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Board of Directors
Steven Welliver
Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.
Andrew Thomas
Westwood Village Improvement Association
Vice President
Steve Snider
Downtown Oakland and Lake Merritt-Uptown District Associations
Dominic Tartaglia
San Luis Obispo Downtown Association
Blage Zelalich
City of San Jose
At-Large Directors
Downtown Association of Santa Cruz

Emilie Cameron 
Downtown Sacramento Partnership

Maggie Campbell
Downtown Santa Barbara, Inc.
Joseph Mariani
Hollywood Entertainment District BID

Austin Metoyer
Downtown Long Beach Alliance
Steve Mulheim
Old Pasadena Management District
Liz Studebaker
City of San Diego
Immediate Past President
Karin Flood
Union Square BID

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Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association
Carmichael Improvement District, Inc.
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Downtown Oxnard Merchants Association
Downtown Pomona Owners Association
Downtown Roseville Partnership
Downtown Sacramento Partnership
Downtown San Diego Partnership
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Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.
Downtown Vacaville BID
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Downtown Visalians, Inc.
Figueroa Corridor Partnership
Gateway to LA Airport Business District
Gilroy Economic Development
Hollywood Property Owners Alliance
Ironsmith, Inc.
LA Downtown Industrial District BID
LA Fashion District BID
MJM Management Group
North Tahoe Business Association
Old Pasadena Management District 
ParkSmart, Inc.
Paso Robles Main Street Association
Progressive Urban Management Associates, Inc.
R Street Sacramento Partnership
Riverside Downtown Partnership
San Jose Downtown Association
San Luis Obispo Downtown Association
South Park BID
Sunnyvale Downtown
Temescal Telegraph BID
The Downtown Burbank Partnership
The Placemaking Group
The River District
Tracy City Center Association
Tulare Downtown Association
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Walnut Creek Downtown Business Association
Westwood Village Improvement Association  
Wilshire Center Business Improvement District
April 2018
What is the current state of retail in your urban place?


The votes from the March poll are in. On a scale of 1 (least urgent) to 5 (most urgent), where does homelessness fall as a priority issue for your urban place? 

For more information on this topic, visit IDA's Top Issues Council report:  Homelessness in Urban Districts: Principles & Implications for Place Managers.

Steven Welliver
Deputy Chief Executive 
Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.

A battle is being waged in Westwood (Los Angeles) over a possible subdivision of the Westwood Neighborhood Council. Students from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) propose to establish a new neighborhood council for the campus and surrounding business district, separating it from the established council ruled by neighboring homeowners. We asked Westwood Village Improvement Association (WVIA) Executive Director Andrew Thomas to share his perspective.
Andrew Thomas VP

Steven Welliver: What do you think led to the decision by UCLA students to form a separate neighborhood council for Westwood Village? Was there a "last straw?"

Andrew Thomas: The UCLA students represented at Westwood Neighborhood Council meetings consistently asked for two things: affordable housing and entertainment and nightlife options in Westwood Village, which is the commercial district that shares a border with the campus. The students saw that the Council was not only not addressing these concerns, but was actively supporting restrictions on entertainment and nightlife, density and campus housing. These actions essentially "woke" UCLA student leadership and they determined to run for seats on the Council. Unfortunately, that effort was stymied when the Council determined to extend their member terms from 2018 until 2019 without an election. I believe this was the "last straw." With no option to run for the existing council, the student leaders determined to create their own council with narrower boundaries that include campus, multi-family communities, and the neighboring business community.

Steven: Where does the process of establishing the new council currently stand and what still needs to happen to subdivide the new council from the old?

Andrew: The student leadership began its process to form a new neighborhood council in November 2017. It is not a simple process to move the City of Los Angeles so quickly - especially with some local opposition - but to credit the student's effort, our community is now poised to determine at a May 22, 2018 election whether to subdivide to create two councils. In reaching this point, there have been a number of WVIA meetings regarding this item, town hall meetings, engagement with the City's Department of Neighborhood Empowerment and the Board of Neighborhood Commissioners, and also a failed attempt to negotiate a compromise, which was led by the WVIA. I can add that the current Council believes that Westwood Village should be determined a "shared resource," meaning our district could exist in multiple council jurisdictions, and the current Council has stated they will fight the City to assure this happens in the event the subdivision is approved on May 22nd. I believe the "shared resource" argument is weak, but the effort behind it is indicative of the fact that this issue will likely remain contentious for some time.

Steven: What opportunities do you see for WVIA to collaborate or partner with this new group of engaged stakeholders?

Andrew: One of the chief victories of the movement to create a new council is the fact that so many commercial property owners, business owners, and even local homeowners now support what began as a student effort. The WVIA spent several months evaluating the potential for a new council. After identifying a clear pattern of restrictions to business and growth, the WVIA also determined to support change.

I am hopeful that the WVIA and the proposed new neighborhood council will be more aligned on matters that relate to our district, especially those matters that push for a healthy and thriving business community. I believe this can help move the needle in our community in a number of areas like planning, transportation, and governmental advocacy. Metro is just now starting significant construction to continue the Purple Line subway extension to be completed in Westwood in 2026, and the Olympic Village will be on the UCLA campus in 2028. It is a crucial time. The WVIA and our local neighborhood elected body need to speak with one voice to advance the needs of our community.

CDA Focused on Two Priorities as Legislature Kicks into High Gear 

This month's legislative activity is dominated by several important deadlines in the State Capitol. The first deadline - April 27th - marks the final day for policy committees to approve any bill that has a cost impact to the state. Once bills are approved in their respective policy committees, they are then heard in the Appropriations committee which is the fiscal committee for each house.

Looking ahead, during the month of May, we see a significant uptick in legislative activity as legislators prepare their bills for a floor hearing. The final day for each house to pass bills introduced in the first house is no later than June 1st. With the legislature now in full swing, the California Downtown Association has taken action on two legislative priorities:

SB 946, Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Long Beach) - OPPOSED
The California Downtown Association (CDA) is opposed to Senate Bill 946, as it would prohibit municipalities from adopting reasonable regulations - both time and place - related to economic activities that are conducted on city streets, specifically sidewalk vending. The approach provided in SB 946 limits the ability for local governments to properly protect health and safety, support licensed business activity, and maintain management of community-based events.

The bill raises significant concerns about the impact to existing licensed businesses in our downtowns who hire workers, pay state and local taxes & fees to support and improve the surrounding community. Business Improvement Districts have been at the forefront of urban revitalization efforts that have attracted new residents and businesses to our downtowns - dramatically improving the quality of life in those communities. We believe all commercial business activity, both brick-and-mortar and sidewalk vending operators, should contribute to these goals.

AB 1065, Asm. Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles) - SUPPORT
This bill strengthens penalties by creating an "Organized Retail Crime" felony in California law. The legislation would allow law enforcement to take an individual into custody on an arrest for any misdemeanor, if they have been convicted, cited, or arrested for theft from retailers twice within the previous 12 months. It would also expand jurisdiction for theft cases by allowing authorities to combine theft incidents across multiple counties.

Organized retail crime is the type of theft with the added intent to convert stolen merchandize into additional financial gain. The members of our Business Improvement Districts are often the targets of serial theft and retailers have experienced a significant increase in incidents since the passage of Proposition 47. Many report twice the amount of incidents and the value of the merchandise taken has increased. This is a substantial financial burden to businesses, has lowered employee morale, and has raised safety concerns for customers.

SB 916, Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) - SUPPORT
In an effort to reduce vehicle burglary rates, the bill would close a loophole in state law by expanding the definition of burglary of a vehicle by including "entering a vehicle by forced entry". The bill is designed to protect tourists and visitors who are often unavailable to testify at a later date that their vehicle was locked when the crime occurred. CDA is supporting the bill. 

Jason Bryant 
Bryant Government Affairs
April 2018 Legislative Update 

Have you filled out the membership directory form yet?

CDA's website now has a membership directory! In order to include your organization accurately, please take minute to fill out this directory form. You can load photos, contact information, links to your social media and more. Thank you!


The 2018 West Coast Urban District Forum was held March 13-15, 2018 in Walnut Creek. Co-hosted by Walnut Creek Downtown Business Association, California Downtown 
Association and IDA, WCUDF master talks and breakout sessions explored how downtowns serve as economic development resources beyond city boundaries, and the role social media plays in encouraging community engagement. Experts shared best practices on enhancing downtown quality of life and cultivating the next generation of leaders. 

If you missed this year's forum or you'd like to revisit session presentations, l og on to  CaliforniaDowntown.com to view available presentations now.
Middle School Students Tackle Future of Old Sacramento  Riverfront
CBS 13
The plan to revive the Old Sacramento riverfront is taking new shape with help from a group of middle school students.

Ford GoBike Launching New Electric Bicycle Service
San Francisco Examiner
Ford GoBike is launching a new motorized bicycle service Tuesday with the rollout of 250 electric bikes across San Francisco.

After 30 Years on the Streets, She's No Longer Homeless. Here's How She Found Housing
The Sacramento Bee
Katherine Ann Wahl long had been a fixture at busy intersections around Sacramento's central city, holding a sign made from...

BART's Transit-Oriented Development Bill Sets Disturbing Precedent, Says APA
AB 2923, which would allow the Bay Area Rapid Transit District to rezone their properties near stations for transit-oriented...
Los Angeles's New Plan to House the Homeless
The New York Times
For California communities struggling with homelessness, the challenge has been to reconcile two demands...
Rules in the Works as City Offers Olive Branch in Scooter War
San Francisco Chronicle
Despite the very public push to get the newly arrived hordes of electric scooters off San Francisco's sidewalks, the two-wheel ...
Can We All Get Along?
Being a city dweller in an increasingly urbanized world will mean learning how to share space with very different people, says...

A Divisive Housing Bill is Defeated in Sacramento 
The New York Times 
A housing proposal that is dividing neighborhoods and political leaders - state legislation that would override local zoning laws to...

Big Little Lies Crew on the Monterey Peninsula Becomes Community-Minded
The Mercury News
While the studio and production crew behind HBO's "Big Little Lies" has been tight-lipped about both this season's filming locations...
London 'Pollution Pods' Let You Sample the Smog in Beijing and Delhi
The Guardian
New installation at Somerset House in London lets visitors experience the air of some pollution hotspots - plus a pristine Norwegian island...

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CDA District Digest Leadership

Executive Editor:
Steven Welliver
President, CDA
Allison Shashok
Marketing & Communications Manager, IDA

Do you have your ear to the ground when it comes to the latest downtown news in your region?
To submit news to be considered for inclusion in the newsletter, please contact Allison Shashok at allison@downtown.org.