Have you registered to attend the nation's premier redevelopment conference? The 2009 CRA Annual Conference & EXPO will feature an outstanding slate of speakers and workshops that will provide attendees with new insights, useful strategies, and practical guidance on how to carry out the work of redevelopment in these difficult times. This year's event is being held on April 1-3 at the Monterey Conference Center and Portola Hotel in Monterey. This year's theme is Redevelopment. New Strategies for Making Communities Better and Greener. Attendees will learn the latest information on the State's budget, Federal Stimulus Package, CRA's lawsuit against the State, how to build green communities, how to build coalitions at the local level, CRA's California's Communities program, and more. CRA is so confident that you will learn at least three new things at the 2009 Annual Conference & EXPO that will help you build better communities; we will give your money back if you don't!

Wednesday morning's opening speaker is former Governor of Maryland and chairman of the National Governors Association, Parris Glendening, who is President of the Smart Growth Leadership Institute. Governor Glendening will discuss the blending of smart growth and sustainability strategies to address the challenges facing redevelopment agencies. He will also discuss how, as governor, he created a groundbreaking smart growth initiative that focused on using the entire $23 billion state budget as an incentive for smart growth.

The Awards luncheon will begin at noon followed by the 13th Annual Awards of Excellence ceremony. This year's program will recognize the eight award-winning projects and the recipients of the Lifetime Achievement In Redevelopment Awards and the William A. Carlson Fellowships.

Concurrent sessions and bus tours will be held following the awards ceremony and on Thursday morning. A bus tour of a successful green development project in downtown Monterey is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon, and a bus tour of Fort Ord's redevelopment area is scheduled for Thursday morning. Concurrent sessions will feature topics of discussion that include compact development to comply with AB 32 and SB 375; an update on real estate capital markets; innovative approaches to public/private Brownfields development; case studies on green downtown and affordable housing projects; building healthy communities; attracting new economy businesses; implementing AB 987; and, "Train the Trainer" sessions on effective presentations and use of PowerPoint.

Thursday's luncheon features Huell Howser, the host and producer of California's Communities, CRA's ground-breaking public television series. Huell will discuss his adventures in filming California's Communities. A DVD featuring the first six episodes will be given free to all attendees at the luncheon! Huell will also be at the EXPO following the luncheon. Attendees will have an opportunity to say hello to Huell and have their photo taken with him.

This year's EXPO begins at 2:00 p.m. and features 90 exhibitors displaying the widest array of redevelopment products and services in one place. A list of exhibitors is on CRA's website at www.calredevelop.org. At the website, click on Annual Conference then click on EXPO and Exhibitors.

There is a line-up of outstanding sessions on Friday morning that attendees will not want to miss. It begins with concurrent sessions addressing how to lessen the impact of the foreclosure crisis on communities; exurbanization and its implications; declining assessed values; and pass-throughs to comply with AB 1389.

Following these sessions will be a general session that will discuss a topic of vital importance to sustaining the funds and tools of redevelopment into the future—coalition building at the local level. Assembly Member Anna Caballero, Chair of the Assembly Local Government Committee, has been invited to begin the session. The session will then feature Dr. Tom Wolff, co-author of From the Ground Up! A Workbook on Coalition Building & Community Development. His topic, Coalition Building: Key to Avoiding More Takeaways of Agency Funds, will discuss how to build local coalitions to advocate redevelopment as an economic stimulus and job creation engine.

Following Dr. Wolff, a panel of local redevelopment representatives will discuss how they are successfully building coalitions in their communities. The session will conclude with a discussion on strategies for the future of redevelopment.

CRA is a State Bar of California approved Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) provider. MCLE credits will be available for many of the workshops at the conference. The conference program identifies those sessions eligible for MCLE credit.

Registration for CRA's 2009 Annual Conference & EXPO is available online by going to the CRA website here.  Registration forms in the conference announcement can also be faxed to CRA at (916) 448-9397. For additional information on the conference, contact Judy Jennemann by email at jjennemann@calredevelop.org or by telephone at (916) 448-8760.

Special Speed Coaching Session for the Next Generation of Redevelopment Leaders
A speed coaching workshop for the next generation of redevelopment leaders is being held on Wednesday, April 1, from 3:45 – 5:00 p.m. at the Marriott Monterey Hotel (across the street from the Monterey Conference Center). The workshop will provide young, aspiring redevelopment professionals with guidance and counseling from senior level redevelopment officials on how to become leaders in the field of redevelopment.

To learn more about this workshop, including how to register, go to CRA website and click on the Annual Conference then click Speed Coaching Workshop.