Please note the agenda is under development. Check back for updates.

Monday, December 4

5:30 PM – Cocktail Reception
6:00 PM – Conversation with New Mayors

Panelists: Aja Brown, Mayor of Compton, CA; Chokwe Antar Lumumba, Mayor of Jackson, MS; Levar Stoney, Mayor of Richmond, VA; and Richard Irvin, Mayor of Aurora, IL. Moderated by Lester Spence, Associate Professor of Political Science and Africana Studies and Co-Director of Africana Studies, Johns Hopkins University.

7:30 PMEvening Reception and Hors D’oeuvres


Tuesday, December 5

8:00 AM – Breakfast
8:30 AM – Welcome and Overview
9:00 AM – Plenary Session I: Economic Segregation in 21st Century American Cities and Metropolitan Areas

Panelists: Senator Barbara Mikulski; Ras Baraka Mayor of Newark, NJ; Erik Solivan, Director of Denver, CO Office of Housing and Opportunities for People Everywhere (HOPE); Angela Glover Blackwell, CEO of PolicyLink; Paul Jargowsky, Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University; Marisol Bello (Moderator), Director of Content Strategy and Development, Center for Community Change.

Paul Jargowsky and Chris Wheeler of Rutgers University are using a new technique to align Census data on household income with neighborhood level data to measure changes over the last 40 years in economic inequality by geography across metropolitan areas, cities, and neighborhoods. As well-paying manufacturing jobs have disappeared from cities during this period, coupled with a sharp increase in income inequality, this research will look at the extent to which economic sorting has occurred across cities; and how economic segregation is shaping 21st century cities in the U.S., including their surrounding regions and interior neighborhoods.

Some of the research and policy questions to be explored by city leaders and experts will be: How much has inequality between cities and suburban places that surround them been shifting? What does such shifting suggest for key services like education and public safety that are tied to geography? Can city leaders effectively apply land use, housing, education or other policies that have contributed to economic segregation to also mitigate or reverse its effects?    

10:30 AM – Plenary Session II: The Role of Local Nonprofit Organizations in Confronting Violence and Crime

Panelists: Buddy Dyer, Mayor of Orlando, FL; Brandon Scott, Councilman, City of Baltimore; Shirley Franklin, CEO of Purpose Built Communities; Pat Sharkey, Professor of Sociology at NYU; and Dan Rodricks (Moderator), Columnist, The Baltimore Sun.

Patrick Sharkey of New York University will present new research on the role of community organizations in reducing violence and crime in cities. With sharp decreases in violent crime rates since the early 1990s, most explanations offered have focused on forces outside of previously high crime communities, such as changes in policing, increased incarceration, and shifting demographics. One factor that has not been previously studied is the emergence and growth of nonprofit and community organizations focused on public safety and community well-being.

Some of the questions city leaders and experts consider include: What has been the impact of local nonprofit organizations in reducing crime? How can city government and civic leaders develop strategies that integrate enhanced policing strategies with the efforts of community based organizations to improve neighborhood safety?

12:00 PM – Lunch and Conversation on State Preemption of Local Policy-Making

Panelists: Paul Soglin, Mayor of Madison, WI; Jillian Johnson, Councilmember for Durham, NC; Anne Morgan, City Attorney for Austin, TX; Mike Alfano (Moderator), Campaign Manager of the Campaign to Defend Local Solutions; Jon Vernick, Professor of Health Policy and Management at Johns Hopkins University.

Higher levels of government have many reasons to legally prevent, or preempt, a lower level of government from approving or implementing specific laws or policies. The federal government may, for example, seek to establish a strong, consistent national standard (e.g., for safety devices in cars). State government may use preemption to ensure that local governments do not interfere with a statewide law by creating a “patchwork” of additional – and possibly conflicting – local laws. When states preempt local action, however, policy innovation may be stifled, leaving cities with little room to experiment with policies intended to address their unique needs. Increasingly, states have been using preemption over the past couple years, in a wide range of areas such as anti-discrimination, minimum wage, tax policy, gun control, transit, and sanctuary cities. This panel will discuss how state preemption is impacting cities and what cities are trying to do to push back.

1:30 PM – Concurrent Workshops

There will be four interactive workshop tracks. Each track will have two 75 minute workshops presented one after the next. Participants will have an opportunity to attend two workshops.

Track I: Data-Driven Decision Making in the 21st Century, presented by the Center for Government Excellence
Track II: The Color of Wealth: The National Asset Scorecard for Communities of Color, presented by Sandy Darity and Darrick Hamilton
Track III: City-University Neighborhood Revitalization Partnerships
Track IV: Place Based Health and Education Strategies
4:30 PM – 5:15 PM – Closing Reception




Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel, 5th Floor

The conference will take place at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel, 202 E Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202.