August 12, 2020
Executive Director's Message

With Congress and the Administration in a stalemate, dueling news shows appear to be the closest our leaders in Washington, D.C. have come to negotiating over the next federal coronavirus relief package. While the standoff continues, cities and towns throughout the state and across the nation are imploring federal negotiators to get back to the negotiating table and to support $500 billion in direct and flexible funding to local governments of all sizes. This relief package may be the final chance to secure funding from the federal government to address the billions of dollars in budget shortfalls that cities are facing. Read more
League News

As parents, teachers, and school districts adapt to new distance and hybrid learning models to start the new academic year during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of San Jose is addressing one major hurdle to this new virtual learning, internet accessibility. Read more

In four virtual press conferences throughout the state, city officials, firefighters, businesses, and community service representatives warned of dire consequences if Congress fails to provide aid to local governments. Read more

The Senate and Assembly are holding a multitude of committee hearings in the coming days to consider a number of legislative bills before the end of the legislative session on Aug. 31. The League is actively engaging on many of these bills, as they have a significant impact to cities. Read more

Last week, negotiations on a new federal stimulus package stalled between the White House, U.S. Senate, and the House of Representatives. On Monday, the League held four virtual press conferences throughout the state to ask congressional officials to continue negotiations in Washington, D.C. and provide direct and flexible funding to cities. The League and California State Association of Counties also issued a joint letter to California congressional representatives to stress the critical importance of including robust and direct federal fiscal support for local governments in the next COVID-19 relief bill. Read more
Education and Conferences
Wednesday, Aug. 19, 10-11 a.m. — With the increase of wildfires, it important for cities to understand how to work with CAL FIRE so they can best prepare for and respond to a wildfire event. Hear from CAL FIRE chiefs who will discuss lessons learned and tips, such as how controlling vegetation will help protect wildland and urban places. Presenters: CAL FIRE/San Diego County Fire Chief Tony Mecham, CAL FIRE West Division Operations and Sonoma-Lake-Napa Unit Division Chief Ben Nicholls. Register now
Opportunities for Cities
Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) released the application for the Reuse Grant Program for FY 2019-20. Cities can access the application, information regarding eligibility, program criteria, and view contact information on the CalRecycle Notice of Funds Available webpage. Applications must be submitted by Sept. 10. Read More
More News and Events

Monday, Aug. 17, 1-2:30 p.m. Natural disasters continue to pose a threat to our communities despite COVID-19. Learn about tools for assessing, mitigating, and preparing for the disruption of a major disaster, and specific solutions related to building resilience around energy infrastructure in this free Institute for Local Government webinar. Presenters: World-renowned Natural Disaster Expert Dr. Lucy Jones and Malibu City Manager Reva Feldman. Register now  

Thursday, Aug. 13 at 7 a.m. — Join the National League of Cities (NLC) for the release of its City Fiscal Conditions report and learn about the economic consequences expected for years to come and the broader impact of local fiscal health on national economic recovery and financial well-being of cities, towns, and villages across the country. Presenters include: Moody's Analytics Chief Economist Dr. Mark Zandi, NLC President, Los Angeles Council President pro Tempore and Council Member Joe Buscaino, CEO, NLC Executive Director Clarence Anthony, and others. Register now

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) recently amended Regulation 18707, which contains specific requirements for both the timing and contents of when a public official must make a public disclosure of a conflict of interest. Beginning Aug. 22, Regulation 18707 will require public officials to publicly identify a conflict of interest, even if they leave a meeting prior to the relevant agenda item’s consideration or they arrive after its consideration. Read more

The final push for Census 2020 to count every household in California is underway. Census takers are knocking on doors beginning Aug. 11 in communities throughout our state to ensure no person goes uncounted. There are less than two months left for this once in a decade effort that secures billions in funding for programs and infrastructure and secures federal representation in Congress. Read more

Are you interested in serving in a leadership position at the national level? Apply to serve as an NLC Officer or Board Member, Committee or Council Chair or Vice Chair, or leader of a Constituency Group. It's one of the most rewarding ways as a municipal leader to bring your expertise to the service of cities, towns, and villages at the national level. Don't miss out on the opportunity to impact the direction of the National League of Cities and even national policy. Read more
“Coping with uncertainty is an ongoing challenge, and this multilayered disruption to our lives still has no clear end in sight. As we move forward, we are re-examining our policies and assumptions in the context of COVID-19.” Get more insights from League President and Yountville Mayor John F. Dunbar on “What COVID-19 Is Teaching Us” in this month’s Western City magazine.
League in the News
That kind of punitive, politically motivated and short-term thinking will just end up hurting communities across the country that are on the front lines of fighting COVID-19. State and local governments generate much of their revenue from taxes on sales, business receipts and tourism. That economic activity ground to a halt as the pandemic surged, and tax revenue has fallen off a cliff. In a new survey of California cities, the budget shortfalls will prompt 90% of cities in the state to cut staff or decrease services. Nearly 75% of cities said they may have to do both.

“There can be no economic recovery without a clear commitment from the federal government to address the staggering revenue shortfalls and skyrocketing costs that local governments have been forced to incur due to the shutdown of our economies and communities brought about by COVID-19,” said League of California Cities Executive Director Carolyn Coleman. “This is not the time to walk away from the table. This is a time to focus on what needs to be done to support America’s hometowns."

State officials have said the disparity comes from the bigger cities needing to help their homeless populations during the pandemic. But officials from small and mid-sized cities in Orange County argue the pandemic has been hitting every municipality, no matter its population. “Essentially, no cities are immune from this,” said Tony Cardenas, public affairs manager for the League of California Cities’ Orange County chapter.

No federal relief leaves states, cities facing big deficits, Aug. 10, Associated Press (also appeared in 502 other outlets)
The association representing municipal governments in California said 90 percent of the state’s 482 cities will have to cut staff or services... It is heartbreaking to have to cut services and lay off staff that are so integral to making Grass Valley a wonderful, vibrant place to live," Councilwoman Jan Arbuckle said in a statement. "This could be avoided if we had strong federal support."

In a Zoom news conference held this afternoon, the League of California Cities had an urgent message for President Donald Trump and the members of Congress - cities, especially smaller ones, need direct help now.

Downey Mayor Blanca Pacheco was installed Aug. 6 as president of the L.A. County division of League of California Cities, representing 86 cities in Los Angeles County.
July 8-Aug. 26

Coastal Cities Group Sea Level Rise Discussion