For Immediate Release:

Contact: Carolyn Jhajj

Communications Director

(916) 447-4806 

RCRC Kicks Off 2021 Annual Meeting with Keynote Speaker Leon Panetta


SACRAMENTO, CA – September 29, 2021– The Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) kicked off its 2021 Annual Meeting in Monterey County on Wednesday, September 29th with former United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta as the keynote speaker.

Local government representatives from rural counties across California were in attendance as Secretary Panetta engaged in a candid discussion with RCRC Board Chair and Mono County Supervisor Stacy Corless on key issues of importance to rural communities. During the exchange Secretary Panetta discussed the dangers of the growing bipartisan divide among political parties and the potential implications for national governance. He also encouraged rural counties to come together to advocate at the state and national level to ensure important issues like catastrophic wildfires are addressed.  

“We are honored to have had Secretary Leon Panetta as our keynote speaker for RCRC’s Annual Meeting,” said Supervisor Stacy Corless. “His extensive public policy knowledge and experience resulted in a thought-provoking discussion with valuable insights for our rural county leaders.”

Prior to his appointment as the U.S. Secretary of Defense by President Barack Obama, Secretary Panetta held a distinguished career in a variety of public office positions. As a public servant, he served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, White House Chief of Staff, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and a United States Representative on behalf of the California Central Coast. Secretary Panetta also co-founded the Panetta Institute, a nonpartisan center for the study of public policy.

RCRC’s 2021 Annual Meeting is taking place over the course of three days at the Portola Hotel and Spa at Monterey Bay, adjourning on October 1st with the RCRC Board of Directors meeting. In addition to Secretary Panetta’s keynote, Wednesday’s session included panel discussions with experts on the implications of California migration, alternative construction trades of the future, and the state and national political landscape. Additional information regarding the conference and RCRC is available at



The Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) is a thirty-seven member county strong service organization that champions policies on behalf of California’s rural counties. RCRC is dedicated to representing the collective unique interests of its membership, providing legislative and regulatory representation at the State and Federal levels, and providing responsible services for its members to enhance and protect the quality of life in rural California counties. To learn more about RCRC, visit and follow @RuralCounties on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.



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Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta with Mono County Supervisor and RCRC Board Chair Stacy Corless engaged in discussion at the RCRC 2021 Annual Meeting