August 26, 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 776, which would expand the categories of police and custodial personnel records subject to disclosure pursuant to the California Public Records Act. This measure will lead to misperceptions about an officer’s conduct, will be costly for cities to implement amidst a pandemic that has significantly impacted city budgets, and will prove ineffective in advancing constructive dialogue between law enforcement and the communities they serve. 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)
Executive Director's Message

Earlier this month, U.S. Senators adjourned the legislative session through Labor Day and headed home for their annual summer recess, despite not coming to an agreement on the next coronavirus relief package. U.S. House members adjourned in late July, except for a brief return to Washington, D.C. last week for a vote on emergency funding for the United States Postal Service. While members of Congress take a break, California’s cities and towns remain hard at work. Read more
League News

The Appropriations Committees of both houses met on Thursday, Aug. 20 to decide the fate of hundreds of bills, albeit significantly fewer than usual due to the truncated session schedule impacted by COVID-19. Following these committee hearings, the stage is now set for the final week of the legislative session where bills face an Aug. 31 deadline. Read more

Under normal circumstances, individuals experiencing homelessness are some of the community’s most vulnerable residents, but during the COVID-19 pandemic they are an even greater at-risk population. The City of Whittier has set up an emergency shelter to provide lodging, hygiene facilities, meals, and community resources to those in need. Read more

League members have an opportunity to directly weigh in and shape League policy through the organization’s Annual Conference Resolutions process. This year, voting delegates will take action on one resolution. The General Assembly will convene virtually to take action on the resolution on Friday, Oct. 9 at 11 a.m. Read more
On Aug. 26, the Governor announced that the state is working with a private company to process up to an additional 150,000 COVID-19 diagnostic tests a day, with a contractual turnaround time of 24-48 hours. According to the California State Controller’s website, the second CARES Act payment was sent out to cities on Aug. 24. The Governor issued an Executive Order to address a variety of issues in response to COVID-19, including increasing the income-eligibility threshold for the Community Service Block Grant program to support economic and community development efforts in response to the pandemic. Updated reopening guidelines and information regarding an economic stimulus plan to include eviction legislation are also expected later this week. Read more
Special Invite to the Annual Conference
Education and Conferences

TOMORROW 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 tomorrow from the League and the National League of Cities (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

TOMORROW Thursday, Aug. 27, 2-3:30 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

Friday, Aug. 28, 1:30-3 p.m. — The California State Budget for FY 2020-21 authorized the Department of Finance (DOF) to allocate $500 million to cities to address the public health and public safety impacts of COVID-19. Recipient cities are required to submit their reports to the DOF no later than 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 4. This session will provide a walkthrough of the state’s reporting requirements, new web portal, and an opportunity to get your questions answered. Presenter: California DOF Research and Analysis Unit Chief Kristin Shelton. Register now

Wednesday, Sept. 2, 10 a.m.-12 p.m. — Join the League’s legislative team for a review of the top priority bills and learn how you can successfully advocate on behalf of your city as you request a signature or a veto on key bills on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk. Register now

Join us and your fellow city officials from throughout the state as we come together virtually to learn, collaborate, and celebrate at the League’s 2020 Annual Conference & Expo. Taking place on Oct. 7-9, the League's annual convening promises to be an unparalleled educational and networking event, including dynamic panel discussions, keynotes, breakout sessions, and opportunities to connect directly with your peers. We’re especially excited to introduce our new interactive Expo! Read more
Opportunities for Cities

Time is running out for cities that have not yet applied for the California Department of Housing and Community Development Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus Response Round 1 (CDBG-CV1) funding for local assistance. The CDBG-CV1 funding will provide support for communities impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The deadline to submit an application for the $18.7 million in new federal funds is Aug. 31 at 5 p.m. Read more
More News and Events
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 
Thursday, Sept. 17, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. — Learn more about 2021 local redistricting in this full day virtual conference, which features dynamic presentations and panel discussions by California experts. Hosted by the Rose Institute of State and Local Government, this conference will cover redistricting timeline and public records, commissions, outreach, strategic insights, practical lessons, and more. MCLE credit is pending for this virtual conference. Read more 
Are you interested in serving in a leadership position at the national level? Apply to serve as an National League of Cities (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

Tracking your ballot has never been easier! The California Secretary of State is now offering “Where’s My Ballot?” — a new way for voters to track and receive notifications on the status of their vote-by-mail-ballot. Where’s My Ballot? let’s California voters sign up to receive automatic text messages (SMS), voice call, and email alerts on the status of their ballot. Read more 
In California cities where environmental pollution and asbestos exposure issues continue to present challenges, old insurance policies from 50 years ago may still be in effect. Many of these policies were written without aggregate limits and can provide unexpected cash for fiscally strapped cities. Read more in Western City magazine.
League in the News

The pandemic is tearing into local city budgets as sales taxes, room taxes and other revenue are down sharply amid business shutdowns and closures.”