Villaraigosa to be sworn in as head of US Conference of Mayors

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Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villariagosa will be sworn in Monday as the new president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Villaraigosa will succeed Burnsville, Minn., Mayor Elizabeth Kautz. As head of the organization, he will set the conference's agenda, appoint committee and task force chairs and act as a national spokesman for the group, according to the mayor's office.

Villaraigosa is scheduled to be a panelist Saturday in a discussion on "Mayoral Leadership and Engagement in Education," along with Tony Miller, a deputy education secretary.

Although the mayor of Los Angeles has no formal role in education, Villaraigosa has made education one of his priorities since taking office in 2005.

Later Saturday, Villaraigosa is scheduled to speak at a meeting of the conference's Transportation and Communications Standing Committee.

A celebration honoring Villaraigosa, who will be the conference's 69th president, and Kautz, is scheduled for Sunday night. The celebration is sponsored by the American Beverage Association, the trade association for companies that manufacture and distribute non-alcoholic beverages.

Other mayors from Los Angeles and Orange counties expected to attend the meeting are Bill Bogaard (Pasadena); Barry Brucker (Beverly Hills); Joe Carchio (Huntington Beach); Tom Chavez (Temple City); Jim Dear (Carson); Bob Foster (Long Beach); Mike Gin (Redondo Beach); Mary Ann Lutz (Monrovia); Miguel Pulido (Santa Ana); Richard Montgomery (Manhattan Beach); Elliott Rothman (Pomona) and Tom Tait (Anaheim).

Pulido is chair of the conference's Energy Standing Committee. He will also the moderator of a "Best Practice Forum" on "The Great American City: Fueling Progress and Prosperity."

Other topics at the conference will include the economy, job creation, homeland security and immigration.

The trip will be Villaraigosa's sixth outside Southern California since late April.

He was in Chicago April 28-29 for the National Summit on City Design; in Washington, D.C., May 3-4 for meetings on education and transportation; in Sacramento May 11 to meet with legislative leaders of both parties to discuss education funding; in Chicago May 14-16 for Rahm Emanuel's inauguration as mayor; and in Sacramento May 19 to give a keynote address at the Education Trust-West summit.

Villaraigosa is expected to return to Los Angeles on Monday.

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