Meet our DMO of the Year
As Democratic leaders across the country pack our bags to head to Charlotte, NC for the Democratic National Convention, the DMO leadership does so with very special place in our hearts for Charlotte. And we name our DMO of the Month from Charlotte.
Our beloved and late Chair Emeritus, Susan Burgess served as Mayor Pro-Tem and City Council Member in Charlotte until her passing in 2010. She was instrumental in bringing the Convention to Charlotte, and the City of Charlotte is honoring her today. DMO will honor her at our reception on Wednesday with our Susan Burgess Memorial Award for a DMO committed to improving public education. Mayor Chris Coleman (St. Paul) was our 2011 honoree. Come meet our 2012 honoree, and say hello to Susan's family who will join us as our special guests.
James is a compassionate leader in his community and is a strong national leader. He exemplifies what we look for in DMO leaders. Municipal leaders across this country are helping to move Democratic priorities at the local level, they are insisting that local concerns be heard and acted upon at the national level, and they are serving their communities every single day.
Read more about our friend James Mitchell, Jr., and then come celebrate with us in James' and Susan's beautiful City of Charlotte, NC (or cheer us on from your television set) as Democrats unite, organize, and recharge for the work ahead. Together, with the spirit of Charlotte behind us, we will ensure Democratic victories across the country and we, as DMOs, will be the force that ensures those victories.
Meet our DMO of the Year
Greg Pettis, Councilman, Cathedral City, CA
California is best known for its temperate climate and palm trees. Nestled between Palm Springs and RanchoMirage, Cathedral City is small in population but towers above other cities in innovative environmental and community health programs.
Councilman Greg Pettis led the way in a long list of progressive public policy initiatives. Since his election to the City Council in 1994, Pettis has worked tirelessly to help build an economically vibrant community and strong neighborhoods. A true leader, Pettis volunteered to serve as DMO's founding California State Chair and has successfully organized DMO's first official State Chapter which will be formally chartered at our March 13 National Breakfast Meeting in Washington DC. With the backing of his fellow DMO Chapter officers, Mayor Gilbert Wong of Cupertino and Council Member Sedalia Sanders of El Centro, Pettis is poised to make DMO a strong force in California this year. For this leadership and much more, DMO is proud to name Greg Pettis our January DMO of the Month.
From an early age, Greg Pettis felt the call of public service. Inspired by a speech by Robert Kennedy in 1968, Pettis continuously strives to push the boundaries of what is possible to make Cathedral City a community to thousands of residents and thriving businesses.
Among his accomplishments: creating a first-time homebuyer program for his constituency; instituting the "Safe Routes to School” program in his community—a program which serves to tear down the barriers and improve the infrastructure for children who walk or bike to school; and revitalizing Cathedral City's downtown core, bringing business and critical jobs to the community. In his capacity as Managing Director of the Institute for Environmental Sustainability at California State University, he is educating the next generation on critical environmental issues affecting us all. But Pettis has not stopped there. He works diligently with police and social service agencies to combat the methamphetamine epidemic which is destroying young lives and breaking up families.
In an effort to promote a healthy community and combat the raging epidemic of childhood obesity, Greg Pettis began the HEAL Cities Campaign (healthy eating active living) in Cathedral City—part of a national health initiative to promote healthy eating and wellness education to the most vulnerable populations in cities across the country. Leading this initiative for his community, Pettis collaborated with the local Rotary Club (in which he is serves as president) to create community gardens in disadvantaged communities. With a childhood obesity rate of almost 30 percent, Cathedral City was the perfect place to pilot this successful program.
Greg Pettis is a strong leader in Cathedral City, California. He has enacted effective public policy measures for his constituency in the areas of health, safety, the environment and education, and Pettis is ready to lead California's new State Chapter as Democratic Municipal Officials' State Chair.
Pettis is a thoughtful and engaged Democratic Municipal Official and DMO is proud to make him our DMO of the Month.