October 14, 2020
League News

On Oct. 13, the U.S. Supreme Court granted the Justice Department’s request to halt the 2020 Census count while the administration and a host of groups advocating for a lengthened census count argue the case in a federal appeals court over whether the count could be stopped early. The Supreme Court order blocks a lower court order that required the government to continue with the count as originally planned through the end of October. The U.S. Census Bureau announced it will keep accepting responses online through Oct. 15. Read more

Last week, the League convened 1,600 city officials from throughout California for its first-ever virtual conference. It was an incredible three days of learning, inspiring, sharing, and celebrating the achievements of cities throughout the state. The event featured 127 speakers, including keynote addresses from award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien, best-selling author Neil Pasricha, and the National League of Cities’ Leon Andrews with a panel of city leaders on advancing equity in their communities. Read more

Dozens of cities were honored with prestigious awards and celebrated for their remarkable work during the League of California Cities Annual Conference & Expo last week. These cities were recognized for implementing outstanding programs and innovative solutions to improve the quality of life in their communities, making great strides to address climate change, and improving employee health and wellness programs. The awards were presented in front of a virtual crowd of 1,600 conference attendees. Read more 
Executive Director's Message

It was great to see all of you in thumbnail size at last week’s first ever all virtual League of California Cities Annual Conference & Expo. With 1,600 attendees, 127 dynamic speakers, 78 exhibitors, and nearly 40 educational sessions, the conference was full of opportunities to share ideas about moving our communities forward. Our keynote speakers emphasized how the challenges we’ve faced this year can help us become stronger and more effective leaders, provided best practices for advancing equity in our communities, and highlighted the importance of communicating effectively during a crisis. Read more

The remaining allocations of the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund are set for distribution to cities today, Oct. 14. The California Department of Public Health issued new guidance and recommendations for safely celebrating Halloween and Día de los Muertos in California, and updated guidance for private gatherings. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the fourth round of funding for Homekey, California’s $600 million program to purchase and rehabilitate housing for people experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. Read more
Education & Conferences
Oct. 16, 23, 30, and Nov. 6, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.The League’s 2020 City Attorneys' Department Conference track, typically scheduled during the Annual Conference & Expo, is offered as a standalone event this year. The virtual conference provides the opportunity to have peer-to-peer interaction with your colleagues each morning before attending sessions on cutting-edge issues in municipal law, and offers up to 12 hours of MCLE credit. View the conference schedule and register now

Wednesday, Oct. 21, 1:30-3 p.m. — Join League Partner, Expedia Group, for a presentation and panel discussion on topics ranging from travel and tourism in a COVID-19 world to how to effectively regulate short-term rentals in your city and achieve compliance. The City of Palm Springs will share how they created fair and effective short-term rental regulations that achieve high compliance. Presenters: Expedia Group Senior Government Affairs Manager Richard de Sam Lazaro, Palm Springs Council Member Lisa Middleton, and former Palm Springs Vacation Rental Code Enforcement Official Boris Stark. Register now
Opportunities for Cities
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has opened the application period for FY 2020 Hazard Mitigation Assistance Notices of Funding Opportunities for the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) grant program and the new Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) pre-disaster mitigation grant programs. This year there is $160 million available in funding for FMA and $500 million for BRIC, for a total of $660 million combined. These two competitive grant programs provide states, local communities, tribes and territories funding for eligible mitigation activities to strengthen our nation’s ability to build a culture of preparedness by reducing disaster losses and protecting life and property from future disaster damages. Eligible applicants must apply using the new FEMA Grants Outcome portal by Jan. 29, 2021 at noon. Read more

Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 11 a.m.  Join CalTRUST, the League co-sponsored statewide investment pool for California public agencies, to learn basic investment terminology such as net asset value, total return, 30-day SEC yield, weighted average life, and more. This complimentary presentation will include a market update from the CalTRUST asset management team at BlackRock who will apply these terms to the current market environment. Register now
More News and Events

Nov. 18-20 — The National League of Cities (NLC) 2020 City Summit conference is going virtual this year. NLC invites you to “Learn. Grow. Build. Renew.” and 
take part in an immersive program that includes informative panel discussions, keynotes, and fireside chats, as well as engaging workshops and opportunities to network with peers. Register today
Tuesday, Oct. 27, 10 a.m. While the Supreme Court has agreed to hear several interesting cases relevant to states and local governments in its 2020-21 term, which began Oct. 5, many are holdovers from the 2019-20 term. The Court has also accepted numerous new cases of interest. Hear from attorneys who are set to argue some of the top cases before the Supreme Court as they discuss the cases most interesting to states and local governments that the Court has agreed to hear so far. Presenters: Gupta Wessler’s Deepak Gupta, Georgia Solicitor General Andrew Pinson, and Washington Free Beacon’s Kevin Daley. Register here

California’s public libraries provide myriad resources and services that extend far beyond their core function of offering materials to inspire, inform, and engage users of all ages. During the COVID-19 pandemic, library staffs statewide have been working in food pantries, making masks for first responders, and serving meals at temporary homeless shelter sites as part of their efforts to help meet local needs. As cities continue facing unprecedented circumstances, the library’s role and unique capacity to build community resilience will be even more critical. Read more in Western City magazine.
League in the News
Cheryl Viegas-Walker was installed as the League’s 2020-21 president on Oct. 9 as part of its virtual Annual Conference & Expo.

The League of California Cities Board of Directors elected El Centro City Council Member Cheryl Viegas-Walker to serve as its 2020-21 president, it was announced in a League of California Cities press release Oct. 9.

Santa Maria's student-led agricultural education program, The Patch, has received the 2020 Helen Putnam Award for Excellence in City-Business Relations, city spokesman Mark van de Kamp announced Thursday.

El Centro City Council Member Cheryl Viegas Walker has been elected to serve as president of the League of California Cities. Viegas Walker was elected by the League's Board of Directors to serve as the 2020 - 21 president and installed on October 9. Viegas Walker has served on the El Centro City Council since 1997. She is a member of the El Centro Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees. She represents the City of El Centro on the Imperial County Transportation Commission , Imperial County Local Transportation Authority and the Service Authority for Freeway Emergencies.

The city of Palmdale’s Courson Arts Colony (CAC) was awarded the 2020 Helen Putnam Award for excellence in the category of Housing Programs and Innovations by the League of California Cities at its virtual annual conference held Thursday, Oct. 8.

The League of California Cities Board of Directors elected Artesia Mayor Ali Sajjad Taj to serve as the organization’s 2020-21 second vice president. Taj was installed on Oct. 9 as part of the League’s virtual Annual Conference & Expo. 

The League of California Cities has awarded the city of Santa Clarita with the Helen Putnam Awards for its “innovative” college internship program and its mascot “Sammy Clarita,” officials announced Thursday. The 2020 Putnam winners were recognized for their “outstanding programs” out of 110 submissions and awards were presented in front of a virtual crowd of more than 1,500 city officials, including Councilwoman Marsha McLean, who accepted the awards on behalf of Santa Clarita.

The League of California Cities Board of Directors elected El Centro Council Member Cheryl Viegas Walker to serve as its 2020-21 president, according to the press release. Council Member Viegas Walker was installed October 9 as part of the League’s virtual Annual Conference & Expo.

The Institute for Local Government (ILG) today recognized 36 California cities that have made measurable achievements in saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the local level amid significant challenges related to the ongoing pandemic.