Hosterman talks up Pleasanton at U.S. Mayors Conference
Mayor Jennifer Hosterman is back in Washington this week for the 79th winter meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. This afternoon, she is meeting with President Obama and Vice President Biden.
Through her work with the mayors' conference and other national and regional organizations, Hosterman has become one of the better known women mayors in the country. She sits on several energy and environmental committees at the mayors' conference and co-chairs the Mayors Water Council with Mayor Brian Stratton of Schenectady, N.Y. Since Stratton couldn't make it to this week's meeting, Hosterman led the Water Council discussion Wednesday about national and state water issues and the funds that will be required to meet future needs.
Hosterman brought 40 mayors here last October when she hosted the Water Council's regional meeting, including state and local water system operators in a discussion of Safe, Clean, and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2010. The mayors were so impressed with Pleasanton water and sewer system operating technologies that they asked Daniel Smith, who heads of the department, to share the technology with their cities. He complied with a 20-minute video that has now been sent to his counterparts in hundreds of U.S. cities.
Thursday, Hosterman met with Lisa P. Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, who asked Hosterman to serve on the EPA's local government advisory committee. Aware of Pleasanton's ongoing and now intensified work on a Climate Action Plan aimed at reducing greenhouse gases, protecting air and water quality and preventing the public's exposure to toxic contamination, Hosterman was asked to help other cities -- large and small -- to develop similar plans.
As a member of the Women's Mayors section of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Hosterman is also part of that group's Democratic Caucus, which works with the mayoral delegates to seek federal funds and guidance on key urban issues. She joined with her friend Mayor Elizabeth Kautz of Burnsville, Minn., in support of a "Civility Accord," a document all mayors were asked to sign by Tucson Mayor Robert Walkup.
As Pleasanton's No. 1 cheerleader at these mayors' conferences, Hosterman also brings back awards and recognitions. One time it was an environmental award for the greenest firehouse in the country after Station 4 was opened on Bernal Avenue with full rooftop solar power. Another time, it was for the city's support of the Tri-Valley Housing Opportunity Center. This year, she's being honored at the Kennedy Center for the city's Youth in Government Day and other efforts to teach students about the importance of public service.
Hosterman is also part of a Tri-Valley mayors' group that goes to Washington once a year to meet with transportation and other federal departments and with the California delegation. Making the trip this year are Mayors Karen Stepper of Danville, Abram Wilson of San Ramon, Tim Sbranti of Dublin and Marshall Kamena of Livermore. So far this week they've talked to Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek) and Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton), Sen. Pete Stark and Ryan Hunt, the appropriations guru for Sen. Dianne Feinstein. Hosterman said they're seeking additional funding for improvements to I-580, I-680, Hwy. 84 and the East Bay Regional Communications system.
She also has met with Ryan Mulholland at the Commerce Department, the appropriations office at the Transportation Department, David Matthew of the White House office of government affairs, Bernard Alexias at the Justice Department's office of community-oriented policing services and others to discuss issues affecting Pleasanton and to generate federal financial support. During the trip, she also spent time with business and manufacturing lobbyists who go to the Mayors Conference to talk about the advantages of locating their firms in Pleasanton.
"With a population of 70, 000, we're still viewed as a small city compared with most at this conference," Hosterman said. "But we're making a mark with our national awards. We are in a great location. Every time I come to Washington, I find there's more interest in learning more about Pleasanton and what makes us so successful."