mayor , City of Brockton, MA
Josh Carpenter, Director of the Department of Innovation and Economic Opportunity, City of Birmingham, AL
Nate Carver, Corp. Acct. Mgr. Lead, Consumers Energy
Chris Clark, Councilmember, City of Mountain View, CA
Rodney Craig, Village President, Village of Hanover Park, IL
Paula Cunningham, State Director, AARP Michigan, AARP
Gretchen DeBacker, Legislative Director, City of Toledo, OH
Brian Donoghue, Director of Civic Innovation, City of South Bend, IN
Dennis Doyle, Mayor, City of Beaverton, OR
Tarsi Dunlop, Policy and Program Manager, Local Progress
Jermale  Eddie, Owner, Malamiah Juice Bar (Guest of DGRI)
Tim Eder, Program Officer, Mott Foundation
Kathy Ehley, Mayor, City of Wauwatosa, WI
Neal Elliott, Sr. Director for Research, American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy
Julia Fahl, Mayor Elect Lambertville NJ, City of Lambertville, NJ
Eric Finch, Chief Innovation and Technology Officer, City of Spokane, WA
Adria Finch, Chief Innovation Officer, City of Syracuse, NY
Karen Firehock, Executive Director, Green Infrastructure Center Inc.
Jennifer  Fuerstein, AARP Grand Rapids, AARP
Josh Griffin, Partner, Bullpen, Inc.
Andy Guy, COO, Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc.
John Hamilton, Mayor, City of Bloomington, IN
Jamie Harkins, City Councilor, City of Lafayette, CO
Al Heggins, Mayor, City of Salisbury, NC
Pam Hemminger, Mayor, Town of Chapel Hill, NC
Thomas  Hogenson, Mayor, City of Big Rapids, MI
Adrienne Holloway, Chief Innovation Officer, City of Aurora, IL
Bobby Hopewell, Mayor, City of Kalamazoo, MI
Rebecca Hopp, Mayor, City of Ferrysburg, MI
Veneeth  Iyengar, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer, Parish of East Baton Rouge, LA
Taif Jany, Policy Coordinator, Young Elected Officials Network (YEO Network)
Ceri Jenkins, Senior Associate, Mayors Innovation Project
Suzanne Jones, Mayor, City of Boulder, CO
Mike Kasperzak, Former Mayor, City of Mountain View, CA
Tim Kelly, CEO, Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc.
Andrew Kieve, CEO and Co-founder, Tolemi
Mark Kleinschmidt, Steering Committee Member, MIP
Dan  Kupratis, Director of Capital Markets, Neighborly
Dave Lang, Assistant to the General President Governmental Affairs & Public Policy, International Association of Fire Fighters
Eric Letsinger, CEO, Quantified Ventures
Kim  Lundgren, CEO, Kim Lundgren Associates, Inc.
Steve Ly, Mayor, City of Elk Grove, CA
Karen Majewski, Mayor, City of Hamtramck, MI
Karen  McCarthy, Community Affairs Manager, Consumers Energy
William McLeod, Mayor, Village of Hoffman Estates, IL
Joane McLeod, Commissioner, Village of Hoffman Estates, IL
James Meeks, CEO, Move Systems (Guest of DGRI)
Kerri Miller, Senior Vice President/Principal , Fishbeck, Thompson, Carr & Huber, Inc.
Emily Miota, Senior Associate, Mayors Innovation Project
Julio Morales, Exec. Dir., Strategic Customer Relations, Consumers Energy
Marcus Muhammad, Mayor, City of Benton Harbor, MI
Joshua Naramore, Mobile GR Director, City of Grand Rapids, MI
Nickole Nesby, Mayor, City of Duquesne, PA
Melanie Nutter, Principal, Nutter Consulting
Laura Olson, Acting Assistant to the Mayor, City of Grand Rapids, MI
Laura O’Sullivan, Chief of Staff, City of South Bend, IN
Josh Owens, Administrative Analyst, City of Grand Rapids, MI
Amber Pence, Intergovernmental Affairs Director, City of Boise, ID
David Pope, President/CEO, The Residence Corporation / Oak Park Housing Authority
Cory Poris Placsh, Vice President, Customer Success, Polco
Andrew Radvansky, Exec. Dir., Community Engagement & Corporate Citizenship, Consumers Energy
Satya Rhodes-Conway, Managing Director, Mayors Innovation Project
Carrie Rivette, Stormwater Manager, City of Grand Rapids, MI
Joel Rogers, Director, COWS
Tracey Ross, Associate Director, PolicyLink
Richard  Rothstein, Research Associate & Author, Economic Policy Institute
Andy Schor, Mayor, City of Lansing, MI
Suzanne Schulz , Managing Director of Design and Development, City of Grand Rapids, MI
Amna Seibold, Mayor, City of East Grand Rapids, MI