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New San Francisco, Oakland Mayors To Attend White House State Dinner

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The White House. (AP)

The White House. (AP)

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OAKLAND (CBS 5 / AP / BCN) — The newly inaugurated Chinese-American mayors of San Francisco and Oakland will be guests at Wednesday’s White House state dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Francis Tsang, a spokesman for San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee, said the mayor will fly to Washington Wednesday morning to attend the black-tie gala along with Mayor Jean Quan of neighboring Oakland.

The longtime friends each made political history when they took office earlier this month.

Lee is the first Asian-American to lead San Francisco, which is roughly one-third Asian. Quan, meanwhile, is the first Asian-American woman at the helm of a major U.S. city.

Tsang said the pair already were scheduled to be in Washington this week to attend a meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Quan flew to Washington on Tuesday for a series of meetings with cabinet members, mayors and other elected officials of major U.S. cities over the next four days.

Quan said the next three days are packed with meetings and workshops at the U.S. Conference of Mayors, a nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more.

Topics will include jobs and economic development, education and the workforce, cultural arts, community policing, housing, and smart transportation. Quan said all of those subjects are priorities for Oakland.

“As the mayor of the 43rd largest city in the country, my participation in the U.S. Conference of Mayors is key to building relationships in the capitol and around the country to bring home new ideas, partnership and funds to Oakland,” Quan said in a statement.

On Tuesday, Quan attended the White House Policy Briefing in association with the Emerald Cities Collaborative, which her office said is a coalition of 10 cities and leaders in labor, business, and technology who want to fight global climate change while creating a new economic sector.

Quan said she feels “honored” to have been invited to the state dinner, “especially since 40 percent of the Port of Oakland’s business is with China.”

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press and Bay City News contributed to this report.)

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