From left: Alhambra Mayor Jeff Maloney, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware, Rep. Barbara Lee of Oakland, civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis of Atlanta, and Maloney’s son Koji in the Capitol Rotunda.

Rafu Wire and Staff Reports

Alhambra Mayor Jeffrey Koji Maloney was among about 250 mayors of cities with populations of 3,000 or more who attended the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) 87th Winter Meeting at the Capital Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C. from Jan. 23 to 25.

“I have been extremely impressed with the two USCM meetings I have attended,” said Maloney. “The high attendance figures and the depth and quality of the speakers and presenters speak volumes about the role mayors play in our country.

“Highlights included the address by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who was in the middle of intense negotiations to reopen the federal government, Vice President [Joe] Biden’s speech on the current state and future of our nation, and the various presentations highlighting the efforts of local governments and mayors from around the country.”

Alhambra Mayor Jeff Maloney and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.

Other scheduled speakers included Mayors Robert Garcia of Long Beach, Gleam Davis of Santa Monica and Steve Benjamin of Columbia, S.C., president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors; Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin; gun control advocate David Hogg; and four possible Democratic presidential candidates — former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Sens. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

“It was also great witnessing Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti accepting a grant of $150,000 for his ‘Universal Play’ program to combat childhood obesity,” said Maloney. “I participated in several breakout sessions and heard excellent panel discussions on cities’ efforts to become carbon-free in the near future to combat climate change and the challenge of affordable housing at the municipal level.

“As mayor of a city where most of the residents are Asian Pacific Islander or Latina/o, the panel discussion on the upcoming 2020 Census resonated very strongly. An accurate and complete count of all members of our community is crucial to track demographic trends, establish federal and state funding limits, and to properly draw political boundaries to ensure fair and equitable representation at the federal and state levels. This is extremely important and I’m committed to taking the lead on a complete count of all of the residents in Alhambra.”

Other Asian Pacific Islander mayors registered for the conference included Steven Ly of Rosemead, Peter Chan of Monterey Park, Richard Sun of San Marino, Victor Manalo of Artesia, and Tri Ta of Westminster from Southern California; Karyl Matsumoto of South San Francisco, Rich Tran of Milpitas, Lily Mei of Fremont, and Raymond Buenaventura of Daly City from Northern California.

Participants also discussed immigration policies, new transportation technologies, and the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement.

“The most encouraging lesson for me was that, in the face of inaction on so many issues at the federal level, our mayors and local governments aren’t waiting around for solutions, they are taking the lead,” said Maloney. “Whether it is on climate change, economic growth, renewable energy, or infrastructure, the mayors I met were committed to finding solutions that work for our residents.”

Maloney was elected to the Alhambra City Council in 2016 and began a nine-month term as mayor last year.

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