Media Contact: Colleen Farrell | SBCCOG | 424-271-4681 | [email protected]


Free Virtual Event Offers TED-Like Talks on Transportation, the Environment, Technology, Public Safety, Housing, Public Health, Homelessness and Economic Development

TORRANCE, CALIF., March 10, 2021 – The COVID-19 global pandemic has underscored how one change impacts many others. The South Bay Cities Council of Governments’ (SBCCOG) 21st General Assembly titled, “Intersections: Finding Tomorrow’s Solutions for Today’s Issues,” will engage local thought leaders in a dynamic dialogue to examine the interrelationships of various issues and their potential impacts on the South Bay subregion of Los Angeles County. This year’s event will take place March 18, 2021 on a virtual platform from 9 to 4 p.m. To register, visit

 “As an elected official who works deeply across a variety of sectors and issues, I understand that many challenges we face have natural intersections. By example, homelessness intersects with public safety, health, housing and affordability, and even transportation,” Councilmember Christian Horvath, city of Redondo Beach, and 2019/2020 SBCCOG board of directors’ chair, said. He continued, “It is important to look at issues from a broader viewpoint, as well as holistically, to consider the unintended consequences that stem from our decision making at any level of government or in the private sector.” Horvath is curating the event’s speakers and content. He will also serve as the event’s emcee and moderator.

Speakers will represent state and local government, and private and public sectors. The event is designed for elected officials, city staff, city commissioners, residents and the business community. Designing the region’s future in a post-COVID-19 world will be an integral part of the discussion, which will include a morning session of TED-like COG-Talks. The following topics/speakers will be presented:

  • Intersections: Transportation, Mobility and the Future of Work – Thomas O’Brien, executive director, Center for International Trade and Transportation, California State University Long Beach
  • Collaboration of Emergency Medical Services with Public Health in Response to the Pandemic – Marianne Gausche-Hill, medical director, Los Angeles County EMS Agency
  • A Housing Navigator’s Perspective…Our Unsheltered are Worth it – Lila Omura, housing navigator, Harbor Interfaith Services
  • Systemizing By-Right Modular Construction Using Social Impact Equity – Kevin Hirai, COO, FlyawayHomes
  • The South Bay Fiber Network: A Network of Opportunity – Dave Daigle, CEO, American Dark Fiber
  • Integrating Empathy into our Mobility Ecosystem – Ahmed Darrat, market lead, Cityfi
  • Vision and Value: Concepts that Move Public Safety – Keith Kauffman, police chief, city of Redondo Beach
  • Changed. Building Climate Resilience in the South Bay – Kristen Torres Pawling, sustainability program director, Los Angeles County Sustainability Office
  • Why California Has a Housing Crisis – Liam Dillon, journalist, Los Angeles Times
  • The Emerging Role of Local Government in Economic Development – John Keisler, economic development director, city of Long Beach

The afternoon will be comprised of three panels moderated by Horvath. In the first, morning speakers will reconvene for a conversation on how their individual sectors converge. The second panel will explore the “Intersections Between the Private and Public Sectors,” featuring Mayor Drew Boyles, city of El Segundo; Mayor James Butts, city of Inglewood; Kelly Cheeseman, COO, Los Angeles Kings/AEG Sports; Jason Gannon, managing director, SoFi Stadium; Allan Pullman, principal, Studio One Eleven; and Allen Sanford, principal, Sanford Ventures.

The third panel will examine the “Intersections Between State and Local Governments” featuring Senator Ben Allen, 26th Senate District; Senator Steven Bradford, 35th Senate District; Mayor Patrick Furey, city of Torrance; Kate Gordon, director, Governor’s Office of Planning and Research; former Mayor Judith Mitchell, city of Rolling Hills Estates / JMM Consultants; Mayor Pro Tem Olivia Valentine, city of Hawthorne and SBCCOG board of directors’ chair; and Deputy Secretary Lynn von Koch-Liebert, Housing and Consumer Relations at the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency.

Attendees will have the opportunity to schedule one-on-one networking meetings with speakers within the online platform and engage with sponsors in a virtual exhibit hall.

The event is hosted by the SBCCOG, a joint powers government agency of the 16 cities and County of Los Angeles, which share the goal of maximizing the quality of life and productivity of the South Bay region. It accomplishes this by working on issues of mutual interest to its constituents including water/energy efficiency through its South Bay Environmental Services Center; transportation issues—specifically through its South Bay Measures R and M Programs; the South Bay Fiber Network, which provides low-cost, high-speed internet connectivity to South Bay city facilities, and several other public agencies; livable communities, including addressing homelessness and senior issues; climate action planning (including advocacy of fleet conversion to electric vehicles and slow speed vehicles for local trips to improve air quality and reduce congestion).

“The SBCCOG has long been an innovator in helping to advance important goals of the subregion,” Mayor Pro Tem Olivia Valentine, city of Hawthorne, and SBCCOG 2020/2021 board of directors’ chair, said. “I hope this event gives us an opportunity to continue driving innovative ideas and perspectives to the greater community to foster more collaboration on the issues we all face, especially during these challenging times.”

Benefactors (sponsors at the $5,000 level) include Continental Development / Mar Ventures, Inc.; Southern California Edison; The Port of Los Angeles; and the Southern California News Group (The Daily Breeze, The Beach Reporter and Palos Verdes Peninsula News). Sponsors (at the $2,500 level) include Chevron; COX; Easy Reader; Northrop Grumman; Los Angeles RAMS; Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, 4th District; Nuro; South Bay Workforce Investment Board; South Bay Association of Realtors, Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG); SoCalGas; Southbay magazine; The Energy Coalition; Watson Land Company; West Basin Municipal Water District; and Ygrene.

For more information about SBCCOG, visit


The South Bay Cities Council of Governments (SBCCOG) is a joint powers government agency of 16 cities and the County of Los Angeles which share the goal of maximizing the quality of life and productivity of the subregion. Within this structure, cities and Los Angeles County maintain the qualities and characteristics that make them unique and independent, while also coming together collectively to address issues of common interest for a greater good of the communities through partnership, persuasion, performance and advocacy. For more information about the SBCCOG visit