Long Beach Says Goodbye to Annual Celebrity-Studded Women's Conference
The annual, superstar-studded women's conference that brought speakers such as Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Diane Sawyer, Sandra Day O'Connor, Sarah McLachlan and Suze Orman to Long Beach, along with major tourism dollars, will not be back to the city this year.
It is uncertain whether it will be back at all.
California First Lady Anne Brown put out a statement Thursday about the state of the conference that grew tremendously under the hand of her predecessor, Maria Shriver:
"I will focus my immediate energies on the challenges before our state and won't try to re-create the conference that Maria put on in Long Beach," Brown wrote.
The convention has relinquished the placeholder dates it held at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center and area hotels, Long Beach Press-Telegram reports. Elizabeth Ashford, spokeswoman for the governor's office, told the paper that the first lady and governor are looking into the form that future conferences may take.
In the midst of Governor Jerry Brown's proposed state budget that includes about $12.5 billion in spending cuts and borrowing, the California Governor & First Lady's Conference on Women, the nonprofit organization that produced the conferences during the Schwarzenegger administration, has been dissolved. Last year's conference drew 30,000 attendees and pumped at least $5 million or $6 million into the city's economy.
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