April 1, 2020
League News

As many Californians settle into a new physical distancing way of life, cities are working hard to provide their communities with access to resources for care, protection, food, and essential services so that their residents may weather through the COVID-19 pandemic together, while apart.

The League is conducting a series of webinars to assist city officials with their response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Some of the webinar topics include how to conduct meetings while physical distancing, parking requirements, emergency orders and declarations, park closures, issues for employers, and financial support.

Serving on the League board of directors is an opportunity for you to be a statewide leader shaping state policy and the actions of the organization. The League is currently accepting applications from city officials interested in serving on the board in one of six at-large positions or as second vice president.

Education and Conferences
Learn about the priority bills that would affect your city by registering for the April 16 webinar from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Due to COVID-19, the League has canceled the in-person Legislative Action Day event that was scheduled for April 22 in Sacramento.

Local agencies are working hard to balance the safety and needs of their employees while still delivering essential services to their communities. Join the Institute for Local Government and partner Liebert Cassidy Whitmore on April 2 from 10 to 11 a.m. for a webinar to help local governments navigate these complex issues, hear recent updates issued by the state around retired annuitants, layoff notifications, and more.

As local officials and staff work through this evolving public health crisis, it remains critical to share important updates, guidance and mandates with your communities. Join the Institute for Local Government and their partners on April 7 from 2 to 3 p.m. to learn strategies for consistently and authentically communicating with your community as we adapt to the “new normal,” prepare for the return to standard operations, and anticipate any future crisis events.

Opportunities for Cities
As Congress drafts its fourth economic stimulus bill in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National League of Cities and The United States Conference of Mayors are united in an effort to ensure that direct emergency fiscal assistance for local governments of all sizes is included in the package. In order to demonstrate the direct fiscal impact of the pandemic on municipal governments of all sizes to Congress and the Administration, we encourage all cities please complete this short survey by end of the day on Friday, April 3 to tell us how your municipal budget is being impacted by COVID-19.

Affordable apartments for low-income families and seniors in Stockton are getting renovations and funding with tax-exempt, multi-family affordable housing bonds issued by the California Statewide Communities Development Authority.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak and its widespread impacts across the state, the due date for responses to the California Violence Intervention & Prevention grant Request for Proposals (RFP) has been postponed. At its April 9 meeting, the Board of State and Community Corrections will establish new due dates and timelines for the grant, with a proposal to extend the RFP due date to Friday, June 5.

More News and Events

At the League’s request, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has extended the deadline to file comments on the Staff Proposal for Rule 20 Program Reform and Enhancements (Staff Proposal) to April 21, 2020. Administrative Law Judge Wang’s email ruling on March 25, 2020 provides that all parties have until April 21, 2020 to file and serve opening comments, and relaxes the rules to become a party to the proceeding.

California faces unique challenges to achieving an accurate count, with 75 percent of its residents considered “hard to count.” Our most vulnerable populations fall into these historically undercounted groups. Get tips on how to encourage participation in “ Census 2020: What’s at Stake and Why Every City Needs to Drive Participation” in the April issue of Western City magazine.
League in the News

Noting that “city resources and personnel are stretched thin” responding to the pandemic, the executive director of the League of California Cities asked Newsom last week to “take immediate action to pause certain statutory requirements.” The league that represents nearly 500 cities is seeking to delay the state’s constitutionally mandated California Public Records Act, which requires transparency in government decision-making and spending. The law requires public agencies to respond to requests for information within 10 days, though many routinely drag their feet with legally allowed extensions.
(appeared in 170 media sources)

The League of California Cities has asked Gov. Gavin Newsom to suspend deadlines for public records requests, citing the need to divert staff to coronavirus efforts. Cities need a reprieve to “devote the resources necessary to protect the health and safety of all Californians,” the League wrote March 22 in a letter to Newsom. The organization representing California's 482 cities also asked for more time to process development applications, housing reviews, grants and environmental reviews, among other areas.