California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg to be honored with the 2012 Smart Growth America Leadership Award

California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, a long-time smart growth and community development advocate, will accept Smart Growth America’s 2012 Smart Growth Leadership award during a Friday ceremony at the Joe & Vi Jacobs Center in San Diego.

The honor coincides with the 11th annual New Partners for Smart Growth conference, a national event hosted by the Local Government Commission. It is expected to draw more than 1,500 attendees, including policy experts, business leaders, representatives from state and federal agencies and high-ranking elected officials.

“Perhaps no lawmaker has done more for smart growth in California in recent years than Sen. Steinberg,” says Smart Growth America President and CEO Geoffrey Anderson. “SB375 was groundbreaking in that it provided a model for how regions can save on municipal service and infrastructure costs, increase development certainty, and become more resilient to changes in energy prices.”

SB375, also known as California’s Sustainable Communities Planning Act, was enacted in 2008 and integrates greenhouse gas reduction goals into the existing regional transportation planning process. The result is a bill that not only fights climate change, but also promotes local decision making to best coordinate decisions about land use and transportation infrastructure to strengthen local economies, reduce sprawl, preserve farmland and advance smart growth strategies that spur business development.

“Combating sprawl must be a top priority for policy makers in California and across the nation,” Steinberg said. “The only way to transform inevitable growth into smart growth is to integrate the issues of housing, transportation, land use and climate change. I am honored to receive recognition for this concept that will help build sustainable communities.”

According to the Urban Land Institute’s 2010 impact analysis, SB375’s coordination of geographies and sectors “will advance and promote the economic vibrancy and environmental health of California communities.”

In addition to SB375, Steinberg, a former member of the California State Assembly and the Sacramento City Council, helped draft legislation that would have supported tax-revenue sharing among municipalities, with a portion of those funds reserved to achieve smart growth aims such as affordable housing creation and transit-oriented development. During his time as a legislator, Steinberg also has been a consistent and loyal supporter of education and mental health reforms.

“Darrell is the rare type of individual who never fails to take a comprehensive approach, and who is willing to go out on a limb to accomplish his goals,” says Parris Glendening, former governor of Maryland and President of Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute. “To me, that’s the sign of real governmental leadership.”