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March 22, 2010

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, joined by federal, state, city and Port of Los Angeles officials, broke ground March 8 on a $22 million federally-funded roadway improvement project along a 1.3-mile segment of Harry Bridges Boulevard in Wilmington. The project for the Port of Los Angeles, the nation’s busiest container port, is funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and is expected to create more than 250 local construction jobs.

"I commend the Obama Administration for investing in this critical gateway and bringing much-needed jobs to the community around the Port of Los Angeles. This project will improve public safety and keep America’s freight moving," Villaraigosa said. "The city of Los Angeles is grateful for this federal funding to keep one of America’s busiest gateways safe and we look forward to additional stimulus funds being granted to our city."

This is the first grant awarded to the Port of Los Angeles through ARRA and the largest grant awarded to any "shovel-ready" project in Los Angeles and Ventura counties from the $27.5 billion transportation stimulus fund that provided $340 million by formula to L.A. and Ventura counties.

Newsom Declares Candidacy for Lt. Governor of California

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom announced on March 12 that he would seek the position of Lt. Governor of California. When asked about his priorities as lieutenant governor, Newsom responded, "Not dissimilar to my priorities as mayor: economic and work force development, education and issues of the environmental stewardship, environmental sustainability." Newsom holds several leadership positions at the Conference of Mayors including Chair of the Mayors Health Care Reform Task Force. The democratic primary in California will be June 8.

Cicilline Announces His Run for Congress

Providence Mayor David N. Cillicine announced that he will seek the Congressional seat vacated by Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy in District 1 of Rhode Island. Kennedy announced after 15 years in office that he would not seek re-election. Cicilline, stated that he will not step down as mayor while he seeks election to Congress. Cicilline, the state’s first openly gay mayor, has held that position for eight years.

In his formal announcement, Cicilline states that he is running for Congress "to take to Washington what I know about getting hard things done. That’s what mayors do every day —solve difficult problems. We cut costs, resolve complex problems, and look an impossible challenge in the eye and just figure it out. We know how to work across party lines and build coalitions to get things done." Cicilline serves as Chair of the Standing Committee for Children, Health and Human Services as well as Chair of the Democratic Mayors, a separate organization.

Malloy Announces His Run for Governor

Former Stamford (CT) Mayor Dannel Malloy officially announced his candidacy for governor of Connecticut March 10, thus becoming the second Democrat to do so. Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont officially announced his candidacy for governor February 16.

Malloy ran for governor four years ago as well, when he lost the Democratic primary race to New Haven Mayor John DeStefano.

Malloy was first elected mayor of Stamford in 1995 and served for 14 years, the city’s longest tenure as mayor. He also served as a Trustee of The U.S. Conference of Mayors.

New Yorker Magazine Profiles Chicago Mayor Daley

The March 8 issue of The New Yorker devotes 13 pages to a profile of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. In "The Daley Show," former Chicago Tribune reporter Evan Osnos balances descriptions of Chicago’s progress under Daley’s administration, illustrations of the mayor’s political influence, and glimpses into his personal style and family life. Osnos notes, "Shortly before Christmas, Daley will officially surpass his father and become the longest'serving mayor in Chicago history, a prospect that invites attempts to reckon with the Daley legacy."

First Lady Obama Makes Anti-Obesity Campaign Stop in Jackson (MS)

Jackson (MS) Mayor Harvey Johnson greeted First Lady Michelle Obama on her stop in Jackson to visit school children at Pecan Park Elementary and Brinkley Middle School. While spending almost two hours at Brinkley Middle School, the First Lady discussed various strategies for making school lunches healthier with Johnson, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, and nutritionists.

"We were very pleased to have the First Lady here in Jackson. Obviously, she could have chosen any number of places to be but she chose Jackson at her first stop to kick off her national initiative to encourage healthy living to combat childhood obesity," stated Johnson. "She was able to see first-hand what we are doing in our school system to address obesity. It was very meaningful for us and our city to have her here, in Jackson," he said. At Pecan Park Elementary School, the First Lady spent time with the children praised officials for their vigorous pursuit of fitness and healthy nutrition goals.