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ADVISORY: Mayors Mike Bloomberg (R-New York) and Antonio Villaraigosa (D-Los Angeles) gather national leaders June 18-19 to explore ways to bridge political divisions

Keynote address by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-California) followed by remarks from Gov. Janet Napolitano (D-Arizona)

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Contact: Madeline Meth
Phone: 202.741.6277
Email: mmeth@americanprogress.org

LOS ANGELES, June 14, 2007—New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa are convening leaders from government, media, philanthropy, and the non-profit sector to explore ways to improve dialogue and decision-making at all levels.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will deliver the keynote address at the conference on Tuesday, June 19, 2007 in the Ray Kurtzman Theater at the new headquarters of Creative Artists Agency, 2000 Avenue of the Stars in Century City.

Mayor Bloomberg will deliver opening remarks at a dinner hosted by Mayor Villaraigosa on Monday, June 18, 2007.

“We want to highlight leaders from both parties who have succeeded in getting things done by building consensus around some of the nation’s toughest problems,” said Geoffrey Cowan, dean of the USC Annenberg School and director of the school’s Center on Communication Leadership.

Governor Schwarzenegger’s address will be followed with remarks by Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, chair of the National Governors Association. Other confirmed speakers include Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, former Congressman Harold Ford, Jr., former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta, former governor Gray Davis, philanthropists Lauren Bon and Sherry Lansing, producer Kevin Wall, political strategist Matthew Dowd and journalists Margaret Carlson, Jay Carney, Michael Kinsley, Monica Lozano, Lawrence O’Donnell, Juan Williams and Judy Woodruff.

“In the philanthropic world, when you find an approach that actually makes a difference, no matter its origin or ideology, you want to reach out and grab it with both hands – the left and the right,” said Wallis Annenberg, vice president of the Annenberg Foundation, which is sponsoring the conference. “That’s why we are convening in Los Angeles. To talk about finding that vital center and building outward. And to learn from what’s already working in different parts of the country.”

Ceasefire! Bridging the Political Divide, is the inaugural conference of the newly established Center on Communication Leadership at the USC Annenberg School for Communication.

The conference is open for coverage, but advance registration is required. To request a credential and other questions, contact Orli Belman in the USC Media Relations Office by calling 213-740-0252 or email obelman@usc.edu.

Program schedule:

Monday, June 18 (Getty House, 605 S. Irving Ave., Los Angeles)

7:00 pm Welcome by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Address by Mayor Mike Bloomberg

8:15 pm Discussion with Harold Ford, Jr., DLC chairman and former Congressman and Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D-Kansas). Moderated by Judy Woodruff, PBS.

Tuesday, June 19 (CAA, 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Century City)

8:00 am Continental breakfast.

8:20 am Welcome by Dean Geoffrey Cowan, director, Center on Communication Leadership and Richard Lovett, president, CAA

8:30 am Greetings by Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Address by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

9:00 am Discussion: Identifying the Problem: The Political Divide

Speakers:

Jay Carney, Time

Matthew Dowd, brand strategist and former advisor to President George W. Bush

Michael Kinsley, columnist

Lawrence O’Donnell, MSNBC

John Podesta, Center for American Progress

Moderator:

Juan Williams, NPR and Fox News

10:00 am Keynote Address

Greetings by Wallis Annenberg, The Annenberg Foundation

Introduction by Gray Davis, former Governor of California

Address by Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California

10:30 am Address: New approaches to the political divide

Address by Janet Napolitano, Governor of Arizona

10:45 am BREAK (Press availability and photo opportunity)

11:15 am Discussion: Problem solvers

Speakers:

Lauren Bon, Annenberg Foundation and creative director, FarmLab

Sherry Lansing, Sherry Lansing Foundation

Monica Lozano, La Opinión

Kevin Wall, Live Earth

Moderator:

Judy Woodruff, PBS’s NewsHour

12:30 pm Closing thoughts: Moving forward

Remarks by Geoffrey Cowan and Margaret Carlson, Bloomberg News

12:45 pm Adjourn to lunch.

Conference updates, speaker bios and additional program information can be found at www.bridgingthepoliticaldivide.org.

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