September 9, 2020
League News

Scorching temperatures plunged Californians into a Labor Day weekend balancing act of attempting to stay cool while not overloading the state’s energy grid. Record high temperatures around the state spurred an emergency proclamation by Gov. Gavin Newsom aimed at shoring up the state’s energy capacity and staving off the kind of power outages and rolling blackouts that left tens of thousands of residents in the dark during last month’s massive heat wave. Read more

Cities around the state have been working hard to educate residents about the importance of participating in the 2020 Census. They have used every platform available to promote the California Census Challenge on their websites, newsletters, videos, and social media.The hard work paid off! Over the weekend, California surpassed its 2010 Census self-response rate, with 68.3 percent of households taking the 2020 Census online, by phone, or mail. Read more

This year the conference will offer more than 30 breakout sessions with topics including using data to reduce impacts of wildfire, rising pension costs, addressing homelessness, and best practices for using social media. Visit the annual conference website to see the dates and times of specific sessions that you want to attend or watch after the conference. Also note the times of the professional department, caucus, and League business meetings. Read more
Executive Director's Message

The state Legislature adjourned their legislative session during the early morning hours on Sept. 1, while League staff and President John Dunbar watched on a Zoom call together as the clock ran out on the deadline to pass bills. Gov. Gavin Newsom must now decide whether to sign or veto the hundreds of bills on his desk by midnight on Sept. 30. The League has identified priority bills for action by the Governor and will be working hard to make sure local interests are protected, but we need your help in order to be successful. Visit the League’s website for more information on the bills we want to see the Governor sign and which ones we’re asking him to veto. Remember, your voice counts! Read more

Today, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation to help small businesses that are trying to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. A new Housing is Key campaign was also recently announced to further help Californians recover from the pandemic, and connects renters and landlords with important information about relief and protections under the new state law (AB 3088). The Housing is Key campaign website provides guidance and resources for landlords, tenants, and homeowners, and an overview of the new eviction framework and protections. Additionally, the Governor signed an executive order to help protect consumers against price gouging by prohibiting sellers of any kind from increasing prices on food, consumer goods, medical or emergency supplies, and certain other items by more than 10 percent through March 4, 2021. Read more 
Opportunities for Cities

California cities have been providing the open space for mental and physical health of their communities, and child and youth programming that is desperately needed for working families. As school districts across the state prepare for distance or modified learning, cities, including parks and recreation departments, are helping to provide child/youth day and after school programs, and services to support the community’s needs. The California Department of Social Services, recently released guidance that outlines the process for cities, counties, and special independent recreational and parks districts to request a temporary waiver to extend the hours and times they can operate. Read more

The League’s incoming president is soliciting applicants to serve on the Coastal Cities Group (CCG) 2021 Leadership Committee. Applicants must be from one of the 61 cities that fall in California’s coastal zone. Working with the chair and vice chair, Leadership Committee members and their staff designees will help facilitate the operations of the CCG and play a key role in its activities, including building relationships with members of the California Coastal Commission and staff. Submit your letter of interest by Oct. 5. Read more
 
The California Statewide Communities Development Authority (CSCDA) has issued financing to two city projects that will benefit their respective communities. An affordable housing project for low-income seniors in San Juan Capistrano received tax-exempt and taxable multi-family bonds and a local San Francisco college refinanced their existing facility loans. Collectively, CSCDA issued nearly $52 million for both projects. Read more
More News and Events

Many of our tools for detecting wildfires, modeling their progression, evacuating residents, and suppressing fires are outdated. In the critical early period of a wildfire, our existing systems are inadequate and cumbersome. Learn how the Moraga-Orinda Fire District seamlessly integrated technology with a real-world operating environment characterized by limited resources and compressed timelines in this month’s issue of Western City magazine.
League in the News
As California plastics bill dies, focus shifts to plastics tax referendum, Sept. 3, Plastics News (Please note this article is behind a paywall) 
"Over the last several years, international recyclable material commodity markets have dried up," said Derek Dolfie, the group's legislative representative. "In the past, cities used the high scrap value from recyclable materials to subsidize the cost of collection and processing of recyclables for their residents."

Los Angeles Times reporter John Myers said that there would be “no victories” for California Attorney General on the last night of session as two-high profile bills he backed failed to get through the legislature. One of the bills, which blocked local government lawsuits against opioid companies and manufacturers, was called “a perfect example of bad, secretive, and cynical government” by the Sacramento Bee. The League of California Cities called it “a flawed experiment.” The other bill would have expanded the attorney general’s staff by 16 positions and expanded the Becerra’s powers related to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, according to the Sacramento Bee.