August 19, 2020
Take Action
Cities are encouraged to oppose AB 685, which would create an onerous and comprehensive set of reporting requirements for all California employers when an employee is exposed to COVID-19. While it is certainly a valid concern to ensure our public sector workforce is notified of potential COVID-19 exposure, this measure would set an incredibly aggressive timeline for notification, create compliance challenges through the use of ambiguous thresholds, and establish significant financial and misdemeanor penalties per violation. Cities can help by calling and writing their Assembly Member and Senator. Take action today! (Sample letter .docx)

Cities are encouraged to oppose SB 1383, which requires any employer, public or private, with five or more employees to provide 12 weeks of protected leave each year and threatens them with litigation for any unintentional mistake. SB 1383 is not limited in scope to only address COVID-19 and will place a significant burden on employers at a time when they can least afford it. Cities can help by calling and writing their Assembly Member and Senator. Take action today! (Sample letter .docx)
League News

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision Aug.12 in City of Portland, et al. v. United States. The decision largely upholds two orders that the Federal Communications Commission adopted in 2018 to accelerate the deployment of fifth generation (5G) wireless technology by limiting local governments’ authority to regulate the installation of small cell wireless facilities. Read more

Realizing that peer-to-peer communication is often very effective in driving change, city officials in South Lake Tahoe recently launched a resident-led safety ambassador program. Residents who sign up to volunteer for the program are supplied with face masks from the city and then they hit the streets to encourage fellow residents and visitors to “mask up.” Read more

Join us and your fellow city officials from around the state as we come together virtually to learn and celebrate at the League’s 2020 Annual Conference & Expo. The League's annual meeting promises to be an unparalleled educational and networking event, including dynamic panel discussions, keynotes, breakout sessions, and opportunities to connect directly with your peers. Read more

The California Department of Finance released additional information regarding reporting requirements for the CARES Act funding distributed to cities, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a new executive order to help bridge the digital divide, and the big seven state and local groups issued a press statement about the failed talks on Capitol Hill, keeping the pressure on Congress to return to the negotiating table. Additionally, the National League of Cities (NLC) released its City Fiscal Conditions Report showing how fast revenues for cities, towns, and villages are falling. Read more
Education and Conferences

Don’t miss out! The deadline to submit session proposals for the League of California Cities City Clerks New Law & Elections Seminar is Monday, Aug. 24. Taking place as a virtual conference in December 2020, this educational opportunity is designed for city clerks of all tenures to learn new skills and information on current issues and timely topics that will help in daily operations within their city.  Read more

Tuesday, Aug. 25, 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m. — Non-compliance and litigation challenging the enforcement of COVID-19 Executive Orders, public health orders, and reopening plans focuses on complex First Amendment law. The webinar will address the laws governing these issues, state and local enforcement tools available, and guidance on developing a legal framework. Presenters: Meyers Nave Of Counsel Margaret (Meg) Rosequist, and Chair of First Amendment Practice and Trial & Litigation Practice Deborah Fox. Register now
Wednesday, Aug. 26, 10-11 a.m. — Recovery after a catastrophic event can take up to 10 years, becoming a massive effort for cities to tackle this important phase of a wildfire event. Learn what to expect after a wildfire disaster, including the transition from response to recovery and what to keep in mind with close-out procedures. Presenters: Santa Rosa Assistant City Manager Director of Transportation and Public Works Jason Nutt, and San Diego County Office of Emergency Services Director Jeff D. Toney. Register now

Thursday, Aug. 27, 10-11:30 a.m. — As city leaders work to dismantle the barriers to equity and justice in California’s cities, the League will be providing education and capacity-building resources to support this effort. Join leadership from the League and the NLC Race Equity and Leadership (REAL) Initiative as we set the stage for the work ahead to expand our knowledge and capacity to eliminate racial disparities, heal racial divisions, and build more equitable communities. Presenter: NLC REAL Director Leon Andrews. Register now

Thursday, Aug. 27, 2 p.m.-3:30 p.m. — In June 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court in Knick v. Township of Scott, Pennsylvania, overruled the 34-year-old precedent in Williamson County Regional Planning Commission v. Hamilton Bank of Johnson City, 473 U.S. 172 (1985). This webinar will explore the procedural changes brought about by the Knick decision and discuss the potential ramifications of the decision to California cities, which may be substantial. Presenter: Abbott & Kindermann Inc. Senior Counsel Glen C. Hansen. Register now
Opportunities for Cities

The California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency and the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council released a new Guide to Strategic Uses of Key State and Federal Funds to Reduce Homelessness During the COVID-19 Pandemic. This document is intended to help local governments and Continuums of Care in California understand the range of immediately available resources to address homelessness during COVID-19 and plan strategic ways to use these resources to effectively prevent and reduce homelessness. Read more

The California's Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) released a new guidance document outlining the proposed compliance process for the imminent SB 1383 regulations, which seek to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from organic waste. This document includes an overview of CalRecycle’s discretion in enforcing SB 1383, enforcement timelines, and a delineation between AB 939’s “Good Faith Effort” determination and SB 1383’s compliance determination. Read more
More News and Events

Over the next week, California and the rest of the West Coast will face a historic heat wave that will put pressure on our energy grid. In order to avoid electricity shortages, the Governor's Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is asking residents to reduce energy usage in order to prevent service interruptions. Please share with your city’s residents energy saving tips for both home and work. Fact sheets and social media content is available in seven languages on the Cal OES website. Read more

The California Secretary of State has launched the California Census Challenge, a statewide competition with the goal of increasing the census self-response rates of California’s cities and counties while decreasing the need for at-home visits during the COVID-19 pandemic. If the current lack of responses throughout the state are not addressed, California may drastically undercount its residents, leading to a loss of funding and representation for the next decade.

All cities and counties are asked to join in the competition to have the highest response rate, and will compete against other cities and counties with similar population sizes. The top three cities and counties from each tier will receive a plaque honoring their hard work from the California Census O­ffice. Awards will also be given to three cities and counties from each tier that have the largest increase in response rates throughout the duration of the competition. Read more 

The NLC 2020 City Summit conference is going virtual this year! Although they had hoped to gather in Tampa this November, keeping the health and safety of its members at the forefront is important, so their largest event of the year is coming to you! Join NLC’s 2020 City Summit to get inspired and celebrate your leadership. Register today
Tuesday, Sept. 1, 1:30-3 p.m. — Cities and counties across the state are grappling with how to authentically engage their communities and comply with the engagement requirements of their 6th cycle housing element updates. Join the California Department of Housing and Community Development, PlaceWorks, and the Institute for Local Government, for a workshop to learn strategies, tools, and best practices to engage your community on housing topics in a virtual environment. Register now 

Leaders in California cities have been hard at work creating plans that support businesses safely reopening. In Fresno, the city provided 14,000 masks for small businesses to hand out to their customers and employees. Read about the efforts of Fresno and other cities throughout the state in this month’s Western City magazine.
League in the News
Continue the Census Count, Aug.14, Antelope Valley Press
According to the League of California Cities, “for every person left uncounted in California, we could lose $1,000 in federal funding yearly for the next 10 years.” The stakes and risks of an undercount in the 2020 Census are too high to ignore. The economic, political, and social impacts of an accurate Census count will shape our future.

Associations representing several different industries have come out in opposition to SB 1383. The California Hospital Association, California Restaurant Association, the League of California Cities, and CFBF were among the groups to issue a letter of opposition back in May.

“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,” Carolyn Coleman, executive director of the League of California Cities, said. “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.”