Strickland was among about 200 head cheeses from cities across the nation to join in the group’s regular yearly trek to D.C., where she heard from a long list of illustrious speakers, including Vice President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and First Lady Michelle Obama.
The highlight of the three-day conference was a trip to the White House, where President Barack Obama addressed all of the mayors about his administration’s plans to work collaboratively with American cities to stimulate the economy and create new jobs.
After meeting the president, a select group of prominent mayors headed to the White House lawn outside of the West Wing for a press conference, during which they made their case for cities getting a bigger cut of federal recovery dollars being distributed to the states.
Carried live on C-SPAN, the press conference featured such prominent mayors as Ray Nagin of New Orleans, Philadelphia’s Michael Nutter and Joseph Riley, the mayor of Charleston, South Carolina for 34 years.
Also seen in the group — none other than Marilyn Strickland, Mayor of the `City of Destiny’ for all of three weeks at the time.
Strickland happened to be heading out to the lawn to meet with a KIRO-TV reporter who had requested an interview. Video of the event catches her sidling up to the group just as the press conference begins.
“The group was gathering, so I just joined them,” she said.
Not too shabby of company for Tacoma’s new mayor to be keeping.
“I call them `the rock star mayors,’” Strickland said. “They’re the ones that people know and kind of have the national spotlight.”
Strickland told me Thursday she hadn’t actually seen the C-SPAN footage, though she’d unsuccessfully tried Googling it up. (I emailed her a link after our conversation).
“I didn’t know I was part of the shot,” she said.
“The conference was really good,” Strickland added. “You go to all these events in Washington D.C., and you see all these people who are on television all the time. So you can’t help but be a little star struck.”